Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 13°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

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

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

Daryl Murphy in action for the Republic

If Daryl Murphy gets amongst the goals at Euro 2016 this summer the striker will have Mick McCarthy to thank, after the Ipswich Town boss put country over club during the closing weeks of last season.

Academy graduate Teddy Bishop

Ipswich Town remain keen for half of the club’s squad to be homegrown, by the start of the 2017-18 season.

Barnet 0 Ipswich Town 1
Tommy Smith, David McGoldrick and Anthony Wordsworth all attack an aerial ball

Ipswich Town will face Barnet this summer as part of their pre-season preparations.

Lee O'Neill, the assistant manager at Ipswich Town's academy, at the training ground where the club is building a new 3g pitch.

Ipswich Town are digging deep for success.

Adam McDonnell in action against former club Shelbourne last summer

Ipswich Town have confirmed they will once again travel to Ireland for a pre-season training camp this summer, before finishing their visit with a game against Shelbourne.

The scene as Daryl Murphy celebrates his second goal at Charlton on Saturday

Ipswich Town will face newly-relegated Charlton Athletic in a pre-season friendly ahead of the 2016/17 season.

Chris Brammer interviews Terry Butcher at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town and England legend Terry Butcher says the Blues will have a player on their hands if Andre Dozzell can go anywhere close to emulating his father Jason.

Mick McCarthy made a host of changes for the trip to Old Trafford

‘Uninspiring’, ‘frustrating’, ‘bland’ and ‘stale’ are all words used by Ipswich fans to describe a disappointing 2015/16 season, during which manager Mick McCarthy garnered mixed reviews from the Blues’ support.

Chris Swailes in his days at Ipswich

Former Ipswich defender Chris Swailes became the oldest goalscorer at the new Wembley Stadium for Morpeth today despite having undergone four heart operations.

Adam Webster - Picture: Joe Pepler

Ipswich Town are preparing to tweak their approach in the Championship next season, with the signing of cultured Portsmouth centre-back Adam Webster.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24