Winston Reid turns down Olympic Games spot

Last updated 11:41 20/06/2012
Winston Reid
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PRIORITIES: Winston Reid will not represent New Zealand at the Olympics, opting instead to focus on preparing for the upcoming Premier League season with his club West Ham.

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All Whites' defender Winston Reid has chosen club over country, turning down the chance to represent New Zealand at the London Olympics.

Reid was set to be named as one of three over-age players - along with Ryan Nelsen and Shane Smeltz - in the New Zealand under-23 team to take part in the Games.

Instead he will turn his focus to cementing his spot in the first team of his newly-promoted English Premier club West Ham United.

West Ham are set to embark on three-game preseason tour of Europe at the same time as the Olympic tournament.

Reid told Radiosport he, not West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, had made the decision to withdraw from selection.

"At the end of the day it was my decision and I felt what I was doing was the right decision."

"I'm not saying I didn't want to go to the Olympics or play for New Zealand, because I would have loved to, but I've got other commitments right now and in the long run that will hopefully benefit myself and New Zealand as well," he said.

Reid joined West Ham from Danish club FC Midtjylland at the end of 2010/11 season.

He made four starts that season as the club were relegated from the Premier League to The Championship.

He cemented a starting spot last season as West Ham climbed back into the top flight and is determined to be regular feature in the Premier League this season.

"It would be different if I'd been at the club for six or seven years and I'd been playing regularly then maybe I could have done it, but I needed to work hard this pre-season and make sure the spot's mine at West Ham," he said.

Reid said he had discussed the dilemma with All Whites' captain and fellow Premier League defender Nelsen.

"I've text Nelly (Nelsen) a couple of times in the past weeks, you could say that maybe I'm in the same circumstances as he was a couple of years back. Of course I'd love to be at the Olympics, but I'll hopefully get the opportunity to take part in one later on in my career."

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- Fairfax Media

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