26 Jun 2015

Experienced U-23 football team named

10:24 am on 26 June 2015

Seven players with All Whites experience have been named in the New Zealand Under-23 football side for the Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament.

NZ Under-20 captain Bill Tuiloma.

NZ Under-20 captain Bill Tuiloma. Photo: Photosport

Coach Anthony Hudson has included Moses Dyer, Louis Fenton, Clayton Lewis, Storm Roux, Joel Stevens, Bill Tuiloma and Deklan Wynne in his squad for the Pacific Games qualifying tournament in Papua New Guinea.

Hudson has also selected 12 players from the recent FIFA Under-20 World Cup campaign.

Meanwhile, seven members of the squad - Tuiloma, Fenton, Roux, Luke Adams, Max Crocombe, Liam Higgins and Alec Solomons - were part of the New Zealand side at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

At 17, Logan Rogerson is the youngest player in the squad with the teenager also currently preparing for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile in October.

The New Zealand side will contest Group B of the tournament along with hosts Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia.

Hudson says the squad mix reflects his stated aim of using the Men's U-23 as a proving ground for the All Whites' bid to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Anthony Hudson

Anthony Hudson Photo: PHOTOSPORT

In the build up to their first game against the Solomon Islands on July 3rd in Port Moresby, Hudson says there is good momentum in the group after the historic FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign just two weeks ago.

He says they've got a good core of Under-20s who are coming off the back of the World Cup competition so he's really pleased with the mix they have.

Hudson says the team is well aware of the threat posed by their opponents and believes concentrating on their own approach will net the coveted spot at the Rio Olympics.

He says they've spoken to a lot of people who have experienced the islands and they know it's not going to be easy.

All members of the Pacific Games team are under 23 years of age while a maximum of three overage players can be used at the Olympic Games tournament in Rio.

New Zealand Men's U-23 squad - Pacific Games 2015

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Goalkeepers

Max Crocombe - Oxford United FC/ENG

Oliver Sail - Wellington Phoenix/NZL

Nik Tzanev - Brentford FC/ENG

Defenders

Luke Adams - South Melbourne FC/AUS

Sam Brotherton - Wanderers SC/NZL

Kip Colvey - California Polytechnic State/USA

Liam Higgins - WaiBOP United/NZL

Harshae Raniga - Waitakere United/NZL

Storm Roux - Central Coast Mariners/NZL

Alec Solomons - Waitakere United/NZL

Deklan Wynne - Wanderers SC/NZL

Midfielders

Andrew Blake - Wellington Phoenix/NZL

Sam Burfoot - Auckland City FC/NZL

Moses Dyer - Wanderers SC/NZL

Louis Fenton - Wellington Phoenix/NZL

Clayton Lewis - Wanderers SC/NZL

Luka Prelevic - Melbourne City FC/AUS

Bill Tuiloma - Olympique Marseille/FRA

Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi - Wanderers SC/NZL

Forwards

Monty Patterson - Ipswich Town FC/ENG

Logan Rogerson - Wellington Phoenix/NZL

Alex Rufer - Wellington Phoenix/NZL

Joel Stevens - Wellington Phoenix/NZL

Match schedule - Group B

Men's U-23s v Solomon Islands

Friday 3 July, 12pm (2pm, NZ time)

Men's U-23s v Papua New Guinea

Sunday 5 July, 3pm (5pm, NZ time)

Men's U-23s v New Caledonia

Tuesday 7 July, 2pm (4pm, NZ time)

Semi-finals

Friday 10 July

Final

Sunday 12 July

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