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U-20s identification camp in Auckland this week

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand U-20 Head Coach Des Buckingham is holding an identification camp in Auckland this week as he continues the preparation for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland later this year.

Buckingham says the selection of players has come from a number of club visits in New Zealand and overseas since the conclusion of the OFC U-19 Championship last August.

"The opportunity to visit clubs has provided a platform for closer working relationships with coaches and players," Buckingham says.

"This camp is another step in our process to look at players outside of the group who helped us win the OFC U-19 Championship in Tahiti. I am sure there will be huge competition for places in the final squad we name and that is what we need if we want to be successful at the World Cup."

A total of 33 players will assemble in Auckland for the camp that runs from 11 to 14 February. Eight overseas-based players have made themselves available from Australia, Canada, Italy, Portugal, Scotland and the USA to complement the balance of the squad who are based domestically.

The camp has been scheduled during a split round of the ISPS Handa Premiership in an attempt to minimise disruption to the games programme of the players. It is the latest step in the wider programme building towards the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.

Identified players from this camp will likely be joined by the group who qualified New Zealand for the FIFA U-20 World Cup last year to form an extended squad in early April as Buckingham works towards naming his final selection of 21 for the tournament.

"By the end of this camp we will have seen over 50 players, as well as several who are still eligible that have been involved in the last two All Whites windows, but there may also be others outside those groups who put their hands up between now and the World Cup," Buckingham says.

New Zealand won the OFC U-19 Championship in 2018 - their seventh title in the history of the competition - by defeating hosts Tahiti 1-0 in the final.

The Official Draw for the FIFA U-20 World Cup will take place on 24 February at the Gdynia Sports Arena in Gdynia, Poland. The FIFA U-20 World Cup will be staged from 23 May to 15 June.

New Zealand U-20 Identification Camp (players, club/college, NZ unless noted)

Ellis Hare-Reid, Ayr United (Scotland)

Nick Milner, Eastern Suburbs

Nando Pijnaker, Eastern Suburbs

Dalton Wilkins, Eastern Suburbs

Joshua Jones, Auckland City

Kelvin Kalua, Eastern Suburbs

Luke Jorgensen, Waitakere United

Jacob Richards, Canterbury United

Alex Clayton, Eastern Suburbs

Ronan Wynne, Wellington Phoenix Academy

Harrison Taylor, Adelaide Blue Eagles (Australia)

Lachlan McIsaac, Waitakere United

Gianni Stensness, Wellington Phoenix Academy

Dominic Wooldridge, Eastern Suburbs

Callum McCowatt, Eastern Suburbs

Alex Greive, Northern Kentucky University (USA)

Josh Wilson, Brisbane Strikers (Australia)

Steffano Riley, Hamilton Wanderers

Tacettin Kumsuz, Wellington Phoenix Academy

Nik Bugarcic, Louletano DC (Portugal)

Elijah Just, Eastern Suburbs

Karan Mandair, Hawke's Bay United

Oscar Browne, Waitakere United

Thomas Raimbault, Vancouver Whitecaps (Canada)

Sam Sutton, Wellington Phoenix Academy

Luca Scimia, Alma Juventus Fano (Italy)

Justin Bailey, Auckland City

Jake Mechell, Waitakere United

Stafford Dowling, Hamilton Wanderers

Drew Farnsworth, Western Washington University (USA)

Seth Clark, Canterbury United

Thomas Drillien, Auckland City

Ben Waine, Wellington Phoenix Academy

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