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'Super proud we could make history' – Young Football Ferns react to incredible World Cup campaign

The sky's the limit for New Zealand's Young Football Ferns, who returned home this morning after their third-place finish at the Under-17 Football World Cup in Uruguay.

Eliminated at the semi-final stage by eventual winners Spain, the Young Football Ferns overcame Canada 2-1 on Sunday morning to take the bronze medals, with their prizes on show at Auckland Airport this morning.

Appearing on TVNZ 1's Breakfast this morning, coach Leon Birnie couldn't hide his delight at his side's history-making efforts.

"What a special moment," he began.

"It's something that the football country (were) really looking forward to, really got behind us. It's just a really special occasion for the players, the family and just everyone in New Zealand."

Coach Birnie also revealed his side's celebrations, just happening to involve their defeated opponents.

"They were up into the early hours with the Canadian team, which was a really nice touch," he said.

"They celebrated that night, and then it's been a long 30 hours to get back here.

"Even on the plane, Air New Zealand were class ... they made a special mention about the team, the whole plane gave them applause, the girls loved that.

"That just kind of summed up how good the support's been throughout this campaign."

For striker Grace Wisnewski though, the momentous achievement is only starting to sink in.

"(There's) no words to describe how I feel right now," Wisnewski told 1 NEWS.

"Super pumped, super proud that we could make history for our country, it's incredible.

"We went into it knowing that we could bring home a medal for our country, and we just wanted to do everything we could to get it and create history - we just put everything out there and managed to do it."

While the team aren't getting carried away with their current success, coach Birnie is confident that their achievement will only be the beginning for a number of players.

"It was pretty evident through the tournament that there's some pretty good players there.

"There's a lot of time between now and making their debuts for the Football Ferns, but from what we saw, and the potential they've got, it's looking bright.

"I look forward to following these girls' careers, and seeing them have a long and prosperous career."

The bronze medallists arrived back into New Zealand this morning. Source: 1 NEWS


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