The New Zealand U-23 team has been called up to play two friendly matches against China U-23 this month in Auckland and Wellington. The matches will be held at Mt Smart Stadium and Sky Stadium, respectively, and will serve as a prelude to the senior All Whites squad’s matches against China.
The call-up includes several promising young players from Wellington Phoenix, one of New Zealand’s most prominent football clubs. Ben Old, Sam Sutton, Finn Surman, Oskar van Hattum, and Alex Paulsen are among the players who have been selected, all of whom are first-team members and are expected to contribute significantly to the U-23 team’s performance.
In addition to the Wellington Phoenix players, the squad features several interesting players from other clubs, including Jesse Randall, who recently signed with Charleston Battery, Jay Herdman and Finn Linder from the Vancouver Whitecaps, and Joe Lee and Nathan Lobo from Auckland City.
The upcoming matches against China will provide a valuable opportunity for New Zealand’s U-23 players to gain international experience and demonstrate their skills on the global stage. Moreover, the matches will serve as a crucial step in the team’s preparations for the Paris Olympics – as the team prepares for the Olympic Qualifiers this year.