Football: All Whites named in U20 World Cup squad

The New Zealand under-20 football side will play Australia in Wollongong next month on their way to the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey.

The Junior All Whites have been drawn in Group F along with Uzbekistan, Uruguay and Croatia.

Coach Chris Milicich named his 21-strong squad for the World Cup today, and made three changes as well as an extra goalkeeper to the side which qualified at the Oceania tournament in Fiji.

All Whites midfielder Tim Payne comes into the squad along with 2011 Young All Whites teammate Rhys Jordan from Bristol City in England.

Defender Alec Solomons, who suffered injury on the eve of departure to Fiji, has recovered to take his place in the squad and Wellington-based gloveman Daniel Clarke picks up the third goalkeeper berth.

"I am extremely pleased with the squad we have named," Milicich said. "Everyone we wanted was made available by their clubs, and this has allowed us to name arguably our strongest squad."

The Junior All Whites picked up two draws and were beaten 1-0 by eventual winners Portugal at the last World Cup but had to do it without All Whites striker Chris Wood who wasn't released by his club.

"I think the recognition of individuals within the Junior All Whites reflects the exciting talent that New Zealand has at this age level," Milicich said. "At least eight players are in fulltime professional environments, another five are training with the Wellington Phoenix's Football School of Excellence, and a couple more in private academies in New Zealand.

"Part of our role is to develop future All Whites, but we're lucky enough to be able to call on guys like Tim [Payne] and Cameron [Howieson] who have played for the national team already."

New Zealand's first match is against Uzbekistan on June 23, before facing Uruguay three days later, and rounding out their group stage against Croatia on June 29. All of the Junior All Whites matches will be played in Bursa.

Junior All Whites squad for the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey: Goalkeepers: Scott Basalaj, Max Crocombe, Daniel Clarke. Defenders: Storm Roux, Bill Tuiloma, Simon Arms, Luke Adams, Alec Solomons, Liam Higgins. Midfielders: Tom Biss, Cameron Howieson, Tim Payne, Jesse Edge, Justin Gulley, Rhys Jordan. Forwards: Hamish Watson, Tyler Boyd, Louis Fenton, Van Elia, Ryan Thomas, Dale Higham.


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