Eleven Phoenix players named in Junior All Whites

There is a significant Wellington Phoenix influence in the New Zealand squad named for next month’s Oceania U-19 Men’s Championship in Tahiti.

Young Phoenix centre back Finn Surman will captain the Junior All Whites at the 2023 FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup qualifying tournament.

The squad also features 10 members of the club’s academy who play for the Phoenix reserve team. Of that group midfielders Jackson Manuel and Noah Karunaratne and defender Marco Lorenz are currently on tour with the Nix in Australia.

Defenders Lukas Kelly-Heald, Isaac Hughes and Adam Supyk and midfielders Fin Conchie, Dan McKay, Charlie Beale and Sebastian Barton-Ginger are the other academy players to be have been selected.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MAY 09: Jackson Manuel of the Phoenix passes the ball during the A-League Men’s match between Melbourne City and Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park, on May 09, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

They all helped a new-look Phoenix reserves finish third in this year’s Central League behind Wellington Olympic and Miramar Rangers, as they did in 2021.

Academy technical director Paul Temple will also travel to Tahiti with the Junior All Whites as Darren Bazeley’s assistant coach.

New Zealand will play the Cook Islands, American Samoa and the Solomon Islands in group A of the Oceania U-19 Men’s Championship.

The finalists will qualify for the 2023 FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup in Indonesia.