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New Zealand news

New Zealand training up in smoke

June 8, 2010
By Soccernet staff

New Zealand cut short their first evening training session in Daveyton on Monday when smoke from a surrounding township made continuing impossible.

The smoke from wood and paraffin fires left a pall over the Sinaba Stadium, which is located around 25 miles from the centre of Johannesburg.

"It's probably not ideal but it's out of our control," coach Ricki Herbert admitted. "Some players will have to go back, though. There are a couple of players we won't put into this. A light jog and a stretch ... it'll be very short, not what we had planned."

Asked if the curtailment would affect preparations, Herbert joked: "Not at all, I don't think it matters anything. Unless we get hammered and then I'll tell you it did."

The venue was chosen by the New Zealanders as it was the best facility close to their base. It is expected to be less polluted during the bulk of their training sessions as they will take place during the daytime.

New Zealand play their first Group F match against Slovakia on June 15.