Brockie has been included in a 20-man squad for New Zealand’s first two FIFA World Cup qualifiers of Stage 3 – against New Caledonia in Noumea on September 7 and in Auckland against Solomon Islands on September 11 – and his seven-goal haul in his last two games will give All Whites coach Ricki Herbert food for thought when selecting a starting 11.
Brockie followed up his four goals against Shillong Lajong by netting a hat-trick as the Phoenix beat the Royal Wahingdoh Sports Club 3-0 in Shillong, showing the form that made Phoenix coach Herbert pursue him in the off-season.
Herbert will be hoping the former Canterbury United, Hawke’s Bay United and Team Wellington striker can continue banging them in when the A-League starts and when the All Whites take the next steps on the road to Brazil.
“The goals keep coming for Brocks and they aren’t tap-ins either,” Herbert says. “The timing of his runs is first-class and he has been assisted by some fine delivery.”
Brockie, who has yet to score for the All Whites, has played in a variety of positions for the national team, including fullback, wide midfield and wide forward roles and has previously said he’d play anywhere the All Whites needed him.
However, attacking roles remain his preference and his form adds to the welcome dilemma that Herbert now has in selecting from a glut of offensive talent that also includes Shane Smeltz, Chris Killen, Chris Wood, Rory Fallon, Marco Rojas and Kosta Barbarouses.
Brockie feats didn’t go unnoticed by All Whites team mate Chris Wood, who tweeted Brockie from his West Bromwich Albion base.
“Another hat trick!! Wow, you’re on fire! If you don’t score in these internationals coming up I’m going to be disappointed. But well done bro! I like this free scoring Brockie hattrick.”
The All Whites assemble in Noumea on September 4 ahead of a rematch against the team that knocked them out of the OFC Nations Cup in June and then arrive in Auckland on September 8 for the first home match of their campaign to reach back-to-back World Cups.
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football.
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