Whitecaps FC 2 defender Finn Linder and midfielder Jay Herdman have been called up to the New Zealand U-23 national team for a home international series against China, set to be played alongside the two senior All Whites fixtures in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington on March 23 and 26.
Linder receives his first call-up to New Zealand, while Herdman returns to the Kiwis set-up after helping the U-20s qualify for this year's FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The 22-person squad only features players aged 22 and under in preparation for the upcoming OFC Olympic qualifying campaign and potential 2024 Olympic Games which have a U-23 age restriction for the majority of the squad.
China will now be selecting players for this fixture aged 24 and under. This is due to the team using these matches to prepare for the 2022 Asian Games which were delayed a year to September 2023 due to Covid-19 but allowed the same players to take part.
The full 22-person squad is:
Adam Supyk (Eastern Suburbs, New Zealand)
Alex Paulsen (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Ben Old (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Campbell Strong (Seattle University, USA)
Fin Conchie (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Finn Linder (Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Canada)
Finn Surman (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Isaac Hughes (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Jay Herdman (Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Canada)
Jesse Randall (Charleston Battery, USA)
Joe Lee (Auckland City FC, New Zealand)
Kees Sims (Ljungskile SK, Sweden)
Lukas Kelly-Heald (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Nathan Lobo (Auckland City FC, New Zealand)
Noah Karunaratne (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Oscar Browne (Western Springs, New Zealand)
Oskar van Hattum (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Riley Bidois (Dandenong City SC, Australia)
Ronan Wynne (Denver University, USA)
Sam Sutton (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Scott Morris (Christchurch United, New Zealand)
Zac Zoricich (Central Coast Mariners, Australia)
Darren Bazeley, interim All Whites head coach and men’s U-20 head coach, is excited to kick off a new campaign with this group of players:
“This is a strong group of players that we’re looking forward to working with for this new cycle.
“I have worked closely with Paul Temple, who will be coaching the team during this window, to assemble a squad that has a great mix of professional and age group international experience.
“While we are now going to be facing an older Chinese side than initially planned, we are up for the challenge knowing the experience will be valuable further down the line for these players.”