Olé Football Academy players Elijah Just and Josh Rogerson are off to India as part of New Zealand’s FIFA U17 World Cup squad.
The pair will become the latest in a long line of Olé players to represent the academy at a World Cup after coach Danny Hay named them in his 21-player strong squad.
The Junior All Whites have been drawn in Group B alongside African champions Mali as well as Paraguay and Turkey, who were both semi-finalists in their qualification tournaments.
Hay says the squad is a strong one, but has also made clear that they need to work hard.
“The message is clear to all of these young lads; playing for New Zealand is not a right, it is a privilege. It is something you have to earn and work hard for. The U-17s are the first cab off the rank in international football so this group of players is very excited about going to a World Cup and seeing what they can do. We have a very balanced squad. We have good players right across the park and more so than other age group teams we have some real quality going forward.”
He also reserved special praise for Just and Olé Technical Director Declan Edge.
“Eli is an exciting young kid who has spent some time training with the All Whites squad recently. He is a product of Declan Edge’s Ole Football Academy and [Edge] has done a good job with him. He has a big future.”
The Junior All Whites will play friendlies against Brazil and England before their first group game against Turkey on 6 October in Mumbai.