Oceania Football Confederation > News > New Zealand > Nelsen jets in to complete line-up

Nelsen jets in to complete line-up

Like England-based teammates Chris Wood, Tommy Smith and Winston Reid, Nelsen made the journey halfway around the world to join up with players from clubs in Russia, China, USA, Australia and New Zealand, although the 45-cap veteran only arrived in time for the aptly-named captain’s run on Tuesday night due to Tottenham’s fixture against Arsenal on Monday morning (NZT).
Nelsen shrugged off talk of jetlag and, while he acknowledged the squad faced a tight turnaround, backed his team against the 50th-ranked Jamaicans.
“It’s not ideal preparation with everyone flying in and having such limited time together. We’re playing some really good opposition and it will be a really tough match,” Nelsen said after training.
“Expectations are high, I think people expect a result tomorrow night and so they should. That’s the kind of pressure you want.
“It’s what the young players have got to get used to. The pressure of media and the pressure of crowds – you’ve got to deliver. You can’t give any excuses. We’ve got some good players and we should be competing well against any opposition we play against.”
With only Shane Smeltz under an injury cloud – team medical staff will assess his ankle strain again today – New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert has arguably his toughest selection choice since the 2010 FIFA World Cup with competition for starting spots high right across the park.
Herbert has to juggle the merits of experience and proven track records against those of exciting young talents and suggested his blend for Jamaica may have a fresher flavour.
“The depth in the side is growing now and that can only be healthy for the future,” he said.
“The side has got a lot of legs and a lot of future about it. I think some of the younger players are very good. We’ll soon see.”
The match is the All Whites’ final international before June’s World Cup qualifiers and Herbert says it will lay a marker for the side.
“I think we can set a stake in the ground and say this is the start of our campaign.”
One of the younger players who is in line for a start, on-loan Bristol City striker Chris Wood, is champing at the bit.
“It’s not a hard decision at all to come back. Playing for your country is one thing you don’t take lightly. You want to be playing any time you get called up,” Wood said.
“It’s an important game for us, especially with what lies ahead in June so you take on board the travel and everything that goes with it. The players all want to come back and play in these big games.”
ASB Summer International
New Zealand v Jamaica
Mt Smart Stadium
February 29, 2012
Kickoff: 7.30pm
New Zealand (from): 1-Mark PASTON (GK), 2-Winston REID, 3-Tony LOCHHEAD, 4-Ben SIGMUND, 5-Tommy SMITH, 6-Ryan NELSEN (captain), 7-Leo BERTOS, 8-Tim BROWN, 9-Shane SMELTZ, 10-Chris KILLEN, 11-Marco ROJAS, 12-Scott BASALAJ (GK), 13-Dan KEAT, 14-Michael MCGLINCHEY, 15-Ivan VICELICH, 16-Jeremy BROCKIE, 17-Kosta BARBAROUSES, 18-Chris WOOD
Head Coach: Ricki HERBERT
Jamaica (from): Jacomeno BARRETT (GK), Dwayne MILLER (GK), Adrian REID, Troy SMITH, O’Neil THOMPSON, Jorginho JAMES, Navian BOYD, Tramaine STEWART, Richard EDWARDS, Xavian VIRGO, Romeo PARKS, Damian STEWART, Jermaine TAYLOR (captain), Claude DAVIS, Omar CUMMINGS, Luton SHELTON, Je’Vaughn WATSON, Keammar DALEY
Head coach: Theodore WHITMORE
Live on Sky Sports 3 and www.radiosport.co.nz
Internet streaming (outside NZ and Jamaica) at www.vptv.co.nz
Ticket details
Reserved seating: Adults $29, Children $15
Embankment: Adults $25, Children $10, Family (2 adults + 2 children) $60
To purchase tickets click here
Corporate Lounge: $99 (includes carvery)
Corporate boxes: 12 person – $1600, 16 person – $2500, 26 person – $3500
Purchase from www.mtsmartstadium.com www.mtsmartstadium.com
Getaway packages
Flights and match ticket packages available from https://grabaseat.co.nz/secure/getaways
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football.
For more on New Zealand football go to www.nzfootball.co.nz

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