Pride pumped for All Whites

Western Pride FC coach Graham Harvey is excited his club has secured the only game against New Zealand open to the public during the All Whites Brisbane training camp.

Pride will face the All Whites in Ipswich on May 18 as the visitors prepare for the OFC Nations Cup starting later this month in Port Moresby.

Harvey said the quality facilities available at Pride’s Briggs Rd Sporting Complex one the reasons New Zealand agreed to play the match in Ipswich.

“This game is a good opportunity for the club and the local region to watch and enjoy top level international football which has not happened in Ipswich for a long time”

New Zealand were the only undefeated side at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals, a record which included a famous draw against then reigning champions Italy.

Harvey said the game would be invaluable for Pride’s young squad as the club strived to offer the diversity of experiences required to develop them into professional footballers.

“It’s a great opportunity for our players to play against professionals playing at the highest level possible – international football,” Harvey said.

“We hope we do ourselves justice and give New Zealand a hard game just like they will get when they go to Papua New Guinea next month.”

Pride has its own New Zealand talent in its ranks in attackers Hayden McHenery and Geoffrey MacIntyre.

McHenery is in his second season at Pride having previously trained with New Zealand’s Under 17 team while attending the Queensland Academy of Sport.

Macintyre joined Pride at the start of the season and has played top-tier football in New Zealand.

Pride are currently in top form following a season’s best 5-1 win over SWQ Thunder in Toowoomba in their last PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues start on the weekend.

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson said the Queensland capital was identified as a suitable base before heading to Port Moresby later this month, where his side hope to reclaim the OFC Nations Cup title from defending champions Tahiti.

The All Whites squad for the OFC Nations Cup features European-based players including Marco Rojas, Chris Wood, Bill Tuiloma and Rory Fallon as well as Hyundai A-League stars Shane Smeltz, Kosta Barbarouses, Michael McGlinchey and Louis Fenton.

New Zealand are currently ranked 161st in the official FIFA world rankings.


Friendly Matches

Wednesday, May 18
Western Pride FC v New Zealand
Briggs Road Complex, Ipswich
Kick-off at 6:00PM
Entry: $5 (adults), $2 (children)

Sunday, May 22
Redlands United FC v New Zealand
QSAC Stadium, Brisbane 

Tuesday, May 24
Brisbane City FC v New Zealand
QSAC Stadium, Brisbane