Coach Darren Bazeley names 23-player squad for Olympic qualifyers

posted in: News, Olympic Games

All Whites and Men’s U-23 head coach Darren Bazeley has named his initial squad for this month’s OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier, the tournament to decide which team from the OFC region qualifies for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The 23-person squad features 17 players based in Aotearoa New Zealand, with four members of the squad coming from Australia and two from the United States.

Bazeley has promoted six players who were part of his U-20 team that reached the last 16 at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in May to his U-23 side for the tournament.

With the tournament starting outside of the FIFA international window, Bazeley has not been able to call up a number of players based in European leagues.

As there are no restrictions on teams adding players to their squad during the competition, additional players may still be named during the campaign when available.

New Zealand squad

Lachlan Bayliss (Newcastle Jets, Australia)
Riley Bidois (Dandenong City, Australia)
Oscar Browne (Western Springs, New Zealand)
Willem Ebbinge (Harvard University, United States)
Matthew Ellis (Western Springs, New Zealand)
Liam Gillion (Auckland City, New Zealand)
Isaac Hughes (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Alby Kelly-Heald (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Lukas Kelly-Heald (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Joe Lee (Auckland City, New Zealand)
Nathan Lobo (Auckland City, New Zealand)
Dan McKay (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)

Scott Morris (Christchurch United, New Zealand)
George Ott (Avondale FC, Australia)
Alex Paulsen (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Aaryan Raj (Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand)
Jesse Randall (Charleston Battery, United States)
Campbell Strong (Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand)
Finn Surman (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Luis Toomey (Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand)
Oskar van Hattum (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Ryan Verney (Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand)
Zac Zoricich (Central Coast Mariners, Australia)

Darren Bazeley: ‘The door is still open’

Head coach Darren Bazeley said:

“Following the FIFA Women’s World Cup, football has never been in a better place in New Zealand, so it is great to have this tournament at home and continue that momentum.

“While it is disappointing to have players like Ben Old, Jay Herdman, Ronan Wynne and Sam Sutton miss out through injury, I’m really pleased with the squad and staff we have been able to assemble and know the team can’t wait to come into camp next week.

“The unique thing about this tournament is that we are able to add and amend our squad from game to game so while I want to congratulate the 23 players named, I also want to make clear to players who just missed out on this initial selection that the door is very much still open, including for our players based overseas.”

Team staff for the tournament are:

Head coach: Darren Bazeley
Assistant coach: Martin Bullock
Assistant coach: Chris Greenacre
Goalkeeping coach: Danny Knight
Analyst: Hyun Roh
Strength and conditioning: Sunz Singh
Head physio: Roland Jeffery
Team manager: Wade Molony
Equipment manager: Zach Haydon

The OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier 2023 will be played in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland from August 27 – September 9, 2023 with matches at Go Media Stadium Mt. Smart, The Trusts Arena and North Harbour Stadium.

Group A

  • Fiji
  • Papua New Guinea
  • New Zealand

Group B

  • Tonga
  • Samoa
  • Vanuatu
  • Solomon Islands

Tournament format

Group fixtures will be staged at Mt Smart’s Go Media Stadium and Henderson’s Trusts Arena, kicking off at 12pm and 3pm (NZT).

The two group winners and runners-up will meet in semi-finals, kicking off at 3pm and 7pm (NZT).

The final will be played at North Harbour Stadium, Albany.


Game to be played on Sunday August 27, 2023

New Zealand v Papua New Guinea
Go Media Stadium, Mt Smart, 3pm

Game to be played on Wednesday August 30, 2023

New Zealand v Fiji
Go Media Stadium, Mt Smart, 3pm

Go Media Stadium, Mt Smart.
Trusts Arena, Henderson.
North Harbour Stadium, Albany.

Tournament schedule

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