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Lewis: ‘We need to work hard’

The 19-year-old from Auckland City FC, who has three caps for the All Whites, is hopeful he will get the chance to build on his international career when the squad is named in Auckland on Thursday.
Ahead of training today, Hudson reiterated to the team that playing for New Zealand is a privilege and not a right. Lewis, after a team session that included a Yo-Yo fitness test, said the expectations are clear.
“Yeah there was a reinforcement of the message [of hard work] today,” said Lewis said with a smile.
“There are quite a few youngsters here and we all know that we have to train hard to be picked for New Zealand. The win against Oman [1-0] was good for us and if we keep looking forward to Brisbane and PNG then we will be in a good position.
“The way Anthony reinforced that we have to work hard, that we are a hard working team. To get results, we need everyone working hard together.”
One of the talking points today was the return of All Whites striker Rory Fallon to his first greater training squad under Hudson.
The 34-year-old, who famously headed the All Whites to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010, was a senior head amongst the junior players and Lewis is looking to learn as much as he can from him.
Lewis was in the stands at the Cake Tin on that memorable night back in 2009, and said it was awesome to train alongside him for the first time.
“I didn’t expect him to be here to be honest,” he said. “I am really excited to see him come back. He is obviously very experienced and it is good to have a guy like him around the camp, and play with him.”
Lewis said that he has plenty to learn from Fallon who has fought his way back from an ACL injury to be in contention for an international comeback.
“He is very encouraging. Obviously as young players we do make mistakes but he is very encouraging to keep our heads up and keep going. I look forward to working with him.”
Lewis admitted that it has been a long time coming but said it was a great feeling to return to international duty, and get back on the field after a successful OFC Champions League where he featured for Auckland City FC who secured their sixth consecutive crown.
He said all of the guys need to adjust to Hudson’s way of thinking and game plan.
“He has brought back the way he wants us to play. With the club sides that we play with, it has been a bit different, so coming back has been good. No one is going to walk into the team which is good. There is huge competition for places so it’s a good feeling.
Everyone knows of each other so we have been able to meet the guys we have seen from overseas. It was good for everyone to get out on the field today.
He said the lack of fixtures for the All Whites will take care of itself if they perform how they hope to at the OFC Nations Cup.
“It is obviously quite frustrating [not playing much] but we know that New Zealand Football are trying their hardest to get us games so it is just a matter of time and hopefully when we do go to PNG and hopefully qualify for the Confeds Cup it will attract teams to come and play us.”
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football


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