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Hudson names Myanmar squad

Hudson named his 21-strong team on Sunday with captain Winston Reid joined by long-time international team mates Shane Smeltz, Jeremy Brockie, Michael McGlinchey and Marco Rojas.
Each of that senior quartet have over 20 international caps with Smeltz – the All Whites second-leading scorer all time with 23 goals – in line for his first international appearance since the 2013 FIFA World Cup intercontinental playoff against Mexico in Wellington.
At the younger end of the squad, six players from the Men’s U-20 side which made history at the FIFA U-20 World Cup earlier this year have been included with Bill Tuiloma, Clayton Lewis, Moses Dyer and Sam Brotherton joined in the senior team for the first time by Alex Rufer and Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi.
Greece-based defender Themi Tzimopoulos is again included after making his debut for the All Whites against Korea Republic in March while rising youngster Logan Rogerson – a member of the current Men’s U-17 side – is also named after a strong campaign with the Men’s U-23 side.
The inclusion of defenders Liam Higgins and Harshae Raniga – members of the Men’s U-23 side – brings the total number of first-time All Whites travellers to five.
As indicated since he unveiled his detailed plan for the All Whites pathway towards the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018, Hudson said the time has come to begin to mix together the country’s best rising talent with the senior backbone of the international set up.
“We have used the time leading up to now to identify the young players we wanted to work with moving towards the 2018 World Cup qualifiers,” Hudson said.
“A number of players have taken full advantage of that opportunity and because we now have a clear understanding of who those players are, we welcome back a number of our senior internationals for this trip.
“It’s great to have that experience and that quality back in the squad and we’re excited to begin the next stage of our preparations on the road to Russia.”
Hudson added that the European-based trio of Chris Wood, Ryan Thomas and Tommy Smith wouldn’t be involved this time around.
“With injury, squad balance and travel distance also considerations for this one-match trip, we opted not to include Chris, Ryan and Tommy for this game.”
Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper Glen Moss was named in the squad but had to withdraw from the tour for family reasons.
Meanwhile, Wellington Phoenix captain Andrew Durante has decided to step down from the All Whites.
Durante, who has played nine times for New Zealand, said the time was right with a number of talented younger players coming through.
“It’s a good time to make this decision with the young players in my position and the strain of international travel takes a toll on the body as well as having an impact on my young family.”
Hudson acknowledged the contribution Durante has made to the All Whites since his first match in 2013.
“I talked with Dura in depth about his situation and I completely understand and respect his decision,” Hudson said.
“I thank him for the service he has given the national team and the door will always remain open to him if his circumstances change in the future.”
All Whites squad – Myanmar
Max Crocombe (0/0/Oxford Utd, ENG)
Stefan Marinovic (1/0/ SpVgg Unterhaching, GER)
Michael Boxall (12/0/SuperSport Utd, RSA)
Sam Brotherton (0/0/Wisconsin University, USA)
Thomas Doyle (1/0/Wellington Phoenix, NZL)
Liam Higgins (0/0/Stop Out FC, NZL)
Harshae Raniga (0/0/Onehunga Sports, NZL)
Winston Reid (18/1/West Ham Utd, ENG)
Themi Tzimopoulos (1/0/PAS Giannina FC, GRE)
Moses Dyer (1/0/Onehunga Sports, NZL)
Clayton Lewis (1/0/Wellington Olympic, NZL)
Michael McGlinchey (31/3/Wellington Phoenix, NZL)
Tim Payne (13/2/Portland Timbers, USA)
Bill Tuiloma (8/0/Olympique Marseille, FRA)
Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi (0/0/Onehunga Sports, NZL)
Kosta Barbarouses (28/2/Melbourne Victory, AUS)
Jeremy Brockie (46/1/SuperSport Utd, RSA)
Logan Rogerson (0/0/Wellington Phoenix, NZL)
Marco Rojas (21/1/FC Thun, SWT)
Alex Rufer (0/0/Wellington Phoenix, NZL)
Shane Smeltz (50/23/Sydney FC, AUS)
Head coach: Anthony Hudson
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football

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