An ‘experimental’ squad of 23 footballers has been named by New Zealand head coach Fritz Schmid for the Intercontinental Cup in India next month. The squad consists mainly of inexperienced players including six uncapped players.
New Zealand will compete against hosts India, Kenya and Taiwan at the tournament, to be held in Mumbai from June 1-10.
The squad is one of the most inexperienced in New Zealand’s football history with only a handful of players having played more than 10 internationals. The two possible reasons behind sending such a young and fresh squad is 1) a lot of senior players are unavailable or injured, and 2) a desire to focus on youth, ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
There are six uncapped players – goalkeepers Michael Woud and Nik Tzanez, defenders Nikko Boxall, Justin Gulley and Liberato Cacace and forward Noah Billingsley.
Coach Schmid will be without a wealth of players who featured in his first match in charge of New Zealand, which ended in a 1-0 defeat to Canada in March this year. Michael McGlinchey, Marco Rojas, Michael Boxall, Jeremy Brockie, Ryan Thomas and Themi Tzimopoulos are all unavailable.
Chris Wood has also been given time off after his stunning campaign with Burnley and 2010 WC hero Winston Reid is out injured.
Schmid said the tournament is an excellent opportunity for his team in the early stages of their rebuilding towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
|Max Crocombe||Salford City||1||0|
|Nik Tzanev||AFC Wimbledon||0||0|
|Nikko Boxall||Viborg FF||0||0|
|Adam Mitchell||Bolton Wanderers||1||0|
|Thomas Doyle||Wellington Phoenix||9||0|
|Dane Ingham||Brisbane Roar||7||0|
|Te Atawhai Hudson Wihongi||Onehunga Sports||5||0|
|Justin Gulley||Stop Out Sports||0||0|
|Liberato Cacace||Wellington Phoenix||0||0|
|Matt Ridenton||Newcastle Jets||3||3|
|Sarpreet Singh||Wellington Phoenix||1||0|
|Cameron Howieson||Three Kings United||10||0|
|Clayton Lewis||Scunthorpe United||14||0|
|Tim Payne||Eastern Suburbs||15||2|
|Alex Rufer||Wellington Phoenix||5||0|
|Andre De Jong||Hakoah||1||0|
|Moses Dyer||Manukau United||10||0|
|Jai Ingham||Melbourne Victory||1||0|
|Noah Billingsley||Santa Barbara University||0||0|
|Myer Bevan||Husqvarna FF||3||1|
New Zealand will begin their Intercontinental Cup campaign against Kenya on June 2nd.