Football: Smith ends break, back with All Whites

Tommy Smith
Tommy Smith
Tommy Smith's one-year break from the All Whites has lasted just two months, after he was named in Anthony Hudson's squad for the November internationals against China and Thailand.

European-based players Marco Rojas and Ryan Thomas also return to the side after missing the clash with Uzbekistan in Tashkent.

After meeting Smith as part of his trip to Europe earlier this month, Hudson said having the Ipswich Town defender on board is a big boost to the side.

"Talking to Tommy it was obvious he had a great desire to be part of the All Whites squad and his vision for the team matches our own heading towards Russia. It's great that he will be back involved as we begin to chart our path forwards over the next year." Hudson's squad also includes two fresh faces in Junior All Whites' goalkeeper Oliver Sail and defender Jesse Edge.

After making their senior international debuts in the recent match against Uzbekistan in September, Thomas Doyle and Joel Stevens are both included as are one-cap All Whites James Musa (Team Wellington) and Louis Fenton (Wellington Phoenix).

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jacob Gleeson -- who last played for the All Whites against the Solomon Islands at the OFC Nations Cup in 2012 -- also returns to the squad while midfielder Dan Keat, playing in Sweden with Falkenbergs FF, is named in the team having not featured since a starting role against the Solomon Islands in March last year.

Hudson said the squad has been chosen with a primary goal in mind -- qualification for the next FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia in 2018.

"We've reached an important moment in the evolution of the All Whites," Hudson said.

"In result terms we've not achieved to the required level in recent times and we intend to build a squad of players which is capable of not only securing a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia but succeeding there." "That building process required that we take a very close look at the mix of players we have, how often we work together and the style of play we employ in camps and games.

"The squad we've chosen for the China and Thailand games is the first assembled with those factors in mind." Having made the trip to Uzbekistan in September, goalkeepers Glen Moss and Tamati Williams, Andrew Durante and Chris James have not been selected for the November internationals.

"The squad has been chosen with a view to the future and creating a deeper pool of players capable of representing New Zealand with distinction at the highest level," Hudson said.

"The door certainly remains open to any player not named in this current squad and part of the process we're going through is establishing greater competition for places in our team. The squad we've chosen reflects that intent." Hudson is set to be joined by new assistant head coach Alex Armstrong, pending a work visa application, in a role which also includes a strength and conditioning component.

Armstrong links up again with Hudson after working with him in his previous role with Bahrain and the All Whites coach says he is an ideal fit for a position with duel responsibilities moving forward.

"Alex has good experience and compliments me; he's worked internationally and has competed in high profile games such as the Championship playoffs, something very similar to what we aim to experience in 2017.

"He holds the appropriate qualifications and his skill set fits perfectly with the requirements of the role which will form a key part of the programme moving forwards. His experience as a fitness coach will elevate the standard of our programme, something which is important to me."

"I'd like to thank Neil Emblen for his contribution to the All Whites in recent times, first as interim coach and then as assistant for the Uzbekistan game. During his time as interim coach Neil laid some excellent foundations for the squad and the knowledge he shared when I was new to the country has been invaluable. On top of that, Neil is a good man and I have a huge amount of respect for him."

The first match of the November international window is against China on Friday 14 November with the second game against Thailand on Wednesday 19 November (NZ time).

All Whites squad - China/ThailandNovember, 2014 - Caps/Goals/Club

Goalkeepers

Jacob Gleeson - 6/0, Portland Timbers/USA

Oliver Sail 0/0, Wellington Phoenix/NZ

Defenders

Michael Boxall - 9/0, Wellington Phoenix/NZ

Thomas Doyle - 1/0, Wellington Phoenix/NZ

Jesse Edge - 0/0, Vicenza Calcio/ITA

Louis Fenton - 1/0, Wellington Phoenix/NZ

James Musa - 1/0, Team Wellington/NZ

Winston Reid (capt) - 18/1, West Ham Utd/ENG

Storm Roux - 4/0, Central Coast Mariners/AUS

Tommy Smith -27/2, Ispwich Town FC/ENG

Midfielders

Cameron Howieson - 9/0, Burnley FC/ENG

Dan Keat - 5/0, Falkenbergs FF/SWE

Michael McGlinchey - 28/3, Wellington Phoenix/NZ

Tim Payne - 11/2, Auckland City FC/NZ

Bill Tuiloma - 5/0, Olympique Marseille/FRA

Ryan Thomas - 2/0, PEC Zwolle/HOL

Forwards

Kosta Barbarouses - 26/2, Melbourne Victory/AUS

Tyler Boyd - 3/0, Wellington Phoenix/NZ

Jeremy Brockie - 44/1, Wellington Phoenix/NZ

Marco Rojas -18/1, SpVgg Greuther Furth/GER

Joel Stevens - 1/0, Wellington Phoenix/NZ

Chris Wood - 35/12, Leicester City FC/ENG

 

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