Premier League star Chris Wood to lead OlyWhites in Tokyo

Source: 1News

The inclusion of Chris Wood highlighted the announcement of New Zealand's football teams to compete at the Tokyo Olympics next month.

All Whites Chris Wood up against Russia's Denis Glushakov. FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017, Russia v New Zealand, Saint Petersburg Stadium Russia, Saturday 17th June 2017.
Copyright photo: Shane Wenzlick /

The star EPL striker will lead the side and will be well supported by Minnesota United centre back Michael Boxall and a host of exciting talent, such as Liberato Cacace, Ben Waine and Joe Bell.

All Whites skipper Winston Reid has been included subject to availability, while Bayern Munich youngster Sarpreet Singh is unavailable for the tournament.

In the women's squad, the Football Ferns will rely on a core of experience, as the quartet of Abby Erceg, Ria Percival, Anna Green and Ali Riley will be playing at their fourth Olympic Games, while talent from the bronze medal winning U-17s is also starting to come through in the squad via striker Gabi Rennie and goalkeeper Anna Leat.

“For the Football Ferns, Tokyo 2020 marks the beginning of the build-up for the biggest prize of them all – hosting the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on home soil," NZ Football CEO Andrew Pragnell said.

"A blend of experience and potential makes up the Football Ferns squad, and we are now starting to see some of our most exciting talent, already versed in succeeding at FIFA events, come through to the senior side.

“For our men’s side, Tokyo 2020 helps to re-start preparations for qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The side is an incredible group of young talent, guided by some of our most accomplished senior players, which makes for a very dynamic team playing football for New Zealand in Tokyo,” he said.

Women’s squad (name, club):

CJ Bott Vålerenga, Norway

Katie Bowen KC, USA

Claudia Bunge Melbourne Victory FC, Australia

Olivia Chance Brisbane Roar FC, Australia

Daisy Cleverley Georgetown University, USA

Abby Erceg North Carolina Courage, USA

Anna Green Lower Hutt City AFC, NZ

Betsy Hassett Stjarnan, Iceland

Anna Leat FFDP, NZ

Annalie Longo Melbourne Victory FC, Australia

Meikayla Moore Liverpool FC, England

Erin Nayler Unattached

Ria Percival Tottenham Hotspur, England

Gabi Rennie Indiana University, USA

Ali Riley Orlando Pride, USA

Emma Rolston Unattached

Paige Satchell FFDP, NZ

Hannah Wilkinson Unattached

Travelling reserves:
Elizabeth Anton (FFDP, NZ), Victoria Esson (Avaldsnes IL, Norway), Michaela Robertson (Lower Hutt City AFC, NZ), Marissa Van Der Meer (FFDP, NZ)

Unavailable for selection:
Rosie White (OL Reign, USA), Nicole Stratford (FFDP, NZ)

Men’s squad (name, club):

Joe Bell Viking FK, Norway

Michael Boxall Minnesota United, USA

Liberato Cacace Sint-Truidense VV, Belgium

Joey Champness Newcastle Jets, Australia

Callan Elliot Xanthi FC, Greece

Dane Ingham Perth Glory, Australia

Elijah Just FC Helsingør, Denmark

Clayton Lewis Wellington Phoenix, NZ

Callum McCowatt FC Helsingør, Denmark

Nando Pijnaker Rio Ave FC, Portugal

Winston Reid West Ham United, England (or Tim Payne, Wellington Phoenix, NZ)*

Jamie Searle Swansea City AFC, Wales

Marko Stamenic FC Copenhagen, Switzerland

George Stanger Hamilton Academical, Scotland

Gianni Stensness Central Coast Mariners, Australia

Ben Waine Wellington Phoenix, NZ

Christopher Wood Burnley FC, England

Michael Woud Almere City FC, Netherlands

*Winston Reid is subject to availability and is therefore, bracketed with Tim Payne

Travelling reserves:
Matthew Garbett (Falkenbergs FF, Sweden), Ben Old (Wellington Phoenix, NZ), Alex Paulsen (Wellington Phoenix, NZ), Sam Sutton (Wellington Phoenix, NZ)

Non-travelling reserves:
Myer Bevan (TS Galaxy, South Africa), James McGarry (Wellington Phoenix, NZ), Owen Parker-Price (Torslanda IK, Sweden)

Unavailable for selection:
Sarpreet Singh (Bayern Munich, Germany), Ryan Thomas (PSV, Netherlands)

The Football Ferns play in Group G, and will come up against Sweden, USA and Australia. Their campaign gets underway against Australia on Wednesday 21 July.

The men play in Group B, and will come up against Korea Republic, Honduras and Romania. Their campaign gets underway against Korea Republic on Thursday 22 July.