Stensness looking to earn an All Whites debut

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The combative midfielder is looking to build on his first successful season with the Central Coast Mariners and do what it takes to break into the national team set up.

Stensness signed for the Mariners at the beginning of last season and went on to make 25 appearances for the club. At the club’s end of season award night, he received awards for goal of the year and newcomer of the year.

The defensive midfielder also represented New Zealand at the under 20s World Cup, helping the junior All Whites to reach the round of 16.

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Stensness was born in Australia, however, he was eligible to represent NZ through his father. He said he was proud of both of his heritages, but in the end chose to represent New Zealand.

“I was living over in wellington when the opportunity came up and I have strong feelings for both countries, but it just felt like the right thing to do, plus they were very receptive to me being a part of things,” said Stensness.

The All Whites face a busy and important year as world cup qualification begins in June and the junior All Whites will compete at the Olympics in July.

Stensness is currently a part of the extended New Zealand squad.

“I’m in contact with the coach and the other guys, we do zoom meetings. It’s definitely a goal of mine to get that first international debut,” he said.

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Before the call up can come however, Stensness must continue to prove himself at the Mariners. The Mariners were tipped to have a very rough season and as a defensive midfielder, Stensness has had plenty of work to do, but the side is sitting top of the ladder.

With NZ football experiencing what looks to be a golden generation of talent, Stensness has the potential to earn his place in the national side this season.

Feature image credit: supplied.

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Ben Johnston
I grew up on the Central Coast and fell in love with football in 2005. Supporter of Mariners, Manchester United and Macclesfield Town.