Former Cambridge player stars in World Cup play-off success

Two goals from former Cambridge player Grace Wisnewski have helped New Zealand to a third place at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay.

Wisnewski (16) scored goals in the first and 13th minutes (main photo) to give the Young Ferns a 2-0 lead against Canada in the play-off for third spot at Montevideo.

The team hung on for a 2-1 victory to become the first New Zealand side – male or female – to win medals at a World Cup event.

Wisnewski scored three goals at the tournament, as well as a crucial penalty in the quarter-final shootout against Japan.

She began her football as a junior playing in boys/girls mixed teams at Cambridge, coached by club chairman Steve Thomas.

Photo: The Cambridge U-14 girls in 2013. Grace Wisnewski, kneeling, is on the right of the front row.

As a 10-year-old, she was given dispensation for her to play in Cambridge’s U-14 Girls’ Federation League side and she was awarded the squad’s Most Promising Player award at the 2013 Senior Prizegiving.

Coach of the U-14 Girls side Josh Easby said: “Grace showed then she was capable of developing to the highest level. What stood out was her self confidence and determination. Even at 10, she was taking on older and bigger players without any hesitation or doubt.”

Since then, Wisnewski has played Northern League Women’s football for Hamilton Wanderers, helping the side to third place last season, and been part of the WaiBOP Women’s National League squad.

Two footballer brothers, Logan and Kyle, also played for Cambridge.

Logan, a national U-18 futsal rep, played for Cambridge’s WaiBOP Premiership-winning first team in 2015, while Kyle was also a first team player before heading to the United States to play college football.

Photo: Wisnewski was named Player of the Match for her two-goal effort in the play-off for third place.

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