May 22, 2010
AUCKLAND – A marathon autograph session for over 1000 patient fans and a special breakfast visit from Prime Minister John Key gave the All Whites a boost as they departed for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa via Australia and Europe.
After an action packed three days filled with gear issues, training sessions, team meetings and media duties the team were given two special farewells, firstly by their FIFA World Cup campaign patron, Prime Minister John Key who shared both a meal and a message of support from the nation.
Later in the day, fans flocked to Sky City to wish the team luck, with a bumper crowd taking two hours to file past the coach and players collecting autographs and posing for photos along the way.
Senior striker Chris Killen said the turnout was stirring reminder of the weight of public support as the team headed to the World Cup.
“It’s good for morale and just to show the boys that everyone is really behind us,” Killen said.
“We know that the country is always there supporting us but when they come out and show it like they have today it’s really gives you a lift.”
The team arrived in Melbourne on Saturday night and will train twice on Sunday before taking on the World number 20 Socceroos at the MCG on Monday night.
Kickoff is at 9.30pm New Zealand Time with coverage live on Sky Sport.
New Zealand v Australia
Melbourne Cricket Ground
May 24, 2010
7.30pm local (9.30pm NZT)
New Zealand (from): 1-Mark PASTON (GK), 2-Ben SIGMUND, 3-Tony LOCHHEAD, 4-Winston REID, 5-Ivan VICELEICH, 6-Ryan NELSEN (captain), 7 Simon ELLIOTT, 8-Tim BROWN, 9-Shane SMELTZ, 10-Chris KILLEN, 11-Leo BERTOS, 12-Glen MOSS (GK), 13-Andy BARRON, 14-Rory FALLON, 15-Michael MCGLINCHEY, 16-Aaron CLAPHAM, 17-David MULLIGAN, 18-Andrew BOYENS, 19-Tommy SMITH, 20-Chris WOOD, 21-Jeremy CHRISTIE, 22-Jeremy BROCKIE, 23-James BANNATYNE (GK)