Following New Zealand Football’s (NZF) announcement this morning regarding the naming of the New Zealand Olympic Squad, the Wellington Phoenix can confirm that it will have strong representation in these teams from both its Academy and First Team settings.
We look forward to supporting our players – both past and present – in Tokyo as they represent New Zealand on the world’s biggest stage.
Wellington Phoenix players Clayton Lewis and Ben Waine have been selected in the team of 18 to travel to Tokyo, with Sam Sutton and recent First Team call-up Ben Old selected as travelling reserves and James McGarry named as a non-travelling reserve.
In addition, Phoenix Reserves goalkeeper Alex Paulsen has been selected as a travelling reserve, with fellow Academy players Anna Green and Michaela Robertson selected in the Women’s Team – Green in the team of 18 and Robertson as a travelling reserve.
In addition, Phoenix player Tim Payne has been nominated as an over-age replacement for Winston Reid, should Reid be unable to join the OlyWhites squad.
Wellington Phoenix General Manager, David Dome, believes that the Phoenix will be among the highest represented Clubs at the upcoming Olympics.
“The Phoenix are a key part of the New Zealand footballing landscape, both as the only professional football club and through our full-time Academy programme – so it’s great to see our Club continue to shape the success of football in this country,” says Dome.
“We look forward to supporting our players – both past and present – in Tokyo as they represent New Zealand on the world’s biggest stage.”
Phoenix Football Director, Paul Temple, says that the number of Academy graduates is a testament to the programme’s success.
“We believe we have one of the best Academy set-ups in Australasia, and the number of graduates from our programme in this Olympic squad reflects this,” says Temple.
“It’s especially gratifying to have two current Academy players in the squad as amateurs – it shows they have big futures ahead of them in the footballing landscape.”
The New Zealand Women’s football squad will play their first Olympic match against Australia on 21 July, with the Men’s squad taking on the Republic of Korea the following day on 22 July.
In the 18:
- Anna Green, Phoenix Academy
- Michaela Robertson, Phoenix Academy
In the 18:
- Clayton Lewis, Phoenix First Team
- Ben Waine, Phoenix First Team / Phoenix Academy Graduate
- Liberato Cacace, former Phoenix First Team / Phoenix Academy Graduate
- Joe Bell, former Phoenix First Team / Phoenix Academy Graduate
- Sam Sutton, Phoenix First Team / Phoenix Academy Graduate
- Ben Old, Phoenix First Team / Phoenix Academy Graduate
- Alex Paulsen, Phoenix Academy
- James McGarry, Phoenix First Team
- Tim Payne, Phoenix First Team (replacement if Winston Reid cannot participate).