The Futsal Whites will take a 14-player squad to Fiji for September’s OFC Futsal Cup.
The tournament, which runs from September 13-18, marks the return to action of the Futsal Whites after a break of three years forced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Head coach Marvin Eakins has named 10 new caps in the squad.
Futsal Whites squad
Rahan Ali (Southern United)*
Yousif Al-Kalisy (Auckland City FC)*
Mike Antamanov (Auckland City FC)*
Stephen Ashby (Auckland City FC)
Jordi Ditfort (Waikato Rapids)
Hamish Grey (ASD Isola 5)*
Oban Hawkins (Northern Comets)
Ethan Martin (Waikato Rapids)*
Sean McIntee (Auckland City FC)*
Adam Paulsen (Auckland City FC)*
Casey Sharplin (Waikato Rapids)*
Patrick Steele (Waikato Rapids)*
Denny Twigg (Northern Comets)*
Logan Wisnewski (Waikato Rapids)
* Debut senior squad selection
Coach Eakins: ‘A great blend of young new talent’
Coach Eakins told the NZ Football website:
“It has been a long time coming but I’m really pleased to finally be able to name a senior men’s futsal squad again for international action.
“This is an exciting group with a great blend of young new talent and senior experience. A large number of the squad put in a really impressive performance at the FISU World University Futsal Championships so I’m looking forward to seeing how they step up to senior level.
“This tournament gives us a great opportunity to test ourselves against some strong OFC sides ahead of World Cup qualifying next year.”
The Futsal Whites have been drawn in Group A with Tonga, Vanuatu, and a Fiji Football Association ‘President’s Five’. Group B consists of Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa and Solomon Islands.
Four group games will take place each day at the Vodafone Arena, Suva.
At the conclusion of group play, the teams will split into a Cup and a Plate section for the knockout stage.
The winners and runners-up from each group meet in the semi-finals of the Cup while the other teams meet in the semi-finals of the Plate competition.
The semi-finals will produce the finalists for the Cup and Plate and the losing semi-finalists will play off for places, enabling all eight sides to be placed in order at the end of the tournament.
New Zealand v Fiji FA President’s Five
September 13, 3.30pm (NZT) — please note: this game has been rescheduled from 1pm
New Zealand v Vanuatu
September 14, 6pm (NZT)
New Zealand v Tonga
September 16, 3.30pm (NZT)
How to watch
Every match at the tournament will be live-streamed and available to watch free on the OFC website via Eleven Sports here >>>>