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Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

Wood keen to live World Cup dream

Chris Wood
Wood made his Baggies debut at Portsmouth in April

West Brom forward Chris Wood says he will realise a major ambition if he heads to the World Cup finals with New Zealand next summer.

The 17-year old was part of the Kiwis squad that beat Bahrain in a play-off to reach South Africa.

"The World Cup's one of the biggest stages in the whole wide world, it's a dream come true," Wood told BBC WM.

"People have not been able to achieve it in their life, like Ryan Giggs - it's a great achievement."

New Zealand last reached the finals in 1982, facing Scotland, Brazil and the Soviet Union in the group stages of the tournament in Spain.

Now the Auckland-born striker hopes his rugby-obsessed home country will pay more attention to the round-ball sport.

"The atmosphere around [the play-off] was great and we haven't been there for 27 years," Wood noted.

"In the build-up everybody was looking forward to it and afterwards it's all been about football.

"Hopefully it'll be the same in New Zealand for the next eight months and kick rugby off the scale."

In the meantime the teenager will concentrate on battling for a first-team place at The Hawthorns in his first full season in the Baggies' senior squad.

"The World Cup will be on my mind but I'm back at West Brom now and hoping to get promotion and hoping we win the Championship," Wood said.

"If I'm playing well at West Brom, I'll always be in the squad with international call-ups."

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see also
New Zealand 1-0 Bahrain
14 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Pele signs contract with Falkirk
12 Nov 09 |  Falkirk
Coventry sign West Brom's Barnett
04 Nov 09 |  Coventry
Di Matteo has sympathy for Koren
04 Nov 09 |  West Brom

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