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All Whites aiming high at Confeds Cup

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/05/2017

The All Whites aren't going to next month's Confederations Cup in Russia just to make up the numbers, defender Tom Doyle says - they're there to win matches.

Doyle will get a better idea of where he stands in Anthony Hudson's reckonings on Friday when the All Whites coach names a 23-strong squad for next month's warm-up matches against Northern Ireland and Belarus.

A final tournament squad will be named after the last friendly on June 12, with the All Whites' first Confederations Cup match on June 17 against hosts Russia in St Petersburg.

Doyle has been part of a high-intensity training camp in Auckland this week as 12 mostly A-League-based All Whites sharpen up for the daunting campaign.

Ranked 112th in the world, the Kiwis will tackle some illustrious opposition in 61st -ranked Russia, 16th-ranked Mexico and world No.8 Portugal.

Despite the daunting task Doyle says the All Whites are taking plenty of confidence into the tournament.

"We know we can outwork teams - we've worked on our fitness for the last two years," Doyle said.

"We know we're going to press teams high, and we're going to have the fitness to do it for 90 minutes.

"We're going there not to compete, but to qualify through to the next round."

The 24-year-old Wellington Phoenix left-back says while the competition between players for a spot in Hudson's squad is intense, there's also plenty of support.

He works hard with fellow wing-backs Deklan Wynne and Kip Colvey as they all fight for selection.

"There's a very tight bond in the team, and it's probably even more so playing in the same position," Doyle said.

"We work together every training - it's more of a positive rivalry that pushes us to better ourselves and fight for that starting spot.

"It's exciting, and it's a challenge, but it's one I'm willing to take on."

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