Pretty desperate times for football in New Zealand... The national women's captain, Abby Erceg, is retiring from international football, primarily because of the off-field stresses:http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/sport/324984/erceg-to-stand-down-from-football-ferns
With around half of the Football Ferns [NZ national team] playing professionally, Erceg believes a noticeable gap has emerged between the top players and the rest.
"We've now left half of the team here who haven't been as fortunate with those circumstances so the stresses of living have now had an impact on their perfromance as a player...we get this gap within the team, where the ability of the professional players obviously can't be met with half the team who haven't been able train at that level."
She also said support has been hard to come by from New Zealand Football, despite the organisation's healthy finances.
"The thing I've heard the most is we have no money and we can't afford it, and that's really hard to accept as a player when your organisation for the past eight years have been in a surplus and they've announced a profit for the last eight years."
Erceg in action for New Zealand (Camw)