Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 19°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has revealed he is still trying to bring new faces to Portman Road before the transfer window closes at 11pm on August 31.

Leon Best celebrates after scoring for Rotherham United in the Ipswich Town v Rotherham United (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 19 March 2016.      
Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town have handed a trial to much-travelled striker Leon Best.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy shakes hands with Norwich manager Alex Neil.   Picture: Steve Waller   www.stephenwaller.com

This was an East Anglian derby draw to build upon.

Town fans look up towards the Norwich supporters after a yellow flare was thrown into them during the first half of the Ipswich Town v Norwich City (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 21 August 2016.   Picture: Steve Waller   www.stephenwaller.com

Officers have made a number of arrests following today’s derby match between Ipswich Town and Norwich City – including two relating to the dispersal of a flare in the grounds.

Town's Jonathan Douglas is fouled by Alexander Tettey, although Kevin Bru couldn't make the free kick count in the Ipswich Town v Norwich City (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 21 August 2016.   Picture: Steve Waller   www.stephenwaller.com

It was an entertaining derby match at Portman Road on Sunday, even if neither team was able to secure all three points.

Town manager Mick McCarthy pictured ahead of the Ipswich Town v Norwich City (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 21 August 2016.   Picture: Steve Waller   www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has called upon supporters to be more consistent with their emotions after hailing his team’s performance in today’s 1-1 East Anglian derby draw with Norwich City at Portman Road.

Jonas Knudsen celebrates putting Town level at 1-1 in the Ipswich Town v Norwich City (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 21 August 2016.   Picture: Steve Waller   www.stephenwaller.com

Jonas Knudsen equalised right on the stroke of half-time as Ipswich Town drew 1-1 with bitter rivals Norwich City in a competitive East Anglian derby, at Portman Road, this lunchtime.

Jonathan Douglas fouls Dominic Iorfa at Wolves on Tuesday

Ipswich Town aim to end seven years of hurt in the East Anglian derby tomorrow, and manager Mick McCarthy believes a similar performance to the one they produced at Wolves on Tuesday could bear fruit.

Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has backed Norwich City to be in the Championship promotion hunt come the end of the season, ahead of Sunday’s East Anglian derby at Portman Road (12 noon).

Brett Pitman

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy could welcome back striker Brett Pitman for Sunday’s East Anglian derby with Norwich City, at Portman Road.

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

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24