Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 16°C

Search

Tommy Smith would be ‘honoured’ to skipper New Zealand full time

PUBLISHED: 17:44 04 February 2013 | UPDATED: 17:44 04 February 2013

Tommy Smith

Tommy Smith

PAGEPIX LTD 07976 935738

Form and qualification permitting, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that in-form Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith could lead out New Zealand at next year’s World Cup, in Brazil.

The 22-year-old has represented the All Whites 21 times and played in the 2010 World Cup, as the minnows missed out on qualification to the second round by a point.

Smith, who headed two goals as Town hammered Middlesbrough 4-0 at the weekend, has already skippered his adopted country – the defender was born in England, but lived in New Zealand as a child – and could be a leading contender again, following the retirement of veteran centre-back, Ryan Nelsen.

Nelsen, who accrued 49 caps, retired as a player last month after a career which included eight years in the Premier League with the likes of QPR and Blackburn.

“It would be a great honour to be given the captaincy full time,” said Macclesfield-born Smith.

“First and foremost I have got to concentrate on my Ipswich career and hopefully we can get a few more results like the Middlesbrough one.”

The All Whites currently top the Oceania World Cup qualifying group, and require one win from their final two games to secure a play-off with the fourth-placed team in the CONCACAF region, and a chance to reach their second successive finals.

New Zealand earned three points in the 2010 World Cup, including a shock 1-1 draw against Italy, and are in pole-position to make the Intercontinental play-off, where they will face one of Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, USA or Panama in a two-leg shoot-out.

“There is a window at the end of March and we need to win one of our last two games (against New Caledonia and the Soloman Islands) to qualify for the Intercontinental play-offs,” he added.

Smith has been known to fly to New Zealand and back to Suffolk in a week – juggling club and country commitments – but will be given more time to recover after the next round of games with the home fixture against Leeds, four days after New Zealand’s second game.

“I’m still young and I can handle it,” said Smith.

“It was affecting him (Nelsen) more and more as got older, and his body could not really handle it, which is understandable.”

0 comments

Ipswich Town have been linked with Rangers striker Joe Garner this week, seen club stalwart Christophe Berra return to Scotland and announced another pre-season friendly, this time at League One Gillingham.

Ipswich Town look set to complete a pre-season campaign without a home fixture for the first time since 2013.

Ipswich Town duo Tommy Smith and Monty Patterson have been called up by New Zealand, ahead of the All Whites’ participation in the Confederations Cup in Russia, next month.

The dust has barely settled on Ipswich Town’s 2016-17 campaign but already, there is plenty to talk about with regards to the Blues.

Ipswich Town look set to stick with Mick McCarthy for a fifth successive season, but the summer managerial merry-go-round is well underway. Here’s what’s been happening.

Rising Ipswich Town star Kundai Benyu is going nowhere this summer.

Ipswich Town’s bitter rivals Norwich City have a new head coach.

Ipswich Town are set to receive an additional £1m from Newcastle United, as part of last summer’s Daryl Murphy deal, following the Magpies’ promotion back to the Premier League.

Ipswich Town are ready to make a £500k bid for Rangers striker Joe Garner, according to the Daily Express.

Former Ipswich Town defender Tyrone Mings surprised some AFC Bournemouth fans by turning up for a seven-a-side kick-about last night following an exchange on Twitter.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24