Head coach Darren Bazeley has named a 23-player New Zealand squad to play Greece and the Republic of Ireland in the November international window.
After a strong start to the men’s A-League season, Wellington Phoenix trio Alex Paulsen, Tim Payne and Finn Surman, and Macarthur Bulls’ Clayton Lewis, are included.
A-League players missed the October fixtures as the FIFA international window was only a few days before the start of the 2023-2024 season.
With an eye on next year’s Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Bazeley has named six players who are eligible for U-23 selection for the tournament: Tyler Bindon, Matt Garbett, Alex Paulsen, Marko Stamenic, Finn Surman and Ben Waine.
Greece are currently rated 51st in the FIFA men’s world rankings, while the Republic of Ireland are ranked 58th.
The All Whites are ranked 103rd.
New Zealand squad
Max Crocombe (2 caps) Burton Albion FC, England
Alex Paulsen (0 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Michael Woud (5 caps) Ventforet Kofu, Japan
Tyler Bindon (2 caps) Reading FC, England
Michael Boxall (45 caps) Minnesota United, USA
Liberato Cacace (17 caps) Empoli FC, Italy
Tim Payne (33 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Nando Pijnaker (14 caps) Sligo Rovers, Ireland
Tommy Smith (50 caps) MK Dons, England
Finn Surman (0 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Dalton Wilkins (2 caps) Kolding IF, Denmark
Joe Bell (15 caps) Viking FK, Norway
Matthew Garbett (16 caps) NAC Breda, Netherlands
Clayton Lewis (24 caps) Macarthur FC, Australia
Callum McCowatt (14 caps) Silkeborg IF, Denmark
Sarpreet Singh (10 caps) FC Hansa Rostock, Germany
Marko Stamenic (16 caps) FK Crvena zvezda / Red Star Belgrade, Serbia
Joe Champness (8 caps) Adanaspor, Turkey
Alex Greive (11 caps) St Mirren FC, Scotland
Eli Just (18 caps) AC Horsens, Denmark
Max Mata (6 caps) Shrewsbury Town, England
Ben Waine (10 caps) Plymouth Argyle, England
Chris Wood (72 caps) Nottingham Forest, England
Bazeley said: “It is great to welcome back some of the A-League Men players now that their season is underway.
“These are another two good games against tough European sides but tests like this are only going to improve us as a team as we look towards FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying starting next year.
“It is also pleasing to have six players in this squad who will be eligible for next year’s Paris 2024 Olympic Games as we continue to look to build the alignment between our senior and age group sides.”
Game to be played on Saturday November 18, 2023 (NZT)
Greece v New Zealand
Georgios Kamaras Stadium, Athens, Greece, 6am (NZT)
Game to be played on Wednesday November 22, 2023 (NZT)
Ireland v New Zealand
Aviva Stadium, Dublin, 8.45am (NZT)