New Zealand Football have named a 21-strong men’s senior national squad for the upcoming fixtures against Curaçao and Bahrain on October 9 and 12 (10 and 13 October in New Zealand time).
The group includes five players who are in line to make their debut for the All Whites, while 10 players who were part of the Olympic side that reached the quarter-finals at Tokyo 2020 have also been selected.
Travel restrictions in place in both Australia and New Zealand mean the squad is made up of players based outside of the two 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,” head coach Danny Hay said.
“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.”
Ryan Thomas and Winston Reid are unavailable for selection for personal reasons, having recently returned from injury. 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.
Both games will be played at 7pm local time (5am in New Zealand).
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