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Koprivcic named in Futsal Whites - New Zealand Football
Monday, 02 May 2011 19:46
futsalwireNew Zealand FootballAuckland City striker Daniel Koprivcic has been named in the 12 man New Zealand futsal squad that will compete in May's OFC Futsal Championships in Fiji, which doubles as the qualifying tournament for the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand. ...bettor.com (blog)

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www.photosport.co.nz May 3, 2011 AUCKLAND Auckland City striker Daniel Koprivcic has been named in the 12 man New Zealand futsal squad that will compete in Mays OFC Futsal Championships in Fiji, which doubles as the qualifying tournament for the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand.

Koprivcic, fresh from picking up the 2011 OFC Champions League Golden Ball trophy as the tournaments best player, will join other current ASB Premiership players including YoungHeart Manawatus Greg OConnor and Hawkes Bay United pair Lucas da Silva and Marvin Eakins in the squad.

The Futsal Whites squad features seven players from the 2010 OFC Futsal Championships squad, with new caps going to Koprivcic, his East City Futsal team mate Jakub Sinkora and Capital City Futsal goalkeeper David Plowright, while OConnor and Nathan Robertson return from the 2008 squad.

New Zealand faces a tough road to the FIFA Futsal World Cup, with three time OFC Champions and 2008 World Cup finalists Solomon Islands the favourites to qualify.

Coach Matt Chandler is quietly confident and believes the Futsal Whites have their best ever chance of making it to the World Cup.

All the Oceania teams are targeting futsal as a great opportunity to qualify for a World Cup so you can imagine the effort and support they will get to achieve their desired outcome, said Chandler.

The Solomon Islands have flair, technical ability and passion.

Plus the age of the team is young so their movement is outstanding.

Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Tahiti will also be strong.

But the team that is best organised on and off the court will get there.

We have brought some real quality into our side.

We have always needed strength and depth to compete at this level and we now have this going into the tournament.

Skipper Marvin Eakins also believes the side is well prepared for a shot at the World Cup.

Every campaign the squad gets stronger and stronger.

There is definite belief that we can make the World Cup, he said.

But there are some quality teams also trying to achieve that same goal.

The quality in our players physically and mentally will be what gets us through.

The Futsal Whites are seeded 3rd in the tournament and find themselves in Group A with hosts Fiji, Vanuatu and Kiribati.

The tournament format has been revamped from previous years and will this time feature semi-finals and a 'winner-takes-all' final.

Fiji and New Zealand contest the opening game of the tournament on May 16.