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Defending champs name squad

International Cup 2008

New Zealand held their final training camp over the weekend of July 4th-7th under adverse weather conditions, which is nothing new in the Land of the Long White Cloud! A strong defence of their title is expected and they have named an even squad with players from across their four football regions.

Speaking with 2005 Cup winning coach and now NZ Media Liaison Officer Jim Lucy, he said “Personally I feel it is a good squad, very fit, with a good game plan and an even spread of experience and youth. Our average age (is) 24 which is the same as last campaign but probably has a few less ‘oldies’ and a lot more experienced players. Having 5 guys based in Australia honing their skills is a real bonus”.

The team is:

Coach: Rob Vanstam
Assistant Coach: Justin Davies
Captain: Andrew Congalton
Vice-Captains: Marcus Jones, Geoff Thomas

29 players:- Club, Name and Age [with Australian club where applicable]


Manurewa - Paul Gunning (40) [Warnbro Swans (WA)]
Mt Roskill - Liam Ackland (16), Matt Callaghan (23) [Sth Fremantle (WA)], Morgan Jones (27) [University of Queensland], Marcus Jones (25), Lewis Hurst (27)
North Shore - Nic Cunneen (22), Andriu Sucu (18), Andrew Crighton (20), Matthew Crighton (17) Takapuna - Andrew Congalton (27)
University - Andrew Buckthought (27), James Monoghan (21), David Cory-Toussaint (21)
Waitakere - David Rattenbury (21), John Maling (24)


Eastern - James Bowden (28), Richard Marsden (25), Scott McNally (26) [Old Melburnians], Richard Bradley (26), Geoff Thomas (36), Shane Browne (26)
Mid-Canterbury - Sam Whitehead (23)
University - Aaron Harris (21)


Tuis - Moss Doran (21) [Sth Warnnambool]. Mitch Mace (21)
Mavericks - Matt Van Wijk (23), Luke Kneebone (24)


Eastern Suburbs - Graham Rattenbury (26)

The two non-travelling emergencies are Michael Boyce (18), the son of NZ legendary footballer Peter Boyce, and Jared Court (20)

The squad has representatives from the 4 provinces. Auckland with 16, Canterbury 8, Waikato 4, and Wellington 1, of whom 5 are currently with Australian Clubs improving their footy. The squad has 4 members who have represented NZ at the 2002 and 2005 International Cups. They are Richard Bradley, James Bowden, Paul Gunning and Geoff Thomas and a further six who were part of the 2005 success in Scott McNally, John Maling, Marcus Jones, David Cory-Toussaint, Matt Callaghan and Andrew Congalton. Five further players have played either in the Australian Country Football Championships or against the Maffra Footy Club in their annual game against the Falcons. This points towards this relatively youthful squad, with the exception of Paul "Guppy" Gunning and Geoff Thomas, being very experienced nonetheless.

Interestingly 10 players have come through the NZAFL school programmes system and with the average age being 24 this shows the commitment from the NZAFL to junior development. Lucy continued “Players to watch will be the upcoming young boys, Liam Ackland (16), Matt Crighton (17) and Andrew Sucu (18). They have trialled well and have skill, but now need the experience to help them along. Bowden, Bradley and Congalton were all chosen in the 2005 International Cup and Geoff Thomas and Paul Gunning, being experienced campaigners from 2 Cups, show this team is all about the present as well as the future.” To interested NZ football followers this is reflective of NZ’s approach over previous campaigns where youth was always promoted when available and interested.

With NZ to play the touring Maffra Eagles on August the 2nd it will prove a great test for the Falcons. Lucy added “Maffra will be a great yard stick for us to work on our combinations and develop our team morale still further”.

Final squad named the week before the tournament:

#PlayerClubAgeHeight (cm)Weight (kg)
1Mitchell MaceHamilton Tuis 21 176 74
2Liam AcklandMt Roskill Saints 16 176 65
3Scott McNallyOld Melburnians 25 185 84
4Michael Boyce (E)Mt Roskill Saints 18 166 60
5James MonaghanUniversity Blues 20 171 88
6Geoffrey Thomas (VC)Eastern Blues 36 174 75
7Morgan Jones (VC)University 27 179 79
8Paul GunningWarnbro Swans 39 171 79
9Andrew Congalton (C)Takapuna Eagles 27 184 94
10Marcus JonesMt Roskill Saints 25 180 79
11James BowdenEastern Blues 27 184 89
12John MalingWaitakere Magpies 24 180 73
13Lewis HurstMt Roskill Saints 27 179 85
14Andrew BuckthoughtUniversity Blues 26 176 87
15David RattenburyWaitakere Magpies 20 184 76
16David Cory-ToussaintUniversity Blues 21 188 85
17Richie MarsdenEastern Blues 25 187 104
19Andrew CrightonNorth Shore Tigers 20 180 90
20Andriu SucuNorth Shore Tigers 18 185 79
21Nic CunneenNorth Shore Tigers 22 187 91
23Matthew CallaghanThornlie Lions 22 194 96
24Luke KneeboneHamilton Mavericks 24 178 88
26Richard BradleyEastern Blues 26 192 90
27Sam WhiteheadAshburton Eagles 23 195 113
28Matthew VanWijk Hamilton Mavericks 23 170 75
29Graham RattenburyEastern Bulldogs 25 176 79
30Shane BrowneEastern Blues 26 176 84
31Matt CrightonNorth Shore Tigers 17 185 85
33Aaron HarrisUniversity Cougars 21 184 89
34Jared Court (E)Eastern Blues 20 180 94
35Moss DoranSth Warrnambool Roosters 21 192 95

E = emergency

Coach: Robert Vanstam
Assistant Coach: Justin Davies
Host Club: Hawthorn FC

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Defending champs name squad | 2 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Defending champs name squad
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Friday, July 18 2008 @ 10:48 am ACST

What has happened to Alex Fakatoumafia - he was quite a standout for mine in 2005?

Also did NZ get an invitation to the Australian Country Football Championships this year (I know they are not going to be there)?

Defending champs name squad
Authored by: Cogs on Friday, July 18 2008 @ 11:55 am ACST

He is no longer playing football in the Auckland AFL, and did not trial for the International team this year.