Young Wellington Phoenix defender Finn Surman has been called into the All Whites squad for the first time after his impressive performances at the FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup.
He’s been named in the New Zealand squad of 23 for the international friendlies against Sweden and Qatar in June.
Main photo: Wellington Phoenix defender Finn Surman captained New Zealand at the FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup.
Interim head coach Darren Bazeley has recalled goalkeepers Max Crocombe and Nik Tzanev after they showed strong form during their English Football League seasons for Grimsby Town and AFC Wimbledon, respectively.
Crocombe returns after a five-year absence from the national squad while Tzanev has not been with the All Whites since 2021.
Defender Bill Tuiloma and striker Ben Waine are included in the new squad after being unavailable for the March series against China due to club commitments.
Eastern Suburbs’ Francis de Vries joins the squad for the first time in a year after recovering from a long-term injury.
New Zealand squad
Joe Bell (13 caps) Brondby FC, Denmark
Michael Boxall (42 caps) Minnesota United, USA
Liberato Cacace (14 caps) Empoli FC, Italy
Max Crocombe (2 caps) Grimsby Town, England
Francis De Vries (6 caps) Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand
Callan Elliot (2 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Matthew Garbett (14 caps) NAC Breda, Netherlands
Alex Greive (9 caps) St Mirren, Scotland
Eli Just (15 caps) AC Horsens, Denmark
Clayton Lewis (23 caps) Macarthur FC, Australia
Max Mata (3 caps) Sligo Rovers, Ireland
Callum McCowatt (11 caps) FC Helsingor, Denmark
Tim Payne (32 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Nando Pijnaker (11 caps) Sligo Rovers, Ireland
Marco Rojas (44 caps) Colo Colo, Chile
Alex Rufer (8 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Oli Sail (8 caps) Perth Glory, Australia
Tommy Smith (50 caps) Colchester United, England
Marko Stamenic (13 caps) FC Copenhagen, Denmark
Finn Surman* (0 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Bill Tuiloma (36 caps) Charlotte FC, USA
Nik Tzanev (1 cap) AFC Wimbledon, England
Ben Waine (7 caps) Plymouth Argyle, England
Darren Bazeley: ‘These games represent a real test’
Coach Bazeley says he is looking forward to facing two strong teams to test the side leading into the next FIFA World Cup qualifying cycle.
“After two good results against China at home, these games represent a real test but that is what this team needs right now to build the foundations leading into the qualification campaign for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
“Sweden are 22 in the world, playing at home in front of a large crowd, so that will be a big but really good challenge for our players.
“Qatar are another top side ranked significantly higher than us with lots of experience gained as hosts of the last FIFA World Cup.
“I’m pleased with the squad we have assembled and great to be bringing back in some players who haven’t been part of then environment for a while in Francis, Max and Nik.
“It is always special to call someone up for their debut so I want to congratulate Finn Surman who was brilliant at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, both on and off the pitch, and who I have every confidence will be able to step up to the senior All Whites environment.“
Game to be played on Saturday June 17, 2023
Sweden v All Whites
Friends Arena, Soina, Stockholm, 5am (NZT)
Game to be played on Tuesday June 20, 2023
Qatar v All Whites
Generali Arena, Vienna, 4am (NZT)