12 Mar 2013

Sport: Squads named for Oceania U20 champs

11:43 am on 12 March 2013

The five Pacific nations competing at this month's Oceania Under 20 Football Championship in Fiji have named their squads, who are tasked with qualifying for the Under 20 World Cup in Turkey.

Defending champs New Zealand have included Wellington Phoenix pair Louis Fenton and Tyler Boyd, while England-based Cameron Howieson and Max Crocombe have also tasted first-team football, with Burnley and Oxford United.

Fiji have only one player with experience at U-20 level, in striker Jone Salauneune, although seven others have stepped up from the U-17 side.

Much of Vanuatu's hopes will rely on influential striker Jean Kaltack, while goalkeeper Seloni Iaruel trialled in the youth set up of English Premier League club Stoke City last year.

New Caledonia finished runners-up in 2008 but did not enjoy a memorable campaign last time around and coach Matthieu Delcroix will want a much stronger showing to restore some pride to the French territory's reputation in this age-group. Midfielder Jordy Xalite is the only player still involved with the squad from the 2011 group but Delcroix should have plenty of depth at his disposal as the majority of the side compete with their club sides at senior level in New Caledonia.

Papua New Guinea's squad features two returnees from their last Under 20s outing, with only midfielder Jordy Xalite was a part of New Caledonia's team two years ago.