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Auckland City pair get All Whites call-ups

New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert had hoped to take a look at Sweden-based midfielder Henderson with one eye on his final FIFA World Cup squad and another on the All Whites post-World Cup future but the midfielder who was already working his way back from groin surgery but twisted a knee in training.
“It’s unfortunate timing for Craig, but the most important thing is his well being,” Herbert said.
“I’ve always been positive about what Craig might offer the squad and this won’t count against him long-term.”
Herbert will now pass that immediate chance to Hayne (23) and Coombes (26) who impressed during Auckland City’s fifth place finish at the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi late last year.
“The form of Jason and Chad needs to be acknowledged and it gives them a wonderful opportunity to impress. It’s a huge step up to international football so we’ll be able to see if they can bridge that gap or if it’s a bridge too far.”
Hayne celebrated his call up with a goal in Auckland City’s 1-1 draw against YoungHeart Manawatu on Sunday.
While the New Zealand squad is already missing Ryan Nelsen and Mark Paston through injury, and 75-cap defender Ivan Vicelich through a one-game suspension, Mexico – who dispatched Bolivia 5-0 last week with local players – will be close to full strength with the majority of its European-based stars on display.
“It’ll be immensely tough for us,” said Herbert, “and we won’t have our first eleven, but there’s a positive for us whatever happens in that there is a huge opportunity for players.”
The New Zealand based All Whites depart for Mexico on March 1. They will train just twice on Tuesday before the match on March 4 at 5pm (NZT).
For the full squad visit www.nzfootball.co.nz
Confirmed World Cup build up
March 4
5pm (NZT)
New Zealand v Mexico
Pasadena, USA
May 24
New Zealand v Australia
Melbourne, Australia
Kickoff time tbc
May 29
New Zealand v Serbia
Klagenfurt, Austria
Kickoff time tbc
June 4
New Zealand v Slovenia
Maribor, Slovenia
Kickoff time tbc
2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
June 15
11.30pm (NZT)
New Zealand v Slovakia
June 21
2am (NZT)
New Zealand v Italy
June 25
2am (NZT)
New Zealand v Paraguay
Photo courtesy FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
Story courtesy NZF Media
For the latest NZ Football news visit www.nzfootball.co.nz

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