All Whites head coach Darren Bazeley is confident Fulham midfielder Matt Dibley-Dias will return for future games despite his forced withdrawal from the squad for October’s internationals.
“He’s one for the future,” Bazeley told a media briefing ahead of the All Whites game against DR Congo in Spain.
Main photo: The New Zealand squad at their Spain training camp. Photo credit: NZ Football
Dibley-Dias (19) had been included in the national squad for the first time, after the Lower Hutt-born player was persuaded to align with New Zealand, despite being eligible to play for Brazil, Portugal and England.
Bazeley said: “It’s really disappointing for us, but for him as well. He was really excited to be part of it.
“He’s a player that we’ve been talking to for a while and he’s been progressing his own career at Fulham and now he’s in a pretty good place there
“He came in (to the All Whites training camp), met everybody, had a couple of days training, and was looking really good.
“Unfortunately, he sustained a slight muscle injury In the middle of the second session, and that pulled him out.
“He’s gone back to Fulham now to to be assessed by their physios and medical department.”
“We’re keeping in touch with him regularly and I hope to see him again soon.
“When I spoke to him just before he left he he said he really enjoyed it He loved the environment.”
Chris Wood: ‘He fitted in very well’
All Whites captain Chris Wood told the briefing: “He’s got a bright future ahead of him. From what I’ve seen in the couple of training sessions we’ve had, he’s got quality which is great to see.
“What I love most, he bonded with the squad so quickly and easily, and that’s down to his character, his personality. It’s very Kiwi-based and I think he fitted in very well, so I hope in future he’s back with us because he’s a great player.
“I think he’ll do extremely well in our environment and I think he’ll suit our team extremely well.”
Watch media briefing
Training camp goes well
Bazeley said the All Whites had enjoyed a good preparation ahead of the DR Congo match, with good training facilities in Spain.
He said a couple of players had needed help with minor injuries but he expected to have many options for his team selection.
Six substitutes are allowed in the friendly.
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)
Updated New Zealand squad
Changes made to the squad since it was first named:
Wing-back James McGarry suffered a hamstring injury when playing for his Aberdeen club, and has been replaced by Dalton Wilkins (Kolding, Denmark).
Newcomer Matt Dibley-Dias returned to his Fulham club for treatment after he suffered an injury in training camp.
Teenager goalkeeper Henry Gray has been added to the squad.
Max Crocombe (2 caps) Burton Albion FC, England
Michael Woud (4 caps) Ventforet Kofu, Japan
Nik Tzanev (1 cap) AFC Wimbledon, England
Henry Gray* (0 caps), Ipswich Town, England
Bill Tuiloma (37 caps) Charlotte FC, United States
Dalton Wilkins (2 caps) Kolding, Denmark
Liberato Cacace (15 caps) Empoli FC, Italy
Michael Boxall (43 caps) Minnesota United, United States
Nando Pijnaker (12 caps) Sligo Rovers, Ireland
Niko Kirwan (8 caps) Calcio Padova, Italy
Tommy Smith (50 caps) MK Dons, England
Tyler Bindon* (0 caps) Reading FC, England
Callum McCowatt (12 caps) Silkeborg IF, Denmark
Marko Stamenic (14 caps) FK Crvena zvezda / Red Star Belgrade, Serbia
Matthew Garbett (15 caps) NAC Breda, Netherlands
Sarpreet Singh (9 caps) FC Hansa Rostock, Germany
Alex Greive (10 caps) St Mirren FC, Scotland
Ben Waine (8 caps) Plymouth Argyle, England
Chris Wood (70 caps) Nottingham Forest, England
Eli Just (16 caps) AC Horsens, Denmark
Joe Champness (6 caps) Adanaspor, Turkey
Max Mata (4 caps) Shrewsbury Town, England
*Debut senior international call-up
Lionel Mpasi (5 caps) Rodez, France
Baggio Siadi Ngusia (4 caps) TP Mazembe, DR Congo
Dimitry Bertaud* (0 caps) Montpellier, France
Chancel Mbemba (70 caps) Marseille, France
Arthur Masuaku (17 caps). Besiktas, Turkey
Henoc Inonga Baka (6 caps) Simba, Tanzania
Gédéon Kalulu (4 caps) Lorient, France
Dylan Batubinsika (3 caps) Saint-Étienne, France
Rocky Bushiri (1 caps) Hibernian, Scotland
Joris Kavembe (1 caps) Genk, Belgium
Brian Bayeye* (0 caps) Ascoli, Italy
Samuel Moutoussamy (21 caps) Nantes, France
Edo Kayembe (16 caps) Watford, England
Théo Bongonda (7 caps) Spartak Moscow, Russia
Aaron Tshibola (5 caps) Hatta, United Arab Emirates
William Balikwisha (2 caps) Standard Liège, Belgium
Charles Pickel (2 caps) Cremonese, Italy
Grady Diangana* (0 caps) West Bromwich Albion, England
Jonathan Okita (1 caps) Zürich, Switzerland
Cédric Bakambu (43 caps) Galatasaray, Turkey
Meschak Elia (30 caps) Young Boys, Switzerland
Ben Malango (21 caps) Qatar SC, Qatar
Jackson Muleka (12 caps) Besiktas, Turkey
Fiston Kalala Mayele (6 caps) Pyramids, Egypt
Silas Katompa Mvumpa (3 caps) VIB Stuttgart, Germany
Simon Banza* (0 caps) Braga, Portugal
*Debut senior international call-up