In the wake of Oceania’s under 19 championship, a number of last minute problems arose. New Zealand has had some difficulty producing qualifying players from its club culture. In turn, casting doubts in the squad’s ability to properly represent New Zealand on the field.
Clearly, NZ players are doing their best, but it is evident that they are now at a disadvantage. Especially because of consecutive mishaps, the 2019 Fifa Under-20 World Cup officials are starting to notice.
It’s unfortunate, since the squad of 2018 have proven themselves many times before. The current dilemma doesn’t stem from a failure to perform on the field though. Clubs throughout New Zealand are more than capable of turning out impressive talent. What is actually happening is due to a series of unforeseen mishaps. It would seem that 12 out of the 28 players of New Zealand’s premiere football team have failed to appear to the pre-tournament camp. Two of these players are victims of injuries serious enough to effect their abilities to play.
Another two players have not been granted permission to play for unknown reasons. Two of these 12, are Liberato Cacace and Sarpreet Singh. These Wellington Phoenix players are professionals, but several of the others are amateurs, five of which are members of Wellington club, Western Suburbs. Because most of these athletes are no-showing without an excuse, they are basically forfeiting the competition
Despite recent instability, squad coach Des Buckingham, is not going to let the country down. He has already had about 26 players audition in Auckland to replace any squad members, who for one reason or another, will not be able to make it.
This situation is unprecedented but officials have still allowed Coach Des to come up with a last minute 18 man squad. Buckingham, as well as remaining members of the disbanded team, are glad to still be able to represent their country in the coming months.