One debutant and two recalls as Bazeley reveals 24-player All Whites squad

posted in: All Whites, News

Interim head coach Darren Bazeley has announced one newcomer and has recalled two players after a four-year absence, in the naming of his All Whites squad for this month’s two-match series against China.

The 24-player squad sees Callan Elliot earn his debut All Whites call-up after a strong season for Wellington Phoenix.

Max Mata and Alex Rufer are recalled to the squad for the first time since 2019.

Defender Tommy Smith will earn his 50th All Whites cap if he plays during the series.

Main photo: Chris Wood set to lead the All Whites attack against China..

New Zealand squad

Kyle Adams (0 caps) San Diego Loyal, USA

Kosta Barbarouses (52 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand

Joe Bell (12 caps) Brøndby IF, Denmark

Michael Boxall (40 caps) Minnesota United, USA

Liberato Cacace (12 caps) Empoli, Italy

Callan Elliot* (0 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand

Matthew Garbett (12 caps) NAC Breda, Netherlands (on loan from Torino)

Alex Greive (7 caps) St Mirren, Scotland

Cam Howieson (16 caps) Auckland City FC, New Zealand

Dane Ingham (12 caps) Newcastle Jets, Australia

Eli Just (13 caps) AC Horsens, Denmark

Clayton Lewis (21 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand

Stefan Marinovic (30 caps) Unattached

Max Mata (1 cap) Sligo Rovers, Ireland

Callum McCowatt (10 caps) FC Helsingør, Denmark

Tim Payne (30 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand

Nando Pijnaker (11 caps) Sligo Rovers, Ireland

Marco Rojas (43 caps) Colo-Colo, Chile

Alex Rufer (7 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand

Oli Sail (6 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand

Tommy Smith (49 caps) Colchester United, England

Marko Stamenic (11 caps) FC Copenhagen, Denmark

Chris Wood (70 caps) Nottingham Forest, England

Deklan Wynne (15 caps) Charleston Battery, USA

*Debut All Whites squad

The players who were unavailable

Sarpreet Singh and Ryan Thomas will miss the series to allow them more time to continue their recovery from injury now they are back playing club football.

Both players are in contention to return for the All Whites in the June FIFA window.

Bill Tuiloma and Ben Waine have been left out for this series, after discussion with Darren Bazeley, due to club commitments.

Ben Waine is currently fighting for his place at new club Plymouth Argyle, who have a league game during the international window and are chasing a promotion place, plus he is in contention to be involved in the EFL Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium vs Bolton Wanderers on April 3 (NZT).

READ MORE: All Whites striker Ben Waine has a Wembley date as his UK club reaches cup final >>>>

Bill Tuiloma has recently completed a move to MLS side Charlotte FC so will stay with his new team for this window.

READ MORE: All Whites defender Bill Tuiloma in surprise move from Timbers to Charlotte >>>>

Two senior goalkeepers have been selected for this window and a third will join the matchday squad from the U-22 side for each All Whites game.

Bazeley: ‘The players can’t wait’

“All of the players can’t wait for the opportunity to play at home again, this time for a full FIFA window,” says Bazeley.

“The players had a taste of playing on home soil last year vs Australia and are looking forward to once again playing in front of our home fans, both in Auckland and down in Wellington.

“This series gives us the opportunity to start the new World Cup cycle off and get our home fans excited about what is to come for this squad.

“Congratulations to Callan Elliot on his debut call-up after a great season with the Phoenix.

“He is a player I know well from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic campaign so it will be great to see him in the full All Whites environment.

“I’m also pleased to bring Max Mata and Alex Rufer back after a long time away.

“Max is a player in form over in Ireland, having recently scored a league hattrick, and Alex has obviously now fully recovered after a long time out with injury and is in good form with the Phoenix.

“Both Ben Waine and Bill Tuiloma were disappointed not to be able to take part in this window but from discussions with them both I’m happy that it is the right decision for their individual club careers, and they have both committed to future international windows.

“These are exciting times for this young squad, so I know everyone involved in the team can’t wait to get started.”

READ MORE: World Cup trio join All Whites coaching staff for upcoming China series >>>>

Watch the media conference

Here’s the 25-minute recording of Darrren Bazeley’s media briefing:

Fixtures

Game to be played on Thursday March 23, 2023

Gates to open at 2.30pm

New Zealand U-22 v China PR U-24
Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, 3.30pm (NZT)

All Whites v China PR
Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, 7pm (NZT)

Game to be played on Sunday March 26, 2023

New Zealand U-22 v China PR
Sky Stadium, Wellington, 12.30pm (NZT)

All Whites v China PR
Sky Stadium, Wellington, 4pm (NZT)

READ MORE: Incentive launched for Flybuys members who buy tickets for All Whites games >>>>

Tickets

Tickets are available from $20 to $80 (adult) and $10 to $40 (children aged 2-14).

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