Waikato pair get international call-up for Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers

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Two Waikato-raised players are on international stand-by for this month’s preliminary qualifiers for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Winger Mohamed Awad (27) and striker Jama Boss (28) have been named in a provisional squad for Somalia for a home-and-away play-off with Eswatini during FIFA’s March international window. The winning side will advance to the group stage to join the 42 nations that enter directly.

Both players have Northern League and National League experience with Auckland and Waikato clubs.

Mohamed Awad playing for Auckland City. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.


Awad is currently with Auckland City FC. He played for Waikato FC in the national league as well as for Western Suburbs (Wellington) and Auckland’s Eastern Suburbs. He’s also played for Melbourne Knights and Dandenong Thunder in Australia.

Born in Hamilton, Awad’s parents are from Somalia.

Jama Boss playing for Hamilton Wanderers against Auckland City. Photo: Shane Wenzlick/Phototek.


Boss has played for a number of Waikato clubs including Ngaruawahia United, Hamilton Wanderers and Melville United, as well as WaiBOP United and Tasman United in the national competition.

He played for Manukau United and has since joined Australian National Premier League club St Albans Saints.

Boss was born in Somalia and arrived in New Zealand as a 12-year-old.

Somalia’s new head coach, Hendrik Pieter dee Jongh, has called his provisional squad together for a training camp in Dar es salaam, Tanzania, where they will play their international home games.

Somalia can not host games in their own country because no stadium has been cleared by the Confederation of African Football.

The Somali national side is filled with players who play club football all over the world.

Provisional squad

Mustaf Yuusuf (Oskarshamn, Sweden), Ayub Ahmed (Minnesota FC U-21, USA), Abdirahman Jama Elman SC (Somalia), Zayed Farah (Australia), Abel Gigle (FC Folgore Caratese, Italy), Saadig Elmi (Grorud IL, Norway), Ahmed Said Ahmed (Myllykosken, Finland), Abdikadir Haji (Colorado Sring, USA), Mohamed Hussein Curka (Onsala BK, Sweden), Omar Hussein (Korsnas FF, Canada), Yonis Farah (Eskilstuna, Sweden), Ahmed Ali (Halesowen Town FC, England), Abdi Mohamed (Columbus Crew, USA), Liban Abdullahi (Thor Akureyri, Iceland), Omar Jama (IF Gnistan, Finland), Abdisamad Abdullahi (Ergotelis, Greece), Isse Ismail (IFK Haninge, Sweden), Abdiqafar Cise Ismail (SomUnited, Sweden), Anis Nuur (Hendo FC, England), Darman M. (Atletico Ardsia, UAE), Abdulkadir Said Ahmed (Vanta VJS, Finland), Fahad ismail (Jonava FC, England), Hussain Mohamed (PK 35, Finland), Jama Boss (St. Albans, Australia), Amin Askar (Kristiansund, Norway), Mukhtar Suleiman (Katwijk, Holland), Ibrahim Ilyas (Horseed FC, Somalia), Abdi Aziz Eenow Dahir (Una, Holland), Mohamed Awad (Auckland City, New Zealand), Said Haji (San Jose Earthquakes, USA).