Reid changes mind, commits to All Whites

BY FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 05:00 13/03/2010

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All Whites coach Ricki Herbert has confirmed Denmark-based defender Winston Reid will go to the World Cup with his native New Zealand.

Just a week after telling a Danish magazine he was pledging his future to Denmark, Reid has had a change of heart and told Herbert he wants to be an All White.

"He flicked me a text [on Thursday night] and said he had decided to make the call and he looked forward to playing for New Zealand," Herbert said in Sydney yesterday.

"There wasn't any `I have to be picked, I have to go to the World Cup'. He was very professional about it, which was great. I think at his age and where he's playing, he'll be a fantastic addition for us."

Herbert confirmed Reid, 21, who plays for Danish super league club FC Midtjylland and has represented the Danish under-21 national team, would be selected for the World Cup, sight unseen.

"Yeah, I'll need to make that decision. He's playing at a really high level, attached to a championship club. All the feedback has been great. Tommy didn't do a bad job, did he?" said Herbert, referring to Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith, a former England age-group international, who made his All Whites debut against Mexico in Pasadena last week.

Herbert will name his 23-man World Cup squad before the players assemble in Auckland on May 19.

Reid, who can play as a right back or central defender, would be in line to make his New Zealand debut against Australia in Melbourne on May 24.

Reid confirmed his All Whites' availability in a television interview on Thursday night.

But last week he told a Danish football magazine that he was committed to Denmark.

"If they call me from New Zealand, I will naturally talk to them, but I would have to tell them that I will play in Denmark," Reid said. "I feel that it is in my best interest to continue to play for the Danish national [under-21] team."

He said his big goal was to play at the under-21 European championship in Denmark next year.

Winston Wiremu Reid was born in Auckland in 1988. He left the North Shore as a 10-year-old to move to Denmark with his Kiwi mother and Danish stepfather.

He became a youth professional at FC Midtjylland at 15 and is now a first-team regular with more than 85 games, including Uefa Cup appearances.

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- The Dominion Post

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