An expanded New Zealand U-20 squad has assembled in Auckland for a training camp ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup squad being named next week.
The 30-man squad includes five All Whites internationals in Clayton Lewis, Henry Cameron, Dane Ingham, Moses Dyer and Logan Rogerson as head coach Darren Bazeley looks to settle on his 21-man squad for the Korea Republic.
The Kiwis have been drawn in Group E of the 24-team tournament and will face powerhouse France, Honduras and Vietnam as they bid to follow in the footsteps of the 2015 team.
Bazeley, who famously guided his team to the final 16 when New Zealand hosted the event in 2015, said this week’s training camp is important to their preparation for the tournament from 20 May to 11 June.
“This is a hugely important week for our team,” he said.
“Our players are scattered all around the world so this training camp will enable us to see where our players are at physically and help us decide our final squad for Korea. The players know they have a huge opportunity in front of them and I am sure it is going to be a very tough squad to select.”
The New Zealand U-20s will train every day this week at QBE Stadium in Auckland and play two games on Tuesday and Wednesday night against Birkenhead United and Forrest Hill Milford respectively.
Bazeley expects high standards from his group this week as they press for inclusion in the FIFA World Cup squad.
“The guys can remember how special it was two years ago making the knockout rounds of the FIFA U-20 World Cup on home soil and they all want to emulate and try to surpass the 2015 squad performances,” he said.
“We haven’t been able to get a large group together since January, due to so many players now being based offshore, so this is a good chance to get everyone together and back on the same page with how we want to play and then settle on the squad. The depth in this group will help us achieve our aim which is to win games at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea.”
New Zealand and Vanuatu earned their spots at the FIFA U-20 World Cup after finishing champions and runners-up respectively at the OFC U-20 Championship in Vanuatu last September.
New Zealand open their tournament against Vietnam on Monday 22 May and then face Honduras three days later with both matches at the Cheonan Sports Complex in Cheonan.
They complete their pool matches in Group E against France at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium in Daejeon on 28 May.
New Zealand Football will name the NZ squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup on Monday 8 May.
New Zealand Greater Training Squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup (Country/ City, Club, Academy)
Michael Woud, England, Sunderland FC
Cameron Brown, Auckland, Waitemata
Conor Tracey, Auckland , Three Kings
Joshua Dykstra, Auckland, Forest Hill
Hunter Ashworth, USA, University of San Fransisco
Daniel Hayden McHenery, Australia, Brisbane, Western Pride
Luke Johnson, Wellington, Wellington United, Phoenix
Reese Cox, Auckland, Western Springs
Sean Liddicoat, Canterbury, Coastal Spirit
Liam Wood, Wellington, Wellington United, Phoenix
Dylan Wood, USA, State University of Denver
Liam Williams, Hamilton, Hamilton
Dane Ingham, Australia, Brisbane, Brisbane Roar Youth
Jack-Henry Sinclair, Wellington, Wellington United, Phoenix
James McGarry, Wellington, Wellington United Phoenix
Dalton Wilkins, Wellington, Western Suburbs, Ole Academy
Moses Dyer, Melbourne, Northcote City
Joe Bell, USA, University of Virginia
Clayton Lewis, Auckland, Onehunga Sports, Auckland City
Connor Probert, USA, University of Kentucky
Sarpreet Singh, Wellington, Wellington United, Phoenix
Callum McCowatt, Wellington, Western Suburbs, Ole Academy
Owen Parker-Price, Wellington, Western Suburbs, Ole Academy
Dylan Burns, Auckland, Glenfield Rovers
Jake Porter, Auckland, Onehunga Sports
Noah Billingsley , USA, US Santa Barbara
Myer Bevan, England, Nike Academy
Henry Cameron, England, Blackpool FC
Logan Rogerson, Wellington, Wellington United, Phoenix
Lucas Imrie, USA, Loyola University Chicago
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football