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New Zealand names U-20 World Cup line-up

The majority of the squad that qualified for the World Cup in Fiji at the OFC U-20 Championship have been retained, with three personnel changes and an additional goalkeeper added to the travelling party.
“I am extremely pleased with the squad we have named. Everyone we wanted was made available by their clubs and this has allowed us to name arguably, our strongest squad,” Milicich says.
Utility Tim Payne comes into the line-up adding senior international experience to the groop and boosts Milicich’s midfield options along with 2011 Young All Whites teammate Rhys Jordan from Bristol City in England.
“The inclusion of Tim and Rhys should allow us to continue to look to play through the middle third of the field as we play to the conditions and the nature of the tournament,” he says.
Defender Alec Solomons, who suffered an injury on the eve of departure for Fiji, has recovered to take his place in the squad, while Wellington-based goalkeeper Daniel Clarke picks up the third goalkeeper berth.
New Zealand qualified for the FIFA U-20 World Cup with four wins from four matches in Fiji, sweeping aside Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the hosts on consecutive match days to clinch their berth in Turkey.
While Milicich is pleased with the squad effort through the qualifiers, onlookers recognised the efforts of several individuals within the squad in Fiji, particularly Max Crocrombe and Louis Fenton.
Oxford United goalkeeper Crocombe earned the Golden Gloves for best goalkeeper at the tournament and took his New Zealand form back to his club where he started the last three matches of the League Two season keeping a clean sheet in each match and earning a contract extension in the process.
Louis Fenton was awarded the Golden Ball award for best performing player anc capped off a stellar year in which he made the leap from ASB Premiership to professional football with the Wellington Phoenix.
“I think the recognition of individuals within the Junior All Whites reflects the exciting talent that New Zealand has at this age level,” Milicich says.
“At least eight players are in fulltime professional environments, another five are training with the Wellington Phoenix’s Football School of Excellence, and a couple more are in private academies in New Zealand. Part of our role is to develop future All Whites, but we’re lucky enough to be able to call on guys like Tim and Cameron Howieson who have played with the national team already.”
Eight-cap All White Payne was a regular in the Blackburn Rovers reserves this season and was part of Ricki Herbert’s squad which clinched qualification for the inter-continental playoff against New Caledonia in Dunedin in March.
He went on to score his first international goal in a 2-0 win oer the Solomon Islands in Honiara four days later. Both matches fell during the window in which the OFC U-20 Championship was played in Fiji.
The bulk of the Junior All Whites squad will meet in Auckland on June 7 before travelling to Sydney for an international match with the Young Socceroos three days later.
“The three international matches we have lined up are crucial in terms of our preparations. We haven’t been together as a group since Fiji, but we came together well before then and I’m sure we’ll do the same before Turkey.”
Crocombe, Jordan and Payne will link up with the side for a pre-tournament camp in the Turkish city of Anatalya, where they will face their counterparts from Iraq and Egypt before moving to Bursa, where they will play their group matches.
New Zealand’s first match is against Uzbekistan on 23 June, before facing Uruguay three days later and rounding out their group stage against Croatia on 29 June. All of the Junior All Whites matches will be played in Bursa.
Junior All Whites squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013
1-Scott BASALAJ (Lower Hutt City/ Team Wellington)
20-Max CROCOMBE (Oxford United, England)
21-Daniel CLARKE (Petone/ Team Wellington)
2-Storm ROUX (Perth Glory, Australia)
3-Bill TUILOMA (Birkenhead)
4-Simon ARMS (Auckland City)
5-Luke ADAMS (Derby County, England)
12-Alec SOLOMONS (East Coast Bays/Team Wellington)
13-Liam HIGGINS (Upper Hutt City/ YoungHeart Manawatu)
6-Tom BISS (Western Suburbs/ Team Wellington)
7-Cameron HOWIESON (Burnley, England)
8-Tim PAYNE (Blackburn Rovers, England)
14-Jesse EDGE (Western Suburbs/ Ole Football Academy)
15-Justin GULLEY (Mirimar Rangers/ Team Wellington)
18-Rhys JORDAN (Bristol City, England)
9-Hamish WATSON (Lower Hutt City/ Team Wellington)
10-Tyler BOYD (Wellington Phoenix, Australia)
11-Louis FENTON (Wellington Phoenix, Australia)
16-Van ELIA (Wellington Olympic)
17-Ryan THOMAS (Western Suburbs/ Ole Football Academy)
19-Dale HIGHAM (Wairarapa United/ YoungHeart Manawatu)
Coach: Chris MILICICH
Assistant Coach: Andy HEDGE
Goalkeeper CoachL Mark OATES
Manager: Ian TARPEY
Doctor: Jake PEARSON
Physio: Matt PAYNE
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football.
For more on New Zealand Football visit www.nzfootball.co.nz

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