Club rules Ryan Thomas out of All Whites match
The All Whites have suffered another blow ahead of next Tuesday's clash with Uzbekistan after young star Ryan Thomas was withdrawn by his Dutch club due to niggling injuries.
The 19-year-old attacker has featured recently in PEC Zwolle's unsuccessful attempts to qualify for the Uefa Europa League group stage but the club has made him unavailable for the match in Tashkent.
The All Whites are already without former captain Tommy Smith, who is taking a 12 month break from international football, and dynamic attacker Marco Rojas, who has commitments with his new club in Germany.
The Uzbekistan game falls in an official Fifa window.
''It's disappointing for us to lose Ryan so late but if he was not going to be able to take full part in our camp and preparation, it makes sense for both our team and for Ryan to use this time to get back to full fitness,'' said All Whites coach Anthony Hudson.
''Now that we're in Doha and underway with our preparation, the squad is excited and focused on delivering a strong performance next week.''
Junior All Whites attacker Joel Stevens is the surprise replacement for Thomas while Ipswich Town's Monty Patterson has joined the under-20 side for their four-match tournament beginning tomorrow against Qatar.