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All Whites Facing World Cup Star Blow

Date Added: May 30, 2010 11:58:15 PM
Author: Drew Swainston
Category: Competitions: Soccer World Cup: 2010 South Africa Soccer World Cup

New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert is hoping that influential midfielder Tim Brown will be fit for the summer's World Cup after he was injured during their last friendly.

The 29-year-old is the All White's vice-captain and fractured his shoulder as his side lost 2-1 to fellow World Cup qualifiers Australia earlier this week.

Brown is due to have surgery on the affected area, and if he is ruled out his loss will be a major blow as New Zealand face a daunting prospect after being drawn in Group F with defending champions Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia. The World Cup betting odds suggest the All Whites will be in for a torrid time.

New Zealand open their World Cup campaign with a clash against Slovakia on June 15th and Brown has admitted there is a "chance" that he will not be fit to help the All Whites in their first World Cup since 1982.

His coach Herbert has admitted his loss would damage New Zealand.

"Tim's an integral part of the team. He's been a big part of things for the last five years and he does a great job for us," he said.

"It'll be a big loss should he not make it."

One player on target for a special World Cup in South Africa is 29-year-old midfielder Andy Barron.

He is not a professional footballer and is a banker in Wellington by day, but has been named by Herbert in his 23-man squad for the competition. This means he will join a select band of amateurs who have graced the World Cup stage as he bids to help his nation upset the online football betting.

Barron has played consistently for New Zealand over the last four years and was part of their Confederations Cup squad last summer, and he has admitted that he does not plan to just "make up" the numbers in the World Cup and wants first-team action in South Africa.

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