Wellington Phoenix Academy have 10 players involved in the squad that will travel to Brazil for the FIFA U-17 World Cup beginning in late October.
The 21-strong squad was hand-picked by New Zealand U-17 Head Coach, José Figueira ahead of the tournament that kicks off on 26 October 2019.
New Zealand will begin the group stage against Angola followed by tough fixtures against Brazil and Canada.
Wellington Phoenix Academy Director and New Zealand U-17 Assistant Coach, Paul Temple, is excited by the representation of the club on the international stage.
”We are obviously delighted that the club is represented well with these selections – I see on a daily basis how hard these young men have worked and I’m really happy for them,” Temple commented.
”We must acknowledge that although these players currently represent the Wellington Phoenix and Lower Hutt City, they are a national representation, we recruited these boys into the Academy having planned for this cycle 2-3 years ago.
One of the 10 players included is Goalkeeper Alex Paulsen, who is currently representing the New Zealand U-23 squad at the OFC Olympic Qualifiers in Fiji.
”There are players from Nelson, Auckland, New Plymouth & Wellington so their junior clubs should be very proud of them too, they have laid the foundations and we’ve just continued that really.”
Alongside the amount of playing talent from within the club is Academy Head of Strength and Conditioning Weijie Lim who joins Temple in the international coaching setup.
Wellington Phoenix Academy Players Represented At FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil
Alexander Paulsen (Lower Hutt City / Scots College)
Finn O’Connor (Lower Hutt City / Scots College)
Harry Bark (Lower Hutt City / Scots College)
Adam Hillis (Lower Hutt City / Scots College)
Henry Hamilton (Lower Hutt City / Wellington College)
Kris Naicker (Lower Hutt City / Scots College)
Oskar van Hattum (Lower Hutt City / NZIS)
Max Drake (Lower Hutt City / Scots College)
Benjamin Old (Lower Hutt City / Scots College)
Callum Kennett (Lower Hutt City / Palmerston North Boys)