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Mt Smart to stage Jamaica clash

In 22 ‘A’ Internationals at Mt Smart, the All Whites have tasted defeat just four times and posted notable victories over China, Japan, Israel, Australia (three times) and a then-world record 13-0 thumping of Fiji in 1981.
England visited in 1991 to celebrate New Zealand Football’s centenary and the ground has also hosted matches against a USSR XI, Glasgow Rangers, Newcastle United and Watford.
Many of New Zealand’s 13 wins at Mt Smart came in 1981 during a memorable run to the country’s first appearance at a FIFA World Cup.
All Whites coach Ricki Herbert, who scored the winner against China and a crucial 87th-minute equaliser against Saudi Arabia at the ground during that campaign, and two years later would score a match winner against Australia, has fond memories of the ground.
“Obviously the win over China and the draw against the Saudis have special resonance with me but that ’82 campaign had so many highlights,” Herbert says.
“The crowds building as our momentum did, Steve Sumner scoring six in one game and even the drama against Kuwait is still pretty vivid not just for me but probably for lots of fans as well.
“I was also assistant coach when Ryan Nelsen scored against Australia to send us to the Confederations Cup so I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in some big results. The national team have got a pretty good record there and we’ll be looking for another good result against a talented Jamaican outfit to kick-start our 2014 campaign.”
New Zealand Football has confirmed that reserved seating tickets will be priced at just $29 for adults and $15 for children, with equivalent seats in a family zone on the embankment set at $25 and $10 respectively. A family pass of two adults and two children in the family zone will cost $60.
“We’re setting our stall out to get as many people in as possible and create the kind of atmosphere that only a football crowd can,” New Zealand Football chief executive Grant McKavanagh says.
“A summer evening kick off is a bit of a novelty for an All Whites match, Jamaica is a very entertaining side and we’ll be close to full strength so we’re expecting a healthy turnout.”
McKavanagh also reminded fans to get in early.
“We know football fans tend to be part of a walk-up crowd but we saw the danger of that from the Wellington Phoenix match in Auckland recently. We have priced the game affordably to encourage fans to get their tickets as early as possible.”
Members of White Noise (aka Yellow Fever) will be given first bite at tickets on Friday during a one-day pre-sale for the White Noise zone followed by a football club pre-sale beginning on Saturday. Tickets go on public sale on Wednesday via Ticketek.
The match is likely to be the All Whites last outing before Herbert’s men begin their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign at the OFC Nations Cup in June.
A 17-man New Zealand squad will be announced in February.
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football.
For more on New Zealand football go to www.nzfootball.co.nz

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