New Zealand Football are pleased to confirm the men’s national team squad for the upcoming fixtures against The Gambia, and a yet to be announced side, this November in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The 21-man squad sees two players called up for their All Whites debut and features 11 players who were part of the Olympic side that reached the quarter-finals at Tokyo 2020. As with the squad selected for the back-to-back wins against Curaçao and Bahrain in October, no New Zealand or Australia-based players are eligible for selection due to travel restrictions. The full 21-man squad is:Stefan Marinovic (26 Caps) Hapoel Nof HaGalil, IsraelJamie Searle* (0 Caps) Swansea City, WalesMichael Woud (3 Caps) Almere City FC, NetherlandsMichael Boxall (35 Caps) Minnesota United, USALiberato Cacace (5 Caps) Sint-Truidense VV, BelgiumFrancis de Vries* (0 Caps) IFK Värnamo, SwedenKelvin Kalua (2 Caps) Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand (currently on trial in Europe)Niko Kirwan (2 Caps) Padova, ItalyNando Pijnaker (3 Caps) FC Helsingør (loan from Rio Ave FC), DenmarkTommy Smith (40 Caps) Colchester United, EnglandBill Tuiloma (27 Caps) Portland Timbers, USAJoe Bell (4 Caps) Viking FK, NorwayMatthew Garbett (2 Caps) Torino, ItalySarpreet Singh (7 Caps) SSV Jahn Regensburg (loan from FC Bayern Münich), GermanyMarko Stamenic (2 Caps) HB Køge (on loan from FC Copenhagen), DenmarkJoseph Champness (1 Cap) Giresunspor, TurkeyElliot Collier (2 Caps) Chicago Fire, USAAndre de Jong (6 Caps) AmaZulu FC, South AfricaElijah Just (4 Caps) FC Helsingør, DenmarkCallum McCowatt (3 Caps) FC Helsingør, DenmarkChris Wood (59 Caps) Burnley FC, England*Debut senior national team call-upHead Coach Danny Hay has stressed the importance of continuing to build the momentum from the October window:“It’s great we are able to get together again so quickly after two good performances last month.“We need to be playing games to develop as a team, especially after such a long break prior to October, so we want to take every opportunity we can.“These games will allow us to look at a few new players who weren’t part of the last window as we continue to build towards FIFA World Cup qualifiers next year.”Swansea City’s Jamie Searle, IFK Värnamo’s Francis De Vries and Chicago Fire’s Elliot Collier are new additions to the squad from the October games. Winston Reid is unavailable in a playing capacity but will travel to Abu Dhabi to train with the squad. He will also continue in his role mentoring the younger members of the team. All of the squad are vaccinated against COVID-19, as is required for playing and training in Abu Dhabi. New Zealand Football has stressed the importance of vaccination to all players in contention for the team as well as informed them that they risk missing out on future selection if they are unvaccinated. New Zealand Football will not be releasing the vaccination status of individual players not selected for the team. The All Whites face The Gambia on Tuesday 16 November (Wednesday 17 November NZT) and a yet to be announced side in a warm-up fixture on Friday 12 November (Saturday 13 November NZT).Both games, at the Zayed Sport City Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE, will be played at 8pm local time (5am NZT).
Article added: Monday 01 November 2021
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