Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 3°C

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

Town fans were in good voice at Carrow Road on Sunday as Ipswich came away from the East Anglian Derby with a 1-1 draw.

The East Anglian derby bragging rights should go into storage somewhere near Diss ready to be contested for in another six to 12 months time.

I’m not so sure if a draw was a fair result but one I would definitely have taken before kick-off.

Ipswich Town defender Jonas Knudsen loves scoring goals against Norwich City.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski received the ‘ironic man-of-the-match award’ after the Polish custodian’s eventful afternoon in this lunchtime’s 1-1 draw with Norwich City at Portman Road.

Following this afternoon’s hard-fought 1-1 draw at Carrow Road, sports writer WILL RIDGARD looks at five things we learned about the East Anglian derby as the spoils were shared again.

Jonas Knudsen scored in the East Anglian derby once again, but Ipswich Town were pegged back by Jacob Murphy’s strike as their eight-year wait for a win against Norwich City goes on.

Ipswich Town star Josh Emmanuel is the star of the new edition of Kings of Anglia - which is now on sale.

My dear old granny used to love to hate Mick McManus.

The big match at Carrow Road has ended and the Old Farm Derby is over for another season.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24