The 2017 OFC U-16 Women’s Championship will see the full complement of OFC Member Associations represented for the first-time in the history of the competition, being held from 4-25 August in Apia, Samoa.
In 2016, a hugely successful U-17 women’s tournament was hosted in Cook Islands featuring nine nations of which Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu made their debuts at this age-group. For Fiji it was an historic outing after they finished third, narrowly beating New Caledonia in the Match for Third-Place.
This year will mark the debut of American Samoa, who have never participated in this competition, and the return to this level for Solomon Islands whose last outing was in 2010 when they finished a very respectable second.
The only side to have ever won the age-group title is New Zealand and with all 11 nations confirmed, their fate in Samoa was outlined by the OFC Competitions Department via the official draw, which was held at the OFC Academy in Auckland, New Zealand this afternoon.
OFC Competitions Director Chris Kemp said having reviewed the results of the previous three editions, of what was the OFC U-17 Women’s Championship, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea were seeded into one pot.
“As the top two sides in this age-group, based on those previous results, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea needed to be seeded into separate groups,” Kemp said.
New Zealand were drawn first taking the top spot in Group A, while Papua New Guinea take position one in Group B.
The remaining nine nations were placed in a separate pot and drawn into one of the remaining five spots in Group A or the four remaining positions in Group B.
Joining the defending champions New Zealand are hosts Samoa, Tonga, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Tahiti.
Alongside Papua New Guinea in Group B are Cook Islands, Fiji, American Samoa and Solomon Islands.