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Nelsen delays retirement call

Defender not sure whether to carry on at international level

By Carla Hilton.   Last Updated: 06/08/10 4:53pm

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Nelsen: Debating his NZ future

Nelsen: Debating his NZ future

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New Zealand defender Ryan Nelsen says he does not yet know when he will retire from international football.

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Nelsen was one of the stars of the All Whites squad at this summer's World Cup and helped them to hold their own on the global stage.

Although they did not make it beyond the group stages, they were the only side who left South Africa unbeaten, having held Italy, Slovakia and Paraguay to draws.

Such an effort has gone down in history for New Zealand, who were ranked no-hopers heading into the tournament.

Now, 32-year-old Blackburn centre-half Nelsen must decide whether to bow out on a high note or take the All Whites even further on the international scene.

Taking time

"I don't want to make any rash decisions because I will be a long time retired," he said.

"I needed a bit of time to think through what I am going to do.

"I am not getting any younger but I love playing for New Zealand and the whole World Cup experience has left such a positive impact.

"New Zealand has got a lot of really good, promising young players coming through and it is quite fun, as an old player, helping these guys to progress."

The Rovers defender, who says he could wait a couple of months to reach a verdict, admits his decision may rest on the gruelling trip to the other side of the world each time he is to represent his country.

It is an awful long way to the other side of the world, and with Rovers spending part of their pre-season in Australia, boss Sam Allardyce can vouch for that.

"Now the manager has done one of those longer trips he will probably be knocking on my door asking me to retire," joked Nelson.

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