Bafana Bafana

Top Kiwis to miss Bafana tie

2014-05-01 09:31
Gordon Igesund (Gallo Images)

Wellington - New Zealand on Thursday named an inexperienced squad for a friendly against South Africa after three top All Whites declared themselves unavailable.

Interim coach Neil Emblen included two uncapped players in his 18-man squad for the match on May 30 in Auckland.

In addition, another eight of New Zealand's players each have less than 10 international caps, making the 66th-ranked South Africans favourites against the All Whites, who are 111 in the FIFA rankings.

Veteran Kiwi striker Chris Wood opted not to travel to Auckland as his newly promoted team Leicester City prepare for their first season in the English Premier League since 2004.

The All Whites' regular skipper Winston Reid of West Ham and Ipswich Town's Tommy Smith also chose to skip the fixture, which falls outside FIFA's international window.

Goalkeeper Glen Moss will lead the team in Reid's absence, with rookies Luke Adams and Matt Ridenton called up as Emblen looks to blood youngsters with an eye on the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

"We will need a strong group of players that have had significant experience at this level. This match is perfect to give these players this opportunity," he said.

New Zealand lost 2-0 to Japan in their last international outing, while South Africa were thrashed 5-0 by Brazil.

The teams have met once before, a 2-0 victory to South Africa at the Confederations Cup in 2009. Both failed to qualify for this year's World Cup in Brazil.

New Zealand squad:

Goalkeepers

Glen Moss (captain - Wellington Phoenix), Tamati Williams (Auckland City)

Defenders

Luke Adams (unattached), Michael Boxall (Wellington Phoenix), Andrew Durante (Wellington Phoenix), Storm Roux (Central Coast Mariners), Bill Tuiloma (Olympique de Marseille)

Midfielders

Cameron Howieson (Burnley) Chris James (unattached), Michael McGlinchey (Vegalta Sendai), Matt Ridenton (Wellington Phoenix), Marco Rojas (Vfb Stuttgart), Tim Payne (Blackburn Rovers), Ryan Thomas (PEC Zwolle)

Forwards

Kosta Barbarouses (Melbourne Victory), Tyler Boyd (Wellington Phoenix), Jeremy Brockie (Wellington Phoenix), Shane Smeltz (Perth Glory)

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  soccer
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