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Page last updated at 11:29 GMT, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Ipswich's Tommy Smith has World Cup chance

Tommy Smith
Smith is a graduate of Ipswich Town's academy system

Ipswich defender Tommy Smith could be handed the chance to play at next summer's World Cup for New Zealand.

All-Whites manager Ricki Herbert has asked the club if Smith would be interested in playing for them.

The 19-year-old has played for England Under-17s but qualifies for New Zealand because his family moved there when he was eight.

Ipswich boss Roy Keane told the club website: "New Zealand are keen for him to be involved with them."

He added: "I've spoken to him and said it would have no effect on his career at Ipswich - knowing the travelling involved - if he decided to follow up their approach.

"If he gets the opportunity to play for New Zealand - and it's still a big 'if' because he will have to impress their manager - then my advice is go for it. If he wants to play in the World Cup, then go and do it.

"He's obviously not played in any of their qualifying games but New Zealand won't have a big range of players and it will be down to the manager to take the best squad of players he can to South Africa.

"It's the first time New Zealand have qualified for the finals in 28 years so there won't be too many opportunities. If Tommy makes it, then good luck to him."

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see also
World Cup draw & reaction as it happened
04 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
Smith signs new Ipswich contract
21 Jan 09 |  Ipswich
Stevenage sign Ipswich teenager
22 Feb 08 |  Stevenage

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