Highly gifted footballer and Fifth Form (Y11) pupil Noah D has continued to demonstrate his talents on the international stage, playing for New Zealand in the FIFA Men’s U-17 World Cup Competition. This year’s contest takes place in Indonesia and Noah joins New Zealand for their tenth appearance at the event.
The “All Whites” secured their spot in Indonesia by winning the 2023 Oceania Football Confederation U-17 Championship, which was held in Fiji in January. They claimed the title for the ninth time, beating New Caledonia 1-0 in the final.
Noah, who has just turned 16, also plays Centre-Back for West Bromwich Albion and has represented the club since he was six years old and a pupil at King’s Hawford. He was called up to West Brom’s U18 team over the summer and has played a number of times for them, most recently in their 2-0 win against West Ham just before leaving for the World Cup.
The sign-up for New Zealand came after Noah acquired dual nationality for New Zealand as his mother was born there. Word spread about his talents, and the New Zealand coaches were keen to see more of him in action. They selected him for the warm-up tournament in Japan in September, giving the New Zealand coaches the opportunity to see how the team and individuals were performing ahead of naming their squad for the World Cup itself.
Noah explained, “To be selected as one of the 18 players for the warm-up tournament was fantastic and the competition in September was an incredible experience, but then learning that I had been selected to play for New Zealand in the World Cup itself really took my breath away. Playing football in a different country with a national team on the international stage is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life, and it’s really spurred me on with every ambition to develop my skills as far as I can.”
Two of New Zealand’s three group F fixtures have now taken place against Venezuela and Germany. While they lost both matches, both were brilliant games, and Noah certainly relished every second of these opportunities to play the game he loves at international level. The final game on Saturday 18th November pits New Zealand against Mexico and will mark the end of the group stage.
King’s Worcester’s Foundation Director of Sport, Jonny Mason added, “Noah’s extraordinary dedication to his sport over the last decade has been truly inspiring and we have all enjoyed watching him develop into the outstanding, all-round talented sportsman he is today. He has joined a number of our other pupils who have represented their nation in their chosen sport; it’s an incredible achievement to be selected to play internationally and we continue to wish him all the very best in his sporting career. We’ll certainly be cheering him on to greater and greater success.”