All Whites head coach Darren Bazeley says there’s “way more to come” from his young national squad, despite losing to Australia in the Soccer Ashes match in London.
“We came up against a pretty good team that played some pretty good football,” Bazely said at a media conference following Australia’s 2-0 win.
“But, you know, I’m still proud of our lads. We’re a very young, really willing, hardworking … and we had some moments where we played some good football, tried to play a certain style.
“We just probably lacked that little bit extra experience and that little bit extra, maybe, quality in moments where we could maybe take advantage of some of our good play.
“Australia have got some good players with, you know, with some good experience, and they hurt us.”
Bazeley said to concede two goals from set pieces was disappointing but looking ahead, he believed the experience gained from playing strong opponents would help the players.
“There’s way more to come from us. You know, we’re a team that’s growing. We’ve got a lot of youth in the team.
“I think this is only going to benefit us and our young players to play, you know, these type of games against good opposition, and eventually, when we get down the track towards our World Cup qualifications, and, you know, hopefully at the World Cup, all these experiences for these young lads will be better.
“We’re building depth, and we’ve got some really good quality and players are now starting to see pathways in New Zealand towards professional clubs.
“We’re about to get another professional club in New Zealand in the Australian League which would be awesome, so we’re heading in the right direction but it’s difficult.”
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)