Experience and youth characterise the men’s and women’s teams for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, confirmed today by New Zealand Football and the New Zealand Olympic Committee.
The Football Ferns will rely on a core of experience, as the quartet Abby Erceg, Ria Percival, Anna Green and Ali Riley will be playing at their fourth Olympic Games, while talent from the bronze medal winning U-17s is also starting to come through in the squad via striker Gabi Rennie (yet to be capped at senior level) and goalkeeper Anna Leat.
Meanwhile, led by Burnley FC striker Chris Wood and Minnesota United centreback Michael Boxall, back for their second Olympic Games, the men’s team features a host of exciting talent, such as Liberato Cacace, Ben Waine and Joe Bell.
“Tokyo 2020 is key for reigniting our women’s and men’s high performance programmes,” says New Zealand Football CEO Andrew Pragnell.
“The impact of COVID-19 has been massive on our international activity, so we’re delighted with the opportunity to get our national teams playing again.
“For the Football Ferns, Tokyo 2020 marks the beginning of the build-up for the biggest prize of them all – hosting the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on home soil. A blend of experience and potential makes up the Football Ferns squad, and we are now starting to see some of our most exciting talent, already versed in succeeding at FIFA events, come through to the senior side.
“For our men’s side, Tokyo 2020 helps to re-start preparations for qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The side is an incredible group of young talent, guided by some of our most accomplished senior players, which makes for a very dynamic team playing football for New Zealand in Tokyo,” he says.Women's Squad:
CJ Bott, Vålerenga, Norway
Katie Bowen, KC, USA
Claudia Bunge, Melbourne Victory FC, Australia
Olivia Chance, Brisbane Roar FC, Australia
Daisy Cleverley, Georgetown University, USA
Abby Erceg, North Carolina Courage, USA
Anna Green, Lower Hutt City AFC, NZ
Betsy Hassett, Stjarnan, Iceland
Anna Leat, FFDP, NZ
Annalie Longo, Melbourne Victory FC, Australia
Meikayla Moore, Liverpool FC, England
Erin Nayler, Unattached
Ria Percival, Tottenham Hotspur, England
Gabi Rennie, Indiana University, USA
Ali Riley, Orlando Pride, USA
Emma Rolston, Unattached
Paige Satchell, FFDP, NZ
Hannah Wilkinson, Unattached
Travelling reserves:Elizabeth Anton (FFDP, NZ), Victoria Esson (Avaldsnes IL, Norway), Michaela Robertson (Lower Hutt City AFC, NZ), Marisa Van Der Meer (FFDP, NZ) Unavailable for selection:Rosie White (OL Reign, USA), Nicole Stratford (FFDP, NZ)
Joe Bell, Viking FK, Norway
Michael Boxall, Minnesota United, USA
Liberato Cacace, Sint-Truidense VV, Belgium
Joey Champness, Newcastle Jets, Australia
Callan Elliot, Xanthi FC, Greece
Dane Ingham, Perth Glory, Australia
Elijah Just, FC Helsingør, Denmark
Clayton Lewis, Wellington Phoenix, NZ
Callum McCowatt, FC Helsingør, Denmark
Nando Pijnaker, Rio Ave FC, Portugal
Winston Reid, West Ham United, England (or Tim Payne, Wellington Phoenix, NZ)
Jamie Searle, Swansea City AFC, Wales
Marko Stamenic, FC Copenhagen, Denmark
George Stanger, Hamilton Academical, Scotland
Gianni Stensness, Central Coast Mariners, Australia
Ben Waine, Wellington Phoenix, NZ
Chris Wood, Burnley FC, England
Michael Woud, Almere City FC, Netherlands
Matthew Garbett (Falkenbergs FF, Sweden), Ben Old (Wellington Phoenix, NZ), Alex Paulsen (Wellington Phoenix, NZ), Sam Sutton (Wellington Phoenix, NZ)
Myer Bevan (TS Galaxy, South Africa), James McGarry (Wellington Phoenix, NZ), Owen Parker-Price (Torslanda IK, Sweden)
Unavailable for selection:
Sarpreet Singh (Bayern Munich, Germany), Ryan Thomas (PSV, Netherlands)
The Football Ferns play in Group G, and will come up against Sweden, USA and Australia. Their campaign gets underway against Australia on Wednesday 21 July.
The men play in Group B, and will come up against Korea Republic, Honduras and Romania. Their campaign gets underway against Korea Republic on Thursday 22 July.
Article added: Friday 25 June 2021