23 Aug 2008

All Whites name strongest possible squad for World Cup qualifiers

8:37 am on 23 August 2008

The New Zealand football coach Ricki Herbert has named a full strength squad for the crucial home and away World Cup qualifiers against New Caledonia in September.

The All Whites are just one win away from a spot in the 2009 Confederations Cup and a two-legged playoff with the fifth best team from Asia for a place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Herbert has included New Zealand's thre highest profile footballers in the 18 man squad, Blackburn Rovers captain Ryan Nelsen, Glasgow Celtic striker Chris Killen and former Fulham midfielder Simon Elliott.

Nelsen and Elliott haven't played for the All Whites since 2004.

Wellington Phoenix contribute half the 18-man squad while the local New Zealand Football Championship's lone representative is Waitakere United playmaker Allan Pearce.

The full squad is:

Goalkeepers: Glen Moss (Wellington Phoenix), Mark Paston (Wellington Phoenix)

Defenders: Andrew Boyens (New York Red Bulls), Tony Lochhead (Wellington Phoenix), David Mulligan (Wellington Phoenix), Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn Rovers), Steven Old (Macarthur Rams), Ben Sigmund (Wellington Phoenix)

Midfielders: Leo Bertos (Wellington Phoenix), Tim Brown (Wellington Phoenix), Jeremy Christie (Wellington Phoenix), Simon Elliott (Unattached), Chris James (Tampere United), Duncan Oughton (Columbus Crew), Allan Pearce (Waitakere United)

Forwards: Chris Killen (Celtic FC), Shane Smeltz (Wellington Phoenix), Jarrod Smith (Toronto FC)