Easy decision for Jai Ingham to choose New Zealand over Australia

Melbourne Victory winger Jai Ingham and his younger brother Jai have been selected for the All Whites.
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Melbourne Victory winger Jai Ingham and his younger brother Jai have been selected for the All Whites.

It only took a few conversations with All Whites coach Anthony Hudson to convince Jai Ingham to play for New Zealand.

The 23-year-old was born and raised in Australia, but both he and his younger brother, fellow All Whites rookie Dane, qualify to play for Samoa and New Zealand through their Kiwi-born mother.

Jai Ingham came through the youth ranks at Brisbane Roar, before Melbourne Victory signed him last year.

New All White Jai Ingham in action for the Melbourne Victory in the A-League.
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New All White Jai Ingham in action for the Melbourne Victory in the A-League.

He's made 24 appearances in the Hyundai A-League for the Victory, although only seven of those have been starts.

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Still, there was more than enough there for Hudson to become interested, which led Ingham to make the switch.

Brisbane Roar defender Dane Ingham and his brother, Jai, have been picked to play for New Zealand.
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Brisbane Roar defender Dane Ingham and his brother, Jai, have been picked to play for New Zealand.

"It wasn't a difficult decision at all," he said after his first All Whites training on a brisk Monday morning in Wellington.

"After I talked to the gaffer Anthony Hudson, he has a vision of what he wants to do here with New Zealand Football and it's a very good thing to see.

"Coming straight into the camp yesterday [Sunday] I see how positive it is and how much everyone wants to win here. All the information they feed us is all win-related and that's what we want to do here."

Most of the New Zealand side of his family are from Dunedin, so that is where he has spent most of his New Zealand holidays. 

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That, combined with living in Melbourne, meant Wellington's weather was not too much of a shock to the system.

"To be fair, Melbourne is a bit the same, it has its up and down days, I'll adapt to it straight away. I can't wait to get on the field because in this weather you can run all day."

He travelled to Wellington with Victory team-mate Marco Rojas and said his fellow winger had played a role in convincing him to go with the All Whites.

"Every time he comes back from a camp it's always positive. It's good not just to get amongst him, but the likes of Chris Wood and Winston Reid and all the other players coming back from overseas and learning from players is going to be an unbelievable experience."

 - Stuff

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