In Jiangmen, New Zealand will be lead by their head coach, 31 year old Spaniard Eduardo Exposito Espinosa. He is a futsal fanatic who has years of professional futsal experience in both New Zealand and his native Spain. He will be supported during the world cup by his assistant coaches Juan Jose De la O Lara and Osmar Silva. As a squad they are a mixture of futsal enthusiasts from different backgrounds. Many of the players have experience at a national level in both New Zealand and Spain as well as others who have experience from as far afield as Brazil. Other players in the squad are less experienced and are currently playing in local leagues across New Zealand, showing the squads commitment to developing the ability and footballing knowledge of all futsal players.
Like most of the teams involved in this year’s tournament, New Zealand are unsure how well they will fare in comparison to the other teams as this is the first adult men's World Cup organised by IFA. The tournament kicks off with the group stages, meaning each team will face every other team, which will give every team a chance to improve upon and rectify any mistakes made. However they believe countries with strong futsal backgrounds such as China and Mexico will surely be the ones to watch in Jiangmen. New Zealand aim to produce a good performance in every game they play and try to progress as far as possible in the competition.
When asked to give thoughts on New Zealand’s performances during the tournament head coach Espinosa said, “for us is about enjoying the experience, doing the right things as we have been training for and go game by game trying to give our best performance all the time. Being able to participate in an international event and compete against strong futsal teams which will give us the opportunity of challenging ourselves as futsal players.”
The New Zealand team are hoping to gain a huge amount of experience and enjoy playing futsal at a major international tournament. They hope that their squad can bond and share the life changing experience of competing at an international level. It will be a huge test of the mental and physical strength of the squad as a whole as well as individually. It will also help the squad to gain confidence no matter what the outcome of the tournament is. The prospect of being involved in the opening ceremony along with sharing facilities and hotels with other national teams is a huge positive going into the tournament.
When asked about how he thought his squad would handle the pressure of attending an international event of this kind and having so much increased media attention, head coach Eduardo Exposito Espinosa said "I find it absolutely stimulating. This is the case of occasion where any futsal player always wants to play at.” He also wished to add that “I’d like to personally thank IFA for the invitation and congratulate you on the organization of this great futsal event. We acknowledge the hard work that goes into the preparation of an event like this and the entire IFA NZ Futsal Team is delighted to be a part of it.”