8 Mar 2015

New-look All Whites squad named for Korea trip

6:45 am on 8 March 2015

New Zealand football coach Anthony Hudson has named a new-look All Whites squad featuring eight uncapped players, with four of the new faces based offshore.

Hudson's trying to build depth across the park and competition for places, and the coach views the international against Korea Republic in Seoul on March 31st as the ideal place to continue this process.

Anthony Hudson, All Whites coach.

Anthony Hudson, All Whites coach. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Greece-born defender Themistoklis Tzimopoulos, who's 29, joins the squad from the Greek Super League club PAS Giannina, while Netherlands-born midfielder Benjamin van den Broek, who's 27, also makes the grade.

Both players qualify through their mothers' New Zealand connections. Tzimopoulos says his mother was born in Wellington in 1964 and left for Greece in 1981.

Van den Broek plies his trade in Romania's Liga 1 with Universitatea Cluj, while New Zealand age-group representative goalkeepers Max Crocombe of fourth-division English club Oxford United, and Stefan Marinovic of third division German side SpVgg Unterhaching have also been included.

Crocombe was part of the New Zealand under-20 side at the 2013 World Cup tournament in Turkey, which also included now-senior All Whites Storm Roux, Bill Tuiloma and Tyler Boyd, while Marinovic, along with Marco Rojas, was a member of the 2011 Men's under-20 side at the World Cup tournament in Colombia.

Jake Gleeson, who played in goal on the previous tour to China and Thailand, was unavailable for selection through injury.

Four New Zealand-based players are also included for their first All Whites trip.

Auckland City FC midfielder Sam Burfoot (20) and striker Ryan De Vries (23) are in line for their first senior international caps while under-20 and Wanderers SC defender Sam Brotherton and midfielder Clayton Lewis are also named.

Aukland City FC forward Ryan De Vries (10) celebrates his goal.

South African-born Kiwi Ryan De Vries wanted to be an All White Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Hudson says the likes of Brotherton (18) and Lewis (18) have earned their chance through performances in squads that form part of New Zealand Football's aligned pathway to the elite level.

The squad reflects Hudson's desire to assess the country's up-and-coming talent as they move towards trying to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The inclusion of Tzimopoulos and van den Broek came directly from the worldwide search for players eligible to play for New Zealand. Late last year Hudson put out an appeal in English media asking for players who had links to the country to get in touch.

"We've had many names come to us and just a few of those list of names we felt could come in and add quality and depth to squad, and those are two we've selected," Hudson says.

"Themi actually came from someone who reached out to us from down in Wellington. That's where his family is from. Benjamin was applying for citizenship and (All Whites midfielder) Ryan Thomas told us about him and helped him through the process."

"Since those names were given to us, we've been following their games, watching previous games and we've recently made the decision that now is the time to bring them in."

The coach says the goals for the March window against the 54th-ranked nation are very clear.

"The objective is that this trip has to be the best so far. We want to see a progression in the style of play. There will be enough players in the starting 11 that will have been with us in the last couple of trips who will help bring that style of play along. The new players coming in we hope to see them understanding it and playing a part in it."

Hudson says they want to test themselves against one of the best teams in Asia with some top quality players.

New Zealand: (Caps/Goals/Club)


Max Crocombe (0/0 - Oxford Utd, ENG)

Stefan Marinovic (0/0 - SpVgg Unterhaching, GER)


Michael Boxall (11/0 - Wellington Phoenix, NZL)

Sam Brotherton (0/0 - Wanderers SC, NZL)

Thomas Doyle (1/0 - Wellington Phoenix, NZL)

Louis Fenton (1/0 - Wellington Phoenix, NZL)

Winston Reid (capt - 18/1 - West Ham Utd, ENG)

Storm Roux (6/0 - Central Coast Mariners, AUS)

Themistoklis Tzimopoulos (0/0 - PAS Giannina FC, GRE)

Deklan Wynne - (2/0 - Wanderers SC, NZL)


Sam Burfoot (0/0 - Auckland City FC, NZL)

Clayton Lewis (0/0 - Wanderers SC, NZL)

Michael McGlinchey (30/3 - Wellington Phoenix, NZL)

Ryan Thomas (4/0 - PEC Zwolle, HOL)

Bill Tuiloma (7/0 - Olympique Marseille, FRA)

Benjamin van den Broek (0/0 - FC Universitatea Cluj, ROM)


Kosta Barbarouses (28/2 - Melbourne Victory, AUS)

Tyler Boyd (5/0 - Wellington Phoenix, NZL)

Ryan De Vries (0/0 - Auckland City FC, NZL)

Marco Rojas (20/1 - FC Thun, SWI)

Joel Stevens (2/0 - Wellington Phoenix, NZL)

Chris Wood (37/13 - Ipswich Town FC, NZL)