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Gambia confirmed as next opponent for NZ men

Following back-to-back wins against Curaçao and Bahrain last month, the New Zealand men’s national team have locked in Gambia as their next opponent for the November international window.

The match will be played on Tuesday, November 16 (Wednesday, November 17 NZT) at the Zayed Sport City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The game will kick-off at 8pm local time (5am NZT).

As part of the build-up to the match, the New Zealanders will also play a warm-up fixture on Friday, November 12 (Saturday, November 13 NZT) with the opposition to be announced at a later date.

That game will also be played at the Zayed Sport City Stadium, kicking-off at 8pm local time (5am NZT).

“It’s hugely important that we keep up the momentum from the October games, so I’m delighted we are able to lock-in these fixtures,” head coach Danny Hay said.

“We know we are playing catch up with other nations, after not playing because of Covid restrictions, so now want to take every opportunity to get together as a squad and continue to build the culture and understanding on and off the pitch.

“These games will be another good test for us. It also gives us another opportunity to acclimatise to the conditions in the Middle East ahead of potential OFC games there.”

As with the games in the October window, Hay anticipates having to select a squad without any New Zealand or Australia-based players due to the pandemic.

“It’s a tough one for the A-League players at the moment but you can already see things are starting to open up which is positive,” Hay said.

“Hopefully this is the last window where we are restricted in who we can select, but as was show by the games against Bahrain and Curaçao, I have every faith in the squad we will be assembling.”

Image courtesy of NZ Football.

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