The Wellington Phoenix squad, in Auckland preparing for Saturday’s Hyundai A-League game against the Newcastle Jets, was buzzing on Thursday when five players from the club were named in the All Whites squad to play Canada in Spain next week.
Regular internationals Michael McGlinchey and Tom Doyle have been joined by Alex Rufer, Matthew Ridenton and Sarpreet Singh.
While Rufer and Ridenton have been involved with the
All Whites previously it will be the first time for 18-year-old Singh.
New head coach Fritz Schmid has selected a 24-man squad that offers a good mix of experienced players, new players and some who are returning to the environment.
There are a number of established players that have not been selected for this international window and Schmid said that after sharing their career plans and ambitions in their respective clubs he understood they had other priorities to consider.
Singh, who has made a big impression since making his debut for the Phoenix this season, was surprised to get called up.
“It came as a big surprise and I’m still taking in all that has happened lately,” Singh said.
“I’m still young and there are a lot of good players in New Zealand so it is a huge honour.
“It will be exciting to play alongside guys like Ryan Thomas and Marco Rojas and learn off them.”
For Rufer, who has been involved in All Whites camps previously under Anthony Hudson, it is good to be involved again.
“In football things can change very quickly and I’ve always been prepared for a late call up as it has happened before,” he said.
“I’m pretty organised and had done all of my packing.”
“I’m excited now but we have got an important game against the Jets to play first.”
“I love playing for the Phoenix and I need to keep working hard to do my best.”
“This is a good opportunity for all of us to show what we can do and it will be good to get into camp and get going.”
All Whites squad to face Canada in Spain (Club, Country) Caps, Goals;
Max Crocombe (Salford City, England) 0, 0
Michael Woud (Sunderland, England) 0, 0
Nik Tzanev (Wimbledon, England) 0, 0
Michael Boxall (Minnesota United, United States) 31, 0
Nikko Boxall (Viborg FF, Denmark) 0, 0
Storm Roux (Central Coast Mariners, Australia) 9, 0
Adam Mitchell (Bolton Wanderers, England) 0, 0
Sam Brotherton (Sunderland, England) 9, 0
Tom Doyle (Wellington Phoenix) 8, 0
Dane Ingham (Brisbane Roar, Australia) 5, 0
Themis Tzimopoulos (PAS Giannina, Greece) 14, 1
Michael McGlinchey (Wellington Phoenix) 52, 5
Matt Ridenton (Wellington Phoenix) 3, 0
Ryan Thomas (PEC Zwolle, Netherlands) 18, 3
Sarpreet Singh (Wellington Phoenix) 0, 0
Tim Payne (Eastern Suburbs) 14, 2
Niko Kirwan (AC Mestre, Italy) 0, 0
Cam Howieson (Auckland City) 9, 0
Clayton Lewis (Scunthorpe United, England) 13, 0
Alex Rufer (Wellington Phoenix) 4, 0
Myer Bevan (Vancouver Whitecaps, Canada) 2, 1
Jeremy Brockie (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa) 50, 1
Andre De Jong (Hakoah, Australia) 0, 0
Marco Rojas (SC Heerenveen, Netherlands) 40, 5
Te Atawhai Hudson Wihongi
All Whites v Canada International Friendly
24 March, 2018 kick off time 4pm (25 March, 4am NZT)
Where: Pinatar Arena, Murcia, Spain