11 May 2010

Clapham over the moon at All Whites call-up

6:45 pm on 11 May 2010

The Canterbury United midfielder Aaron Clapham is the only surprise selection in the New Zealand squad to compete at next month's football World Cup in South Africa.

The 23-year-old uncapped Clapham was the standout player of the domestic football league this season and impressed Herbert in a 10-day training camp for Australasian-based players, that ended in Auckland on Sunday.

Clapham found out he was in the 23-man squad late this morning - before most of his team-mates, as he had to be at the announcement for media interviews - and he was pretty happy about his call-up.

He says he had to do a silent fist pump so the others wouldn't twig that he was in.

The versatile David Mulligan, who hasn't played a competitive club match since 2008 and was released by the Wellington Phoenix at the end of the season, was also included after impressing at the training camp.

Midfielder Jeremy Brockie and goalkeeper Mark Paston, who are both on the comeback trail after they had surgery on broken legs, were named, but Herbert opted against selecting a fourth goalkeeper to cover for the suspended Glen Moss.