U-20s ID camp to be held in Auckland

Stafford Dowling's outstanding form for Hamilton Wanderers in the ISPS Handa Premiership has been rewarded (Photosport)

New Zealand U-20 Head Coach Des Buckingham is holding an identification camp in Auckland this week as he continues the preparation for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland later this year.

Buckingham says the selection of players has come from a number of club visits in New Zealand and overseas since the conclusion of the OFC U-19 Championship last August.

“The opportunity to visit clubs has provided a platform for closer working relationships with coaches and players,” Buckingham says.

“This camp is another step in our process to look at players outside of the group who helped us win the OFC U-19 Championship in Tahiti. I am sure there will be huge competition for places in the final squad we name and that is what we need if we want to be successful at the World Cup.” 

A total of 33 players will assemble in Auckland for the camp that runs from 11 to 14  February. Eight overseas-based players have made themselves available from Australia, Canada, Italy, Portugal, Scotland and the USA to complement the balance of the squad who are based domestically.

The camp has been scheduled during a split round of the ISPS Handa Premiership in an attempt to minimise disruption to the games programme of the players. It is the latest step in the wider programme building towards the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.

Identified players from this camp will likely be joined by the group who qualified New Zealand for the FIFA U-20 World Cup last year to form an extended squad in early April as Buckingham works towards naming his final selection of 21 for the tournament.

“By the end of this camp we will have seen over 50 players, as well as several who are still eligible that have been involved in the last two All Whites windows, but there may also be others outside those groups who put their hands up between now and the World Cup,” Buckingham says.

New Zealand won the OFC U-19 Championship in 2018 – their seventh title in the history of the competition – by defeating hosts Tahiti 1-0 in the final.

The Official Draw for the FIFA U-20 World Cup will take place on 24 February at the Gdynia Sports Arena in Gdynia, Poland. The FIFA U-20 World Cup will be staged from 23 May to 15 June.

New Zealand U-20 Identification Camp (players, club/college, NZ unless noted)

Ellis Hare-Reid, Ayr United (Scotland)
Nick Milner, Eastern Suburbs
Nando Pijnaker, Eastern Suburbs
Dalton Wilkins, Eastern Suburbs
Joshua Jones, Auckland City
Kelvin Kalua, Eastern Suburbs
Luke Jorgensen, Waitakere United
Jacob Richards, Canterbury United
Alex Clayton, Eastern Suburbs
Ronan Wynne, Wellington Phoenix Academy
Harrison Taylor, Adelaide Blue Eagles (Australia)
Lachlan McIsaac, Waitakere United
Gianni Stensness, Wellington Phoenix Academy
Dominic Wooldridge, Eastern Suburbs
Callum McCowatt, Eastern Suburbs
Alex Greive, Northern Kentucky University (USA)
Josh Wilson, Brisbane Strikers (Australia)
Steffano Riley, Hamilton Wanderers
Tacettin Kumsuz, Wellington Phoenix Academy
Nik Bugarcic, Louletano DC (Portugal)
Elijah Just, Eastern Suburbs
Karan Mandair, Hawke's Bay United
Oscar Browne, Waitakere United
Thomas Raimbault, Vancouver Whitecaps (Canada)
Sam Sutton, Wellington Phoenix Academy
Luca Scimia, Alma Juventus Fano (Italy)
Justin Bailey, Auckland City
Jake Mechell, Waitakere United
Stafford Dowling, Hamilton Wanderers
Drew Farnsworth, Western Washington University (USA)
Seth Clark, Canterbury United
Thomas Drillien, Auckland City
Ben Waine, Wellington Phoenix Academy

Article added: Monday 11 February 2019

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