Team Wellington Head Coach, Jose Figueira has named a strong squad to compete in the clubs inaugural FIFA Club World Cup campaign.
Figueira has opted to keep the majority of players from the original squad that took out the OFC Champions League Squad, adding only five new players to add more depth as the club looks to make history.
Among the new additions – Aaron Clapham and Henry Cameron, both with international caps under their belt, provide the team with added experience, contributing to the overall level of professionalism and quality.
Figueira is under no illusion that this tournament will be the biggest that his team has been involved in but is backing his side, saying they have prepared well both on and off the pitch and this is their moment.
“I’m confident in the team we have and I believe if we play to the best of our abilities we can cause some real problems,” Figueira said.
“This tournament will be one of the most exciting, yet challenging for the club and for our players, the opportunity to test themselves against some of the best players in the world.”
Captain Justin Gulley is proud to wear the armband for this campaign and together with his team mates, has been working hard in preparation for the clubs first appearance in the FIFA Club World Cup.
“To be honest, I don’t know a lot about our first opponents. It’s about us, our processes, our philosophy, the way we play and we have a great team that trusts in each other,” Gulley said.
“This means a lot to us as players not only for ourselves but for the club but we deserve to be here and we just can’t wait to get out there and represent our city, New Zealand and Oceania.”
First time participants, Team Wellington are set to play the host club, Al Ain in the first day of play in the tournament on Wednesday 12th December where the ultimate goal is to get the favourable result before moving through to the next stage.
Team Wellington spend four days at New York University, Abu Dhabi and play in two closed-door friendly matches before heading to Al Ain for the start of the FIFA Club World Cup.
FIFA Club World Cup Details
When: 12 December – 22 December
Where: United Arab Emirates
Game 1 vs. Al Ain FC
Wednesday 12 December , 7:30pm (local time)
Thursday 13 December, 4:30am (NZT)
1.Scott Basalaj, 2. Justin Gulley, 3. Scott Hilliar, 4. Mario Ilich, 5. Liam Wood, 6. Taylor Schrijvers, 7. Eric Molloy, 8. Henry Cameron, 9. Tom Jackson, 10. Nathanael (Nati) Hailemariam, 11. Mario Barcia, 12. Andrew (Andy) Bevin, 14. Jack-Henry Sinclair, 15. Michael Boso, 16. Angus Kilkolly, 17. Alex Palezevic, 18. Aaron Clapham, 19. Ross Allen, 20. Tiahn Manuel, 21. Hamish Watson, 22. Marcel Kampam, 23. Charles (Charlie) Morris, 24. Steven Lecefel
Head Coach – Jose Figueira
Assistant Coach – Scott Hales
Goalkeeping Coach – Steve Dimakis
Team Manager – Brendan Marsh
Sport Science – James MacAodhagain
Physiotherapists – Sarah Dunn and Rachel Duff
Video Analyst – Stu Widdowson
Media – Courtney Marsden