Senior players get behind interim coach Darren Bazeley ahead of China games

Senior All Whites squad members Chris Wood and Tommy Smith say interim head coach Darren Bazeley deserves his chance to show what he can do.

Ahead of their two-match series against China, 49-cap defender Smith told Newshub:

“Whether or not he then gets the top job is not down to us, but we’ll be doing all we can, as individuals in the team, to do as well as we can in these games, which gives him the best possible chance of putting his name forward, if that’s what he chooses to do.”

Star striker Wood said:

“He knows New Zealand football to a tee, he’s been with the age groups, and performed and produced in those competitions.

“I don’t see why he can’t step up, and use the knowledge that he has from those [experiences] and being an assistant manager to the All Whites to take them to the next level.”

Main photo: Darren Bazeley … coaching the national side on an interim basis while New Zealand Football seek full-time head coach to replace Danny Hay.

READ MORE: Chris Wood: ‘All Whites should train more often with the young players’ >>>>

Watch the Newshub story


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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