Interim All Whites coach Darren Bazeley: ‘I’m going to enjoy this opportunity’

All Whites interim head coach Darren Bazeley says he’s going to make the most of this month’s games against China to try to keep alive his chance of getting the job.

In a 15-minute interview with Newstalk ZB’s Jason Pine, Bazeley provided a run-down on the squad to face China, including why some players had been left out and what his options were to utilise the 24-player squad across two games.

He also addressed his approach to the interim role when Pine asked if he found it challenging.

“I wouldn’t describe it as challenging. I’ve enjoyed the whole process. I’m going to enjoy this opportunity I have.”

He said the difficult period had been between the All Whites’ last game and the interview process.

“But once the interviews were done, I’ve been kept informed of how it is,” Bazeley said.

“Andrew Pragnell (NZ Football CEO) did tell me that they had a preferred candidate that they were were having discussions with. That’s fine and what they can do, but he said it was complicated and there was no definite outcome to that, so at this stage to just keep waiting.

“Then the opportunity came up for the interim role which was a great opportunity and yes, I’ll take that and give myself the chance to be in the position and show what I can do with the players for this window.”

Bazeley said there had been no discussions about when the job decision might be finalised but he was ready to focus on the games ahead.

READ MORE: One debutant and two recalls as Bazeley reveals 24-player All Whites squad >>>>

Main photo: Darren Bazeley … eager to show what he can do. Photo: Shane Wenzlick /

Jason Pine’s interview with Darren Bazeley

Listen here …


Game to be played on Thursday March 23, 2023

Gates open at 2.30pm

New Zealand U-22 v China PR
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)


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

National squads

All Whites

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

Interim head coach: Darren Bazeley


Adam Supyk (Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand)
Alex Paulsen (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Ben Old (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Campbell Strong (Seattle University, USA)
Fin Conchie (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Finn Linder (Vancouver Whitecaps, Canada)
Finn Surman (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Isaac Hughes (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Jay Herdman (Vancouver Whitecaps, Canada)
Jesse Randall (Charleston Battery, USA)
Joe Lee (Auckland City FC, New Zealand)
Kees Sims (Ljungskile SK, Sweden)
Lukas Kelly-Heald (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Nathan Lobo (Auckland City FC, New Zealand)
Noah Karunaratne (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Oscar Browne (Western Springs, New Zealand)
Oskar van Hattum (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Riley Bidois (Dandenong City SC, Australia)
Ronan Wynne (Denver University, USA)
Sam Sutton (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Scott Morris (Christchurch United, New Zealand)
Zac Zoricich (Central Coast Mariners, Australia)

Coach: Paul Temple (Wellington Phoenix academy)

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