New Zealand’s campaign to qualify for the 2023 U-20 FIFA World Cup in Indonesia will start with a game against the Cook Islands in Tahiti.
It’s the opening game for New Zealand at the OFC U-19 Championships and kicks off at 1pm on Thursday September 8 (NZT).
New Zealand play three group games, against Cook Islands, Solomon Islands and American Samoa, and then face the knockout stages.
Reaching the final will identify the two nations that will gain qualification to next year’s U-20 World Cup.
The OFC U-19s Championship involves all 11 OFC nations and the tournament will conclude with the final on September 24.
For the opening game, New Zealand do not have available the Eastern Suburbs trio of goalkeeper Joe Knowles and clubmates Jackson Jarvie and Aaryan Raj as they on Chatham Cup duty on Sunday, and will then head to Tahiti to join the national squad.
Main photo: The victorious New Zealand squad at the 2018 OFC Championships.
The New Zealand squad
Sebastian Barton-Ginger, Wellington Phoenix
Charlie Beale, Wellington Phoenix
Oliver Colloty, Melville United
Fin Conchie, Wellington Phoenix
Kian Donkers, Cashmere Technical
Theo Ettema, Wellington Olympic
Oliver Fay, Auckland United
Henry Gray, Waterside Karori
Jay Herdman, Vancouver Whitecaps
Isaac Hughes, Wellington Phoenix
Jackson Jarvie, Eastern Suburbs
Noah Karunaratne, Wellington Phoenix
Lukas Kelly-Heald, Wellington Phoenix
Joseph Knowles, Eastern Suburbs
Marco Lorenz, Wellington Phoenix
Oscar Mason, Napier City Rovers
Jackson Manuel, Wellington Phoenix
Dan McKay, Wellington Phoenix
Everton O’Leary, Birkenhead United
Aaryan Raj, Eastern Suburbs
Adam Supyk, Wellington Phoenix
Wilson Souphanthavong, Miramar Rangers
Finn Surman, Wellington Phoenix
Non-travelling reserves: Regan Diver (Northern Rovers), Josh Rudland (Wellington Phoenix) and Chase Taylor (Birkenhead United).
What it means to the players
How to watch
New Zealand’s fixtures
New Zealand’s group games will be played at Tahiti’s 5,000-seater Stade Fautaua.
Thursday September 8 (1pm NZT): New Zealand v Cook Islands
Sunday September 11 (1pm NZT): New Zealand v America Samoa
Wednesday September 14 (1pm NZT): New Zealand v Solomon Islands
Group A: New Zealand, Solomon Islands, American Samoa, Cook Islands
Group B: Tahiti, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga
Group C: New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Samoa (this group will have a bye for each team)
About the OFC U-19 Championship
New Zealand have won the championship at seven of the 22 previous tournaments.
New Zealand are the current title holders, having won in 2018, the last time the championship was held.