Football Ferns 'have to accept' Abby Erceg's second retirement, says technical director

The Football Ferns have made peace with veteran defender Abby Erceg's second retirement from the international game, having only made her return to the New Zealand side earlier this year.

Erceg, 28, called time on her career with the Football Ferns for the second time this morning, having already done so in February last year, saying New Zealand's women footballers weren't adequately supported.

Speaking to media today, New Zealand Football technical director Andreas Heraf said he and the side had no qualms with Erceg’s decision.

"It's her decision," he said.

"We have to accept it, everybody in this world is free to do think and to do what they want to do.

"It's a pity, because she’s a fantastic football player and she would help us a lot.

"But it's a decision made by her, and we have to accept that."

Heraf also said that the decision didn’t take him by surprise, and that he was well aware of Erceg's intent following their tour of Spain earlier this year.

"I knew quite early after the Spain tour."

Abby Erceg will hang up her boots at the age of 27 after next month's Cyprus Cup. Source: 1 NEWS

"I started really fast to get the team ready for the big event right now in Wellington, so I was calling and asking all of the girls in the squad and the wider squad about the next game and about the next tour.

"Abby came back to me and said that she will retire again, that she won't come back again.

"She was not feeling that happy coming back again, and she wants to focus on her team in the USA."

The Football Ferns will line up against Japan in Wellington without Erceg, playing a friendly match against Japan.

Erceg called time on her career again ahead of NZ's clash with Japan. Source: 1 NEWS

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