Young All Whites begin preparation for U-17 World Cup

The Young All Whites squad have arrived in UAE to begin preparations for their opening game of the FIFA U-17 World Cup against Uruguay on 17 October (local time).

Fresh from two confidence boosting performances against Waitakere United and Auckland City the team arrived in UAE this week and will play hosts United Arab Emirates U-17 on Saturday in the final warm up game before the tournament kicks off.

The Young All Whites defeated Waitakere United 2-1 with goals from Judd Baker and Michael Den Heijer before signing off on their domestic preparations with a 1-1 draw with Oceania Champions League winners Auckland City, with Alex Rufer on the scoresheet with a fantastic free kick.

After drawing 2-2 with a local UAE team coach Darren Bazeley will further refine his team in the training camp and in the final warm up game against UAE U-17s on Saturday 12 October.

The Young All Whites’ build up to the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE was made possible through a funding grant from Pegasus Sports Foundation, enabling coach Bazeley to prepare the squad in the best way possible before the start of the tournament.

New Zealand Football’s Interim Chief Executive Mark Aspden welcomed the grant from The Pegasus Sports Foundation and the assistance it has provided to the Young All Whites and its players in the build up to the tournament.

"We are extremely grateful to the Pegasus Sports Foundation for this funding that provides a boost for our Young All Whites in the build up to the FIFA U-17 World Cup," said Aspden.

"The funding has enabled the team to prepare effectively for the tournament through training camps and warm up games."

The Pegasus Sports Foundation provides funding to clubs and non-profit sporting organisations that are of benefit to the community and not for personal or commercial gain.

Brian Corbett, Executive Director of the Pegasus Sports Foundation commented; "We are committed to assisting sports teams throughout the communities in which we operate and also to assist national teams to compete at the highest level where appropriate. We are delighted to assist the NZ U-17’s in preparation for the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. "

"We would also take this opportunity to wish the team well at the World Cup as this level of completion is vital to improve player experience against highly ranked football nations. "

The Young All Whites have been one of New Zealand's most consistent sides at international level in recent teams having advanced from the group stage in consecutive tournaments in 2009 and 2011.