Football Fern Annalie Longo – who has played 113 international games for New Zealand – will be the star player on show when Cambridge again hosts top women’s football this weekend.
Longo, who is the current national women’s Player of the Year, will lead champions Canterbury United Pride in their National Women’s League match against WaiBOP.
The match kicks off at John Kerkhof Park, Vogel St, at noon on Sunday.
Longo became the youngest player to ever represent New Zealand at full international level when she made her debut against China in November 2006, aged 15.
Since then, she’s played at four FIFA Women’s World Cups.
Opposing her on Sunday will be a youthful WaiBOP squad that includes two teenagers who began their football career as Cambridge juniors.
Grace Wisnewski and Kaylee Oosthuysen played for Cambridge’s U-14 girls team in 2013, as a stepping stone to playing senior football.
Wisnewski, who was only 10 when she played for that youth team, has since become a national U-17 and U-20 international, and was part of the New Zealand team that won bronze at last year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Making her first appearance this season for WaiBOP, Wisnewski scored twice in her side’s 5-2 win at Central. WaiBOP’s other goals came Annaliese Heuvel (2) and Shannon Trebes.
Cambridge is hosting six NWL games this year, of which Sunday’s is the third.
Remaining fixtures are:
WaiBOP v Capital – Saturday October 26, 1.30pm
WaiBOP v Central – Sunday November 17, 2pm
WaiBOP v Northern Lights – Sunday December 8, 2pm
ISPS Handa Premiership
Meanwhile, Cambridge will again host men’s national league football when Wanderers meet former champions Auckland City in mid-November.
Spectators will see some of the country’s leading players – including full internationals – in a double header between the clubs on Saturday November 16, 2019.
The clubs’ youth teams will play at 11am followed by the ISPS Handa Premiership game at 2pm.
This year will be the first that John Kerkhof Park has hosted matches in all three national competitions.
The Wanderers v Auckland City game will see internationals from at least four countries on the pitch including Auckland City’s Myer Bevan (New Zealand), David Browne (Papaua New Guinea), Brian Kaltak (Vanuatu) and Yousif Ali (Iraq) while Wanderers has prolific goalscorer Tommy Semmy (PNG).
Former Wellington Phoenix midfielder Albert Riera has returned to Auckland City after three seasons in the Hyundai A-League, and will play in front of goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai Goni who played for Real Sociedad in La Liga and in the UEFA Champions League.
The match will also pitch two All Whites legends against each other.
Wanderers will be coached by Ricki Herbert, who is also Cambridge FC’s Technical Director and oversees the club’s coaching development programme.
Assistant coach for Auckland will be former defender Ivan Vicelich who played more than 100 times for the All Whites, many of them for Herbert.