National U-17 squad named for January’s OFC Championship in Fiji

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The New Zealand squad to go to January’s OFC U-17 Championship in Fiji has been named.

Head coach Martin Bullock has announced a squad of 23 players, 18 of whom are currently based in New Zealand.

Bullock told NZ Football’s website:

“We know the last couple of years have been challenging for international football, especially in the age group space, but it is great to be able to start this new cycle and give opportunities to a whole new set of players.

“I’m very pleased with the squad we have assembled. We have a good mix of experience from both the domestic game and from Kiwi talent playing overseas.

“It is now on us to join together as a squad and prove what we can do representing the country.”

The two teams to reach the final of the nine-country tournament will gain automatic qualification to the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru (November 10 — December 2).

Main photo: Head coach Martin Bullock.Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

The squad

Adam Watson (Stoke City FC, England)
Anaru Cassidy (Wellington Phoenix FC, New Zealand)
Anton Isaako (Sydney FC, Australia)
Bronson Brown (Auckland United FC, New Zealand)
Dylan Gardiner (Hamilton Wanderers FC, New Zealand)
Eamonn McCarron (Wellington Phoenix FC, New Zealand)
Eric Imachi Sugahara (Cashmere Technical, New Zealand)
Gabriel Sloane Rodrigues (Wellington Phoenix FC, New Zealand)
Harrison Tisch (Wellington Phoenix FC, New Zealand)
Harry Huxford (Havelock North Wanderers AFC, New Zealand)
Jackson Cole (Christchurch United FC, New Zealand)
James Ray (Auckland United FC, New Zealand)
Jesper Edwards (Wellington Phoenix FC, New Zealand)
Joshua Brown (Western Suburbs, New Zealand)
Konstantino Gorgiovski (FK Makedonija G.P., North Macedonia)
Luka Coveny (Western United FC, Australia)
Luke Supyk (Wellington Phoenix FC, New Zealand)
Marley Leuluai (Manchester City, England)
Matt D’Hotman (Melville United AFC, New Zealand)
Matt Foord (Cashmere Technical, New Zealand)
Nicholas Murphy (Christchurch United FC, New Zealand)
Niko Bruce (Western Suburbs, New Zealand)
Ryan Lee (North Wellington AFC, New Zealand)


Group B

Game to be played on Wednesday January 11, 2023

New Zealand v New Caledonia
Fiji FA Academy, Ba, 4pm (NZT)

Game to be played on Saturday January 14, 2023

New Zealand v American Samoa
Fiji FA Academy, Ba, 4pm (NZT)

The groups

Group A: Fiji, Samoa, Tonga.
Note: Papua New Guinea were drawn in Group A but failed to register in time and had to withdraw.

Group B: New Zealand, New Caledonia, American Samoa.

Group C: Tahiti, Vanuatu, Cook Islands.

The winners and runners-up from each pool and the two highest-ranked third-placed teams will advance to the quarter-finals.

Main photo: New Zealand’s winning team from the 2017 OFC Championship held in Papeete, Tahiti.


The tournament will run from January 11-28, 2023.

Quarter-finals: January 21-22.

Semi-finals: January 25.

Final: January 28.


Games will be played at the Ba Academy in Ba, and at Suva’s HFC Bank Stadium.

About the championship

January’s tournament is the first for Oceania’s best U-16 or U-17 players since 2018 because of the cancellation of the 2020 event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2018, New Zealand won the OFC U-16 Championship, winning the final against Soloman Islands in a penalty shoot-out.

The scorers in the shoot-out included current All Whites Marko Stamenic and Matthew Garbett.

  • A decision by the OFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee in 2019 in relation to the OFC U-16 Championship 2018 meant the Solomon Islands were excluded from participating in January’s championship.

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