Gianni Stensness was born and raised in Australia.  Due to his Kiwi father the dual-national was also capable of playing for New Zealand. 

Stensness would go on to do so, representing the Junior All Whites and most recently the OlyWhites.  He played in all four matches of New Zealand's Tokyo Olympics football campaign. 

The 22-year old had yet to feature for the All Whites senior team.  Kiwi head coach Danny Hay had planned to call him in for the All Whites' two upcoming October friendlies against Curaçao and Bahrain.  

However, Stensness informed Hay that he was unavailable for selection as he hopes to represent Australia at the senior level.

“I’m not going to say it isn’t disappointing to see Gianni make that choice," said Hay in a statement by New Zealand Football.

“He was part of the Olympic team that showed how exciting the future of New Zealand football is looking and I believe his time in our national setup has played a major role in his development.

"Ultimately it is his decision, and we will respect it.” 

Stensness started his footballing career with the Central Coast Mariners.  After making appearances in the Y-League for them he switched to the Wellington Phoenix ahead of the 2018-19 season.

He made his A-League debut in March 2019 for the Phoenix, ironically facing the Central Coast Mariners.  Stensness would then return to his original club for the next two seasons.  In total he has made 52 A-League appearances.

The defender, who has also played at times in midfield, moved to Europe and joined Norwegian Eliteserien side Viking in August 2021.  He made his debut that month, having donned Viking's jersey on three other occasions since then.

Football Australia have yet to announce their intentions with Stensness.  Graham Arnold is expected to name his side for the two upcoming October Third Round World Cup Qualifiers any day now.


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