All Whites coach Anthony Hudson says the need for experience is the reason he has handed Rory Fallon and Jeremy Brockie shock call-ups to the squad for the World Cup playoff against Peru.
Strikers Fallon and Brockie are both part of the 23-man group that has been named to play in the home-and-away tie that starts with the first leg in Wellington on Saturday next week.
Fallon, a 35-year-old who scored the goal that sent New Zealand to the 2010 World Cup, has not played for the national team in more than a year and plays in the seventh tier of English football, while 30-year-old Brockie has not featured since June of 2016 but is in the form of his life for his South African club.
Hudson said with several players unlikely to get a run against Peru, it made sense to bring in a pair of players who could add a lot to the team environment.
"What I've noticed in the last couple of tours, Japan and the Confeds Cup, is where we've got some really good young players, one or two of them are just not ready yet to step in and affect games at this level.
"I really need a little bit more. If players aren't going to play or not be involved I probably want a bit more experience around the group.
"The guys coming in help us on and off the pitch."
Two players certain to do the same are captain Winston Reid and star striker Chris Wood, a pairing Anthony Hudson was understandably delighted to have the services of.
English Premier League duo Reid, a defender for West Ham United, and Wood, who plays for Burnley, both missed games for their club through injury last weekend.
But the key duo took their place in the squad after returning and getting through their respective club matches on Sunday morning.
Hudson said the value of having both Reid and Wood in the squad could not be over-stated.
"[They] are incredibly important to us ... and I think we are really fortunate in the sense that two of our most senior players and biggest profile players that play at the highest level, we're so fortunate we have got some really good characters there.
"They are not just players that play well, they are players that come back and add a huge amount to the rest of the team and set a great example to the rest of the players."
Although the likes of Reid and Wood were certainties in the squad, the same could not be said for other players.
Young striker Myer Bevan, who only made his All Whites debut in September, missed out thanks to the inclusion of Fallon and Brockie, while defender Tom Doyle was probably the most unfortunate to not make the cut.
Wellington Phoenix product Doyle has been in the national team squad for their last 10 fixtures and played 90 minutes at the Confederations Cup against the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal side.
However, Doyle did not feature among the four wing-backs named in the New Zealand squad, Hudson preferring the quartet of Storm Roux, Deklan Wynne, Kip Colvey and Dane Ingham.
Hudson said his call to Doyle to break the news was a very tough one to make.
"That was probably the hardest conversation I had to have really.
"Doyley is really honest, he's someone who has been really unfortunate in recent times with his injuries. Being close to starting then he gets injured and close to starting then he gets sick, he's had a difficult time really.
"But can tell you he took it on board and he is going to make sure he is ready on stand by in case anything happens."
Hudson expected the entire All Whites squad to be assembled in Wellington by Tuesday, giving them three full days to prepare for the first leg.
The second leg in the Peruvian capital of Lima is five days later.
The winner of the tie claims a spot at next year's World Cup in Russia.
ALL WHITES SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Stefan Marinovic, Glen Moss, Max Crocombe
Defenders: Michael Boxall, Kip Colvey, Andrew Durante, Dane Ingham, Winston Reid (c), Storm Roux, Tommy Smith, Themi Tzimopolous, Deklan Wynne
Midfielders: Clayton Lewis, Michael McGlinchey, Marco Rojas, Ryan Thomas, Bill Tuiloma
Forwards: Kosta Barbarouses, Jeremy Brockie, Rory Fallon, Monty Patterson, Shane Smeltz, Chris Wood