Eleven Nix called up to NZ U-19 men

There’s a strong Wellington Phoenix presence in the New Zealand squad named for next month’s OFC U-19 Men’s Championship in Samoa.

Eleven of the 23-strong squad are Phoenix players and the team is coached by club legend Chris Greenacre.

The Nix contingent is headlined by first-team squad members Alby Kelly-Heald, Luke Supyk and Gabriel Sloane-Rodrigues.

The other eight players; Fergus Gillion, Seth Karunaratne, Xuan Loke, Daniel Makowem, Eamonn McCarron, Lewis Partridge, Nathan Walker and Ryan Watson are all regulars in Greenacre’s Phoenix reserves team.

“It is great to name my first tournament squad and I look forward to meeting up with the team in Samoa and getting to work,” Chris Greenacre said.

“This is a strong group with a number of players already having represented Aotearoa New Zealand on the international stage.

“We know the level of the teams in Oceania is rapidly developing so this will be a tough tournament, but great for our players’ development.”

New Zealand has been drawn in Group B at the OFC U-19 Men’s Championship alongside New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and hosts Samoa. 

They will play New Caledonia in their opening match on Saturday, July 6 before facing Samoa on the following Tuesday (July 9) and Papua New Guinea on Friday, July 12.

All matches will be played at FFS Football Stadium in Apia, Samoa.