McFarland has named a squad of 21 players with five new faces from the group which secured qualification for the 24-nation age group finals by winning the OFC U-17 Championship in January.
Goalkeeper Liam Anderson, midfielder Stephen Carmichael and forwards James Debenham and Dylan Stansfield make the squad after staking successful claims during a tour to Doha in March while Jesse Edge and Harley Tahau, uncapped at age group level, are the squad’s bolters.
The Young All Whites have set their sights on at least matching the class of 2009’s second round appearance and McFarland believes his players have the mental toughness to get enough points from its pool games against Uzbekistan, Czech Republic and USA.
“They are an ambitious group and among them they are some relatively seasoned campaigners for 16 and 17 year olds, ” McFarland says.
“We’ve got a good core of players who have played in the ASB Premiership or in the Phoenix ‘A’ side so there’s a probably a bigger group with exposure at that level than we’ve had in the past.”
McFarland says his side will need to be tactically nimble, employing different game plans at various stages in matches.
“We’ve got a mixture of ball players and some dynamic, physical players in both midfield and up front. That means we can play the way we need to at certain times of the game and manage the demands of the heat and altitude.
“The bulk of the group led the team through qualifying but there’s some that have played their way into the squad and just add to our options.”
The Young All Whites depart for Mexico on June 10 with their first game against Uzbekistan on June 19.
Young All Whites squad for FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011
1-Scott BASALAJ (Lower Hutt City)
20-Scott ARMISTEAD (Waitakere City )
21-Liam ANDERSON (Forrest Hill Milford)
2-Harshae RANIGA (Central United)
4-Reece LAMBERT (Central United)
5-Luke ADAMS (Waitakere City / Captain)
16-Bill TUILOMA (Asia Pacific FA)
3-Stephen CARMICHAEL (Central United)
6-Jesse EDGE (Melville United)
7-Kip COLVEY (Asia Pacific FA)
8-Rhys JORDAN (Forrest Hill United)
12-Jordan VALE (Waitakere City)
13-Cameron MARTIN (Central United)
17-Harley TAHAU (Asia Pacific FA)
18-Calvin OPPERMAN (Asia Pacific FA)
9-Tim PAYNE (Waitakere City)
10-Cameron HOWIESON (Asia Pacific FA)
11-James DEBENHAM (Forrest Hill Milford)
14-Ryan HOWLETT (Waitakere City)
15-Dylan STANSFIELD (Forest Hill Milford)
19-Ken YAMAMOTO (Canterbury United)
Aaron MCFARLAND (Head Coach)
Darren BAZELEY (Assistant Coach)
George SMITH (GK Coach)
Adam CRUMP (Physiotherapist)
Andrew FOSKETT (Sports Scientist)
Paul KENNEDY (Team Doctor)
Ramon TRIBULIETX (Technical Analyst)
FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011
June 18 – July 10
New Zealand Matches
New Zealand v Uzbekistan
June 19, 3pm (June 20, 8am NZT)
New Zealand v Czech Republic
June 22, 6pm (June 20, 11am NZT)
New Zealand v USA
June 25, 6pm (June 26, 11am NZT)
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football.
For more on New Zealand football go to www.nzfootball.co.nz