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Junior All Whites named for home internationals

New Zealand will play Fiji on Sunday and Tuesday evenings at Bill McKinlay Park and North Harbour Stadium respectively before meeting Papua New Guinea on Thursday afternoon at Waikaraka Park in Onehunga as they continue to prepare for next year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup on home soil.
The core of the squad is comprised of players who turned out for Wanderers SC in the ASB Premiership but Bazeley has been able to bring in a handful of players who’ve tasted professional football.
Matt Ridenton and Alex Rufer rejoin the group after debut seasons with the Wellington Phoenix and fellow New Zealand ‘A’ representative Monty Patterson returns from Ipswich Town’s academy.
The squad also features seven keepers as the coaching staff search for someone to put his glove up as the undisputed number one.
With hosts New Zealand qualifying automatically for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Fiji and Papua New Guinea are both vying to claim Oceania’s spot in the 24-nation youth football showpiece via the OFC U-20 Championship at the end of May in Fiji.
Bazeley says games against teams hungry to reach the FIFA U-20 World Cup will offer a welcome test for his side and a great sighter for his staff as they look to whittle down the squad for a yet-to-be-confirmed overseas tour in June.
“These are our first internationals and our first real chance to have a look at some new faces who weren’t in the U-17 age group last cycle, and others who’ve we’ve been keeping close tabs on at other clubs during the summer season,” said Bazeley.
“They’ve all got a chance to push for place at the front of the queue for later tours and that once in a lifetime opportunity to play a World Cup at home.”
All Whites interim coach Neil Emblem will also attend the matches with an eye on players to bolster his training sessions ahead of New Zealand’s clash against South Africa on May 30 at Mt Smart Stadium. The senior squad is expected to be named later this week.
New Zealand U-20 squad for Fiji and PNG internationals
Sam COPP (East Coast Bays)
Damien HIRST (Birkenhead United)
Cameron HOGG (Eastern Suburbs)
Adam MCDONALD (Western Springs)
Ruben PARKER (Waitakere City)
Oliver SAIL (Central United)
Zac SPEEDY (Three Kings United)
Cory BROWN (Western Suburbs)
Tamupiwa DIMAIRO (Miramar Rangers)
Brock MESSENGER (Sunshine Coast Fire, AUS)
Scott MIDGLEY (Western Springs)
Adam MITCHELL (Central United)
Thomas PROBERT (Wellington Olympic)
Deklan WYNNE (East Coast Bays)
Finn COCHRAN (Central United)
Andrew BLAKE (Miramar Rangers)
Daniel BOWKETT (Miramar Rangers)
Andre DE JONG (East Coast Bays)
Clayton LEWIS (Miramar Rangers)
Alex PALEZEVIC (Western Suburbs)
Monty PATTERSON (Ipswich Town)
Alex RUFER(Wellington Phoenix)
Matt RIDENTON (Wellington Phoenix)
Joel STEVENS (Miramar Rangers)
Judd BAKER (East Coast Bays)
Stuart HOLTHUSEN (Onehunga Sports)
Elijah NEBLETT (Birkenhead United)
Tomislav TRBUHOVIC (Whittlesea Ranges, AUS)
Darren BAZELEY – Coach
Willy GERDSEN – Assistant Coach
Paul GOTHARD – Goalkeeper Coach
Allan PEARCE – Physio
U-20 Internationals
Sunday 4 May
New Zealand v Fiji
Bill McKinlay Park, Auckland
Kick-off 5pm
Tuesday 6 May
New Zealand v Fiji
North Harbour Stadium, Auckland
Kick-off 6.30pm
Thursday 8 May
New Zealand v Papua New Guinea
Waikaraka Park, Auckland
Kick-off 3pm
For more on New Zealand football go to www.nzfootball.co.nz

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