6 Jun 2009

Pitch safety concerns prompt All White squad changes

2:05 pm on 6 June 2009

Concern over the state of a freshly-laid pitch at the venue for New Zealand's football friendly against Botswana early tomorrow morning has prompted All Whites coach to adjust his tactics.

Ricki Herbert was planning to use the seond of his side's three warmup matches before the the FIFA Confederations Cup to give as much match time to as many of the squad as possible,

But he says the pitch is far from ideal and some players won't be exposed to the risk of injury so his plans no longer include strikers Shane Smeltz and Leo Bertos.

Herbert says the Celtic striker Chris Killen will play though as he's been a late arrival and will be in front of Chris James in attack. The match starts at 2am.