Four RHFA graduates named in New Zealand U-20 World Cup squad

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Four graduates of the Ricki Herbert Football Academy will represent New Zealand at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.

They are goalkeeper Zac Jones, defenders Dalton Wilkins and Liberato Cacace and midfielder Elijah Just.

RHFA head coach Kale Herbert said he was delighted to see them selected for national honours and wished them well for the tournament in May.

“Everyone at our academy congratulates them and we’ll be cheering them on,” he said.

Head coach of the New Zealand team Des Buckingham has named the four among a 21-strong squad to travel to Poland.

Jones and Cacace currently play for Wellington Phoenix while Wilkins and Just were both members of the Eastern Suburbs team that recently won the ISPS Handa Premiership.

New Zealand squad for FIFA U-20 World Cup

Goalkeepers

Michael Woud, Willem II (Netherlands)
Cameron Brown, Central United
Zac Jones, Wellington Phoenix

Defenders

George Stanger, Hamilton Academicals (Scotland)
Nando Pijnaker, Eastern Suburbs
Dalton Wilkins, Eastern Suburbs
Gianni Stensness, Wellington Phoenix
Liberato Cacace, Wellington Phoenix
Callan Elliot, Wellington Phoenix

Midfielders

Dane Schnell, Western Springs
Joe Bell, University of Virginia (USA)
Dominic Wooldridge, Eastern Suburbs
Willem Ebbinge, Wellington Phoenix
Sarpreet Singh, Wellington Phoenix
Elijah Just, Eastern Suburbs
Leon van den Hoven, RKC Waalwijk (Netherlands)
Trevor Zwetsloot, Werder Bremen (Germany)

Forwards

Matt Conroy, Western Springs
Max Mata, Grasshoppers Zurich (Switzerland)
Ben Waine, Wellington Phoenix
Callum McCowatt, Eastern Suburbs

Photo gallery

Here’s how we remember the four U-20 internationals when they were learning the game with the RHFA: