‘We’ll be better for it’ — coach Darren Bazeley after All Whites’ opening win

Head coach Darren Bazeley says his six new All Whites will be better for the experience of making their full international debuts in the 3-0 win against the Solomon Islands at the OFC Men’s Nations Cup.

“We’ve come away with a youngish squad, and that game there, we’ve got six players (who) made their All Whites debut in one game, so that’s good for us,” he said in his post-match interview in Vanuatu.

“We’ll be better for it, they’ll be better for it … and now we can move on to the next one in the tournament.”

First caps were earned by Alex Paulsen, Sam Sutton, Lukas Kelly-Heald, Jesse Randall, Oskar van Hattum and Fin Conchie.

New Zealand finished the game with a notably youthful back four in Kelly-Heald (19), Tyler Bindon (19), Finn Surman (20) and Sam Sutton (22).

“I thought we played some really good football, you know, and at times it looked easy but it wasn’t,” Bazeley said.

I thought we put on a pretty professional performance. We got the job done reasonably early and managed the game pretty well second half.”

Bazeley said he had not wanted the game to become “a basketball match” late in the game, with players rushing end to end in the hot and humid conditions.

WATCH: Highlights from All Whites 3-0 win against Solomon Islands >>>>

READ MORE: Young All Whites side makes sure of semi-final spot at OFC Men’s Nations Cup >>>>

Watch Darren Bazeley’s interview


Game played on Tuesday June 18, 2024

New Zealand 3 (Ben Waine 6′, 11′, Kosta Barbarouses 45+4′)
Solomon Islands 0

Watch the full match replay;


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