Annalie Longo was part of a team that inspired a generation of women’s football players in New Zealand and she has the opportunity to add another chapter to that story at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.
The Football Ferns midfielder was a member of New Zealand’s squad at the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2008.
That tournament was hosted in New Zealand and was a key pillar in kickstarting the rise of the women’s game in their country.
Amazingly, Longo had already been to a senior World Cup before she played in that 2008 event having attended the FIFA Women’s World Cup in China a year earlier with the Football Ferns.
Longo made her national team debut in 2006 as a 15-year-old and has been a staple of the side since, having earned her 100th cap in 2017.
She’s been to numerous age-group World Cups, the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, but said potentially competing in a global tournament on home soil in 2023 would be a career highlight.
“It’s the next thing, being able to play in front of your friends and family; hopefully it can really gain some attention and exposure and obviously try and grow the game here in New Zealand,” she said.
“I think it’s just an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to see people get behind it and come and see us play on Eden Park.” she concluded.