Squad confirmed for games against Curaçao and Bahrain

New Zealand Football are pleased to confirm the men’s senior national team squad for the upcoming fixtures against Curaçao and Bahrain on 9 and 12 October (10 and 13 October in Aotearoa New Zealand).

The 21-man squad sees five players called up for their All Whites debut and features 10 players who were part of the Olympic side that reached the quarter-finals at Tokyo 2020. 

The side is made up of players based outside of Australia and New Zealand due to travel restrictions on returning to both countries. 

“I think it speaks to the strength of the talent we are developing, and the success they are having overseas, that we are able to assemble a squad without any players from New Zealand and Australia,” says Head Coach Danny Hay.

“Obviously we would prefer to be in a position to include players from this part of the world but I’m confident in the team we have been able to bring together and I know they are all chomping at the bit to get back on the pitch after such a long time.”

The full 21-man squad is:

Stefan Marinovic (25 Caps) Hapoel Nof HaGalil, Israel

Nikola Tzanev (1 Cap) AFC Wimbledon, England

Michael Woud (2 Caps) Almere City FC, Netherlands

Michael Boxall (33 Caps) Minnesota United, USA

Nikko Boxall (3 Caps) SJK Seinäjoki, Finland

Liberato Cacace (3 Caps) Sint-Truidense VV, Belgium

Kelvin Kalua* (0 Caps) Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand (currently on trial in Europe)

Niko Kirwan (0 Caps) Padova, Italy

Nando Pijnaker (1 Cap) FC Helsingør (loan from Rio Ave FC), Denmark

Tommy Smith (38 Caps) Colchester United, England

Bill Tuiloma (26 Caps) Portland Timbers, USA

Dalton Wilkins* (0 Caps) Kolding IF (loan from FC Helsingør), Denmark

Joe Bell (2 Caps) Viking FK, Norway

Joseph Champness* (0 Caps) Giresunspor, Turkey

Matthew Garbett* (0 Caps) Torino, Italy

Sarpreet Singh (6 Caps) SSV Jahn Regensburg (loan from FC Bayern Münich), Germany

Marko Stamenic* (0 Caps) HB Køge (on loan from FC Copenhagen), Denmark

Andre de Jong (4 Caps) AmaZulu FC, South Africa

Elijah Just (2 Caps) FC Helsingør, Denmark

Callum McCowatt (1 Cap) FC Helsingør, Denmark

Chris Wood (57 Caps) Burnley FC, England


*Debut senior national team call-up

Ryan Thomas and Winston Reid are unavailable for selection for personal reasons, having recently returned from injury. Winston Reid will join up with squad in a non-playing capacity to continue to mentor the younger members of the team. 

Gianni Stensness is unavailable for selection having chosen to represent Australia at senior level. 

“I’m not going to say it isn’t disappointing to see Gianni make that choice,” says Hay. 

“He was part of the Olympic team that showed how exciting the future of New Zealand football is looking and I believe his time in our national setup has played a major role in his development. Ultimately it is his decision, and we will respect it.” 

The All Whites face Curaçao on Saturday 9 October (Sunday 10 October NZT) and Bahrain on Tuesday 12 October (Wednesday 13 October NZT) in Manama, Bahrain. 

Both games will be played at 7pm local time (5am in New Zealand).

Article added: Monday 27 September 2021



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