Football Ferns midfielder Annalie Longo has hinted that if she did take the field in 2023 it might be the final time she would put on the Football Ferns kit.
“I’ll kind of have to see how the body holds up, I guess. The first priority is the Olympics next year and then we kind of take it one year from that but with the World Cup in ’23, it’s obviously more motivation.
“It would be a bit of a full circle for me [in my career] and it be might one I retire on.”
Longo is one of a handful of players from New Zealand’s U-17 squad in 2008 that still play for the Football Ferns, including Rosie White, Katie Bowen and Victoria Esson, which exemplifies the impact that team had on the country’s football fabric.
The 28-year-old Longo works as the Women’s Football Development Officer for Mainland Football in Canterbury where the women’s game has continued to grow in the past few years.
She played for Australian side Melbourne Victory in the W-League last season but has no clear plan for what lies ahead on the club front before next year’s Olympics.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup will expand to 32 teams in 2023 when it will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, which shows the continued growth of the women’s game.
The FIFA Council voted to award the event to Australia and New Zealand on Friday, marking the first time the tournament will be held in the Southern Hemisphere.
The 2019 edition in France enjoyed huge TV viewership figures around the globe and strong crowd attendances.