Ipswich defender Smith to play for New Zealand

BY foxsports • December 22, 2009

Ipswich defender and former England youth international Tommy Smith will play for New Zealand at next year's World Cup after choosing this week to switch nationality.

The 19-year-old Smith has e-mailed New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert to accept a place in his squad for the tournament in South Africa. Herbert told New Zealand media Wednesday that Smith will definitely be included in his 23-man squad.

New Zealand is in Group F along with defending champion Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia.

"Tommy was very excited about the prospect. He is a young man with a big future. I've asked New Zealand Football to start doing the paperwork," Herbert said. "It's wonderful news for us."

Smith lived in New Zealand for eight years from 1998 and was part of Football New Zealand youth programs before returning to his native England to play junior internationals.

"I hope there are no obstacles and I think the process should be pretty straight forward as it was for (Plymouth Argyle striker) Rory Fallon and (former Scotland youth international) Michael McGlinchey," Herbert said.

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