Football: Rojas pulls out of All Whites camp

All WHites striker Marco Rojas. Photo / File.
All WHites striker Marco Rojas. Photo / File.

All Whites striker Marco Rojas has pulled out of next week's trip to Doha and Uzbekistan and will be replaced by Wellington Phoenix defender Thomas Doyle.

Rojas, who was loaned out to Bundesliga 2 club Greuther Furth by VfB Stuttgart late last week, has prioritised his club commitments over the All Whites' training camp and international against Uzbekistan.

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson said Rojas' first match for his new club will be on 1 September, and it meant the turnaround was too tight to be involved in Doha and Tashkent.

"Playing for his new club early in the week, the subsequent travel and recovery period means it is not practical to have Marco as part of the squad this time around," Hudson said.

Europe-based players Winston Reid and Chris Wood will link up with the squad after missing the recent draw with South Africa, but former captain Tommy Smith has requested not to be selected for the tour, or any game for the next 12 months, as he focuses on club football with Ispwich Town.

"Our focus is on ensuring we have a squad full of players available to participate fully in the entire camp and build-up to the game against Uzbekistan and, in Thomas, we have a really exciting young prospect who has a chance to make an impression."

Doyle, who has featured in the ASB Premiership for Auckland City and Team Wellington, says the call up from Hudson is the latest exciting development in what has been a whirlwind month for the defender.

"It's pretty much my dream come true," Doyle said.

"I had a dream to become a professional footballer and also a great passion to represent my country at the highest level.

"My life has changed in four months time from being a university student to playing professionally to now representing my country.

Doyle, who signed for the Wellington Phoenix earlier in August, sees the trip to Doha and Tashkent as the perfect chance to add to his rapidly-growing reputation among the country's best players.

"I want to play at the highest possible level and push myself and play with and against the best players I can so I can push forward and play even better football and develop my game."

Doyle will link up with the rest of the New Zealand-based members of the All Whites squad who depart on Sunday for their training camp at the Aspire Academy in Doha.

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf01 at 25 Oct 2014 06:16:57 Processing Time: 374ms