All Whites coach Darren Bazeley has confirmed Fulham midfielder Matt Dibley-Dias will join the New Zealand squad for the two-game international window in October.
Lower Hutt-born Dibley-Dias is also eligible to play for Brazil, Portugal and England but has opted to play for New Zealand.
The All Whites will play the Democratic Republic of Congo in Spain, and Australia in London, in October.
Dibley-Dias (19) told Fulham’s website:
“It’s a great opportunity for me to play against senior level players and it can help give me a platform to perform against first team opponents. Hopefully it will help open more doors for me and I’m just looking forward to seeing what it’s like.”
Bazeley confirmed the New Zealand coaching and scouting staff have been keeping a close eye on Dibley-Dias’ development at Motspur Park.
“Matt is a player we have been tracking for a while, and he has made really good progress over the last year, getting closer to the Fulham first team. It will be great to bring him into camp for the first time and give him a taste of senior international action, especially ahead of a big year with events like the Paris 2024 Olympics.”
The current All Whites assistant coach, Simon Elliott, spent two seasons at Fulham.
Dibley-Dias recently signed a four-year deal to keep him with English Premier League club Fulham after coming through the ranks of its academy.
He won the Johnny Haynes’ academy player of the year award in association with the Fulham Supporters’ Trust last season and has been on the bench for the first team several times this season.
More Fulham connections
Three past All Whites who have been on Fulham’s books:
- Simon Elliott (at Fulham 2006-08, playing 12 games), 69 internationals
- Chris James (at Fulham 2005-07, no games), 22 internationals
- James Musa (at Fulham 2012-13, no games), 3 internationals
Game to be played on Saturday October 14, 2023 (NZT)
New Zealand v DR Congo
Estadio Nueva Condomina, Murcia, Spain, 5am (NZT)
Game to be played on Wednesday October 18, 2023 (NZT)
New Zealand v Australia
Gtech Community Stadium, London, 7.45am (NZT)
Game to be played on Saturday November 18, 2023 (NZT)
Greece v New Zealand
OPAP Arena, Athens, Greece, 6am TBC (NZT)
Game to be played on Wednesday November 22, 2023 (NZT)
Ireland v New Zealand
Aviva Stadium, Dublin, 8.45am (NZT)