All Whites coach Anthony Hudson has confirmed his 23-man squad for the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
The OFC Nations Cup Champions have had a successful build-up to the ‘Tournament of Champions’ where they lost 1-0 to World No 26 Northern Ireland and defeated Dublin club side Cabinteely FC 5-2 in a training game. They will face Belarus in their final hit-out on 12 June before the FIFA Confederations Cup begins five days’ later.
Hudson is pleased he has got through the build-up without any injuries and has named the same 23-man squad he announced in Auckland on 26 May. He is confident his team can make a statement on the world stage.
Listen to audio from an interview with All Whites coach Anthony Hudson on his FIFA Confederations Cup squad
He said the key to a successful build-up was making sure everyone was in a strong physical condition and they have had the chance to build on the game plan, and also continue to develop their team values and spirit. They have achieved all of those goals.
“It is great to confirm the same 23 players that we named in Auckland,” said Hudson. “I am very happy with my squad, the players have been first-class whilst we’ve been in Auckland and Ireland. It is great that we have a fully fit squad and we have been able to prepare well over the past 10 days or so together on tour. Our total focus is on Belarus and being at our best for our opening game against Russia.”
Hudson said his team – the biggest mover in the recent FIFA World Rankings to 95 in the world – has the ability to upset some of the world’s best teams and go into this tournament in a strong position.
The All Whites begin their tournament against the hosts Russia on 17 June in St Petersburg, then face World No 17 Mexico in Sochi on 21 June and then World No 8 Portugal on 24 June.
“We are focused on the task at hand, we are not going to get carried away with who we are playing, we know they are top teams but we are a strong team and we are going there focused on ourselves and the task at hand. Our preparation has been good, we know what we are trying to achieve and we are all excited about this tournament.”
The team travel to St Petersburg from Dublin on Friday and will begin their preparation for the international friendly against Belarus in Minsk on 12 June.
No New Zealand team has ever won at a FIFA Confederations Cup before – the best result remains a 0-0 draw with Iraq in South Africa in 2009 – and this group has set its sights on making history.
“We are not going to Russia to take part, we are going there to achieve something significant.”
Please find attached audio from an interview with All Whites coach Anthony Hudson
All Whites squad for the FIFA Confederations Cup (Club, Country, Caps, Goals)
Stefan Marinovic (SpVgg Unterhaching, Germany) 15, 0
Tamati Williams (RKC Waalwijk, Netherlands) 1, 0
Glen Moss (Newcastle Jets, Australia) 29, 0
Andrew Durante (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand) 16, 0
Thomas Doyle (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand) 5, 0
Storm Roux (Central Coast Mariners, Australia) 7, 0
Michael Boxall (SuperSport Utd, South Africa) 23, 0
Kip Colvey (San Jose Earthquakes FC, USA) 9, 0
Themi Tzimopoulos (PAS Giannina FC, Greece) 10, 1
Deklan Wynne (Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Canada) 8, 0
Sam Brotherton (Sunderland AFC, England) 7, 0
Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town FC, England) 32, 2
Dane Ingham (Brisbane Roar FC, Australia) 1, 0
Bill Tuiloma (Marseille, France) 17, 0
Clayton Lewis (Auckland City FC, New Zealand) 9, 0
Michael McGlinchey (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand) 43, 4
Ryan Thomas (PEC Zwolle, Netherlands) 10, 2
Marco Rojas (Melbourne Victory FC, Australia) 33, 5
Alex Rufer (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand) 3, 0
Chris Wood (c) (Leeds Utd, England) 48, 19
Monty Patterson (Ipswich Town FC, England) 10, 1
Shane Smeltz (Borneo FC, Indonesia) 54, 24
Kosta Barbarouses (unattached) 38, 3
All Whites pre-FIFA Confederations Cup
12 June v Belarus in Minsk, Belarus (13 June NZT)
Live on SKY Sport
2017 FIFA Confederations Cup – All Whites draw
17 June 6pm (3am 18 June NZT) v Russia, Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg
21 June 9pm (6am 22 June NZT) v Mexico Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
24 June 6pm (3am 25 June NZT) v Portugal, Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg
Live on SKY Sport