New Zealand squad named for OFC U-16 Men’s Championship tournament

posted in: National teams, News, OFC news

A 23-player squad has been named to represent New Zealand at the OFC U-16 Men’s Championship in Tahiti.

The eight-nation tournament will be held in Tahiti from July 28-August 10, 2024.

Head coach Martin Bullock’s squad features 17 players based in Aotearoa New Zealand, and six playing overseas in Australia, England and Germany.

The winners, runners-up and third-placed team from the tournament will qualify for the 2025 FIFA U-17 World Cup to be played in Qatar.

The squad, named by national U-17 head coach Martin Bullock, will gather for a training camp in Auckland from July 21-25.

New Zealand squad

Pedro Botica (Auckland United, New Zealand)
William Britton (Western Springs, New Zealand)
Luke Brooke-Smith (Hamilton Wanderers, New Zealand)
Hunter Cadman (Northern Rovers, New Zealand)
Justin Cardozo (Machado Sydney, Australia)
Aaron Cartwright (Melbourne City, Australia)
Joseph Chalabi (Christchurch United, New Zealand)
Ethan Dyer (Sydney, Australia)
Van Fitzharris (Tauranga City, New Zealand)
Joseph Kalume Banza (Western Sydney Wanderers, Australia)
Damion Kim (East Coast Bays, New Zealand)
Alexander Lienard (Sunderland, United Kingdom)
Nathan Martin (Fencibles United, New Zealand)
Joe Mcintyre (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Henry Murfitt (Selwyn United, New Zealand)
Daniel Nelson (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Benjamin Perez Baldoni (Ellerslie, New Zealand)
Jack Perniskie (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Connor Smith (FC Hennef 05, Germany)
Louis Spillane (Western Springs, New Zealand)
Rakshan Suresh (Western Suburbs, New Zealand)
Luka Vicelich (Auckland City, New Zealand)
Michael Wong (Auckland United, New Zealand)

Head coach Martin Bullock said: “It is always exciting to kick off a new age group cycle and I’m really pleased with the squad we have assembled after extensive scouting and identification games.

“We have seen from recent tournaments that the OFC nations are developing really quickly so these are going to be challenging games, especially for this age group where it is your first taste of international football.

“This is a brilliant opportunity for our players to play completive matches and learn more about what it takes to be successful in the game, so I look forward to working with them to help them achieve their potential.”

The OFC U-16 Men’s Championship

The format of the tournament will consist of two round-robin groups, with the two top teams in the groups meeting in knockout semi-finals.

Group A

  • New Zealand
  • Vanuatu
  • Fiji
  • Cook Islands

Group B

  • New Caledonia
  • Samoa
  • Tahiti
  • Solomon Islands

Fixtures

Game to be played on July 29, 2024 (NZT)

New Zealand v Vanuatu
Stade Pater, Papeete, Tahiti, kick-off tbc

Game to be played on August 1, 2024 (NZT)

New Zealand v Fiji
Stade Pater, Papeete, Tahiti, kick-off tbc

Game to be played on August 4, 2024 (NZT)

New Zealand v Cook Islands
Stade Pater, Papeete, Tahiti, kick-off tbc

Games to be streamed live and free on FIFA+

OFC have confirmed all games in the OFC U-16 Men’s Championship will be streamed live and free by FIFA+.

Qualification for the FIFA U-17 Men’s World Cup

The FIFA U-17 Men’s World Cup will be expanded to 48 teams from 2025 and be held annually rather than biennially, as part of the governing body’s plan to provide more international competition for youth teams.

The next five editions of the competition, starting in 2025, will take place in Qatar.

READ MORE: New Zealand’s pathway to future FIFA U-17 World Cups gets easier >>>>

This story was first published on June 26, 2024.

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