New Zealand news

Durante to make New Zealand debut

March 24, 2013
By ESPN staff

Australian born Andrew Durante is in-line to make his New Zealand debut with All Whites manager Ricki Herbert making a number of changes to his squad for the World Cup qualifier against Solomon Islands.

Wellington Phoenix's Andrew Durante
AP / Ross SetfordWellington Phoenix's Andrew Durante

Herbert has the luxury of swapping his squad around after New Zealand's 2-1 win against New Caledonia clinched a spot in the next phase of qualification for Brazil 2014.

All Whites captain Winston Reid, Chris Killen, Michael McGlinchey, Marco Rojas, Shane Smeltz, Tommy Smith, Ivan Vicelich and Chris Wood have all been allowed to return to their respective clubs.

And the shake-up could allow Durante to make his bow for his adopted country, with a New Zealand Football statement saying Durante is 'likely to see some time on the pitch'.

Durante was denied a debut against New Caledonia after New Zealand failed to receive confirmation from FIFA that Durante had met all eligibility criteria.

However, Herbert is eyeing the game against the Solomon Islands as a chance to extend game time throughout his squad.

"Now the job is done we have an opportunity to replace our injured players and better handle the yellow card situation," Herbert said.

"We also have a responsibility to manage the workload of our players at this busy time of year with a view to the November play-off matches."