Striker Keegan Kelly added to New Zealand squad for Olympic qualifiers

Western Springs striker Keegan Kelly has been called into the New Zealand U-23 squad for the OFC Olympic qualifier tournament.

Kelly (18) is the latest addition to head coach Darren Bazeley’s squad ahead of Wednesday’s group match against Fiji.

The striker scored 16 goals in 2022 for Lotto NFRL first division club East Coast Bays before switching to Western Springs this year.

He has scored three goals in the Northern League this season and scored twice in the club’s 3-2 Chatham Cup win against holders Auckland City.

Main photo: Keegan Kelly celebrates scoring for Western Springs against Auckland City in July’s Chatham Cup fourth round. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

READ MORE: Western Springs sign 16-goal striker Keegan Kelly from East Coast Bays >>>>

Preparation for the tournament has been disrupted by the involvement of Wellington Phoenix players in the club’s Australia Cup tie on Sunday August 27, meaning some players are joining the national squad on Monday August 28.

New Zealand’s opening game at the tournament was called off after Papua New Guinea were unable to travel to Auckland for the match.

READ MORE: New Zealand’s first Olympic qualifier called off as PNG ‘unable to travel’ >>>>

No announcement has been made yet on PNG’s further involvement in the tournament in which they are expected to play Fiji on Saturday.

Admission is free for all games at the tournament, except for the final to be played on Saturday September 9, at 7pm.

READ MORE: Tickets now available for final of OFC Olympic qualifier tournament >>>>


Game to be played on Wednesday August 30, 2023

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

New Zealand squad

The updated squad is:

Riley Bidois (Dandenong City, Australia)
Oscar Browne (Western Springs, New Zealand)
Aiden Carey (Auckland City, New Zealand)
Adama Coulibaly (Western Springs, New Zealand)
Willem Ebbinge (Harvard University, United States)
Matthew Ellis (Western Springs, New Zealand)
Theo Ettema (Wellington Olympic, New Zealand)
Liam Gillion (Auckland City, New Zealand)
Isaac Hughes* (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Keegan Kelly (Western Springs, New Zealand)
Alby Kelly-Heald (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Lukas Kelly-Heald* (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Joe Knowles (Eastern Suburbs, 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)
Matthew Sheridan (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
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)
*Joining on August 28.

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

OFC Olympic qualifying tournament

The OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier 2023 is being 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.

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

Tournament schedule

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