Gianni Stensense. Photo / Photo Game
New Zealand lost to Australia one of the best international players in football.
Gianni Stencis, who played for the Olympic team at the Tokyo Olympics, said his allegiance to coach Danny Hay was elsewhere, as he chose to represent Australia at the highest level.
Hay said he was disappointed but accepted the decision.
“I would not say Gianni was disappointed to make that choice,” Hay said in a statement from Football New Zealand today.
“He was part of the Olympic team, which showed how exciting the future of football in New Zealand is. I believe his time on our national team played a key role in his development. In the end it was his decision, and we respect him.”
Meanwhile, six players who have never played in the 21-man All-Whites list have been selected to play against Curaao and Bahrain next month.
It also includes 10 athletes who were part of the Olympic team that reached the quarterfinals in Tokyo.
The team has players outside Australia and New Zealand due to travel restrictions when returning to both countries.
“I think it speaks to the strength of the talent we create and the success they have had overseas. We can put together a team that does not have players from New Zealand and Australia,” Hay said.
“It is clear that we will be in a position to bring in players from this part of the world, but we are confident in the team. We were all able to come together. After a long day on the field.”
Winston Reid has not been available to play since returning from injury recently, but he will join the team in the role of a director.
Team with 21 players:
Stephen Marinovic (25 caps) in Haboyal Knop Hagul, Israel
Nicola Janev (1 cap) Wimbledon, England
Michael Wood (2 games) Almira City, Netherlands
Michael Boxall (33 caps) Minnesota United – VS.
Nico Box (3 hats) SGK Seinäjoki, Finland
Liberto Caucasus (3 hats) Sint-Troutens VV, Belgium
Kelvin Calva * (0 capitals) Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand (currently tested in Europe)
Nico Girvan (0 matches) of Italy Podova
Nando Picnacker (1 cap) FC Helsinger (borrowed from Rio FC), Denmark
Tommy Smith (38 caps) Colchester United, England
Bill Duiluma (26 Caps) Portland Timber D T VS
Dalton Wilkins * (0 caps) Golding (on Helsinger’s credit) Denmark
Joe Bell (2 hats) Viking FK, Norway
Joseph Champs * (0 Caps) Jersonspor, Turkey
Matthew Corbett * (0 matches) Torino, Italy
Sarpreet Singh (6 caps) from Germany SSV John Regensburg (loan from Bayern Munich)
* Marco Stamenik (0 caps) HP Coke (on loan from Copenhagen FC), Denmark
Andre de Jong (4 caps) Amazulu, South Africa
Elijah Just (2 matches) FC Helsinker Denmark
Kalum Makwat (1 cap) FC Helsinger, Denimorgan
Chris Wood (57 Caps) Burnley, England
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