Smith hands All Whites boost
New Zealand have received a World Cup boost with the news that Ipswich defender Tommy Smith has agreed to switch nationality.
Last Updated: 22/12/09 10:55pm
New Zealand have been handed a boost ahead of next summer's World Cup finals with the news that Ipswich defender Tommy Smith has agreed to switch nationality.
The 19-year-old former England youth international has e-mailed All Whites coach Ricki Herbert to accept a place in his 23-man squad for the tournament in South Africa.
Herbert is delighted the 19-year-old has joined his ranks as he plots his Group F campaign against defending champions Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia.
The coach told New Zealand media on Wednesday that the youngster will definitely be included in his 23-man squad.
He said: "Tommy was very excited about the prospect. He is a young man with a big future.
"I've asked New Zealand Football to start doing the paperwork.
"It's wonderful news for us."
Smith is eligible to play for New Zealand as he lived in the country for eight years from 1998.
He was part of a Football New Zealand youth program before returning to his native England to play junior internationals.
Herbert added: "I hope there are no obstacles and I think the process should be pretty straight forward as it was for (Plymouth Argyle striker) Rory Fallon and (former Scotland youth international) Michael McGlinchey."