Oceania Football Confederation > News > FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 > Reality sinks in with New Zealand welcome

Reality sinks in with New Zealand welcome

Ngati Whatua representatives and Auckland Mayor Len Brown led the welcome with the players then taking time out to sign autographs and pose for photos with young players and supporters.
Men’s U-20s captain Bill Tuiloma said Tuesday’s event signalled the start of the tournament for his team.
“The team have been preparing for a while now but after today’s welcome we really feel the tournament is now underway and we’re excited as we continue to build towards the game against Ukraine,” Tuiloma said.
“The boys can’t wait to perform in front of their friends and family at North Harbour Stadium on Saturday and we’re looking forward to a chance to test ourselves with the country right behind us.”
Men’s U-20s coach Darren Bazeley said the official welcome was a timely reminder of the advantage of playing the World Cup at home.
“As the tournament gets closer the team have begun to feel the support building behind them,” Bazeley said.
“Today’s welcome really highlighted for the players and staff that we’re only a few days away from the something special we’ve been building towards for a long time and you can really feel the excitement in the group.”
“We can’t wait to step out on that pitch on Saturday in front of a sea of supporters dressed in white as we try to make history.”
Mayor Len Brown says Auckland is right behind the local team and proud to be hosting them for the opening match.
“Auckland has a fantastic reputation of hosting highly successful world sporting events so we know that this great city will turn it on again for FIFA’s second biggest tournament. We love hosting major events – the city welcomes the world’s best young football stars for this iconic event.”
“I encourage Aucklanders to get along to the New Zealand games at North Harbour Stadium and support our U-20 team as they take on the world one country at a time at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. And make sure you wear all white to show your support for the U-20 All Whites. We want a whiteout at North Harbour Stadium.”
The Men’s U-20s open the FIFA U-20 World Cup against Ukraine at North Harbour Stadium on Saturday at 1pm.
For more on the FIFA U-20 World Cup visit FIFA.com

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