NEW ZEALAND’S FOOTBALLERS may live in the shadows of the country’s rugby team, but they are current continental champions nonetheless.
The All Whites, as they’re nicknamed, have won two of the last three Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Nations Cups since heavyweights Australia moved to the Asian Football Federation in 2006.
Anthony Hudson’s side are currently preparing for this summer’s Confederations Cup — a dress rehearsal for the World Cup hosts held one year out from the finals.
The competition is made up of the current World Cup champions (Germany) and the upcoming hosts (Russia) as well as the six winners of the most recent Fifa confederations championships — Portugal, Cameroon, Mexico, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.
Ahead of that, New Zealand will play friendlies with Northern Ireland (2 June) and Belarus (12 June), while they have just announced a game against SSE Airtricity League First Division club Cabinteely in Dublin on 6 June.
We are really looking forward to playing Cabinteely FC in Dublin,” said Hudson. “They will represent a good test for us against as a well-organised and well-coached team.
“Along with our friendly internationals against Northern Ireland and Belarus, this match is important for us in our preparation and conditioning for the Fifa Confederations Cup.”
Pat Devlin, Cabinteely’s director of football and first team manager added:
“This is a great opportunity for this young Cabinteely team to face an international team which contains players with club experience in England, France, Holland, USA, Australia and New Zealand itself.
“I am really pleased with the players’ reactions and performances in the Airtricity League of Ireland this season but I may strengthen the squad with a few guest players for this game.”
Cabo, who are fifth in the League of Ireland’s second tier, may need to bring in a couple of additions for the one-off meeting at Stradbrook as New Zealand boast the likes of West Ham defender Winston Reid and Leeds United striker Chris Woods in their ranks.
The match is part of the club’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, which also includes An Evening with Martin O’Neill in the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, on Wednesday 24 May.
Tables of 10 are available for the Martin O’Neill event at €500 or individual places can be accommodated at €50 each, while tickets for the New Zealand friendly are available at €20, €10 for senior citizens and family tickets at €30, €40 and €50.
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