All Whites push for a match with South Africa

Last updated 05:00 03/04/2014
Tommy Smith
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NOT INTERESTED: Tommy Smith says he's unlikely to be available for a possible All Whites match in May.

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The All Whites are lining up a rare game on home soil against South Africa next month.

New Zealand Football boss Andy Martin was tight-lipped yesterday but it is understood a game in Auckland on May 30 is on the cards.

South Africa are playing World Cup-bound Australia in Sydney on May 26, so a game against the All Whites could be easily tagged on.

South Africa are ranked 64th in the world, compared to New Zealand's 90th ranking but did not qualify for the World Cup.

There will be mixed feelings among the players should the game go ahead.

Any home game generates much needed publicity. The All Whites played in New Zealand just twice last year, while Auckland's large ex-pat South African population should ensure a healthy crowd.

But the game will interrupt most players' off-seasons and senior defender Tommy Smith - who also missed last month's 4-2 loss to Japan - is on record as saying he is an unlikely starter for any international fixtures in the English off-season.

Martin said no fixtures had been confirmed but NZF was working towards the All Whites playing a home game as soon as possible.

It is unlikely that a permanent coach will be in place next month, with Neil Emblen likely to continue in the interim.

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