All Whites stay­ing re­laxed

Marlborough Express - - SPORT - LIAM HYS­LOP

The All Whites ap­pear in a re­laxed mood af­ter ar­riv­ing in Peru ahead of the World Cup play­off sec­ond leg.

That was de­spite a de­layed flight to Lima on Mon­day night (NZT) as the plane had to stop to re­fuel in Chile, as well hav­ing a horde of me­dia and fans fol­low­ing their ev­ery step when they try to leave their sea­side ho­tel.

All Whites coach An­thony Hud­son at­tempted to ven­ture out with his as­sis­tant, Dar­ren Baze­ley, the morn­ing af­ter their ar­rival, but was sur­rounded by cam­eras and mi­cro­phones as he strolled to­wards the beach.

Hud­son an­swered ques­tions in Span­ish – the Amer­i­can-born Brit is self-taught in the lan­guage – be­fore the pair even­tu­ally re­treated back to the team ho­tel with­out a caf­feine fix.

The same thing hap­pened to play­ers Michael McGlinchey, Jeremy Brockie, Themi Tz­i­mopou­los and Kosta Bar­barouses when they emerged for a cof­fee and a look around. None of the quar­tet seemed overly both­ered by the at­ten­tion, smil­ing and pos­ing for a photos, which were posted to Brockie’s so­cial me­dia ac­counts.

The close at­ten­tion con­tin­ued for their train­ing.

Their team bus was flanked by armed po­lice as they went to board it, with chants of ‘‘Peru, Peru!’’ ring­ing out.

The first lot of All Whites to hop aboard ig­nored the fans, but not big Rory Fal­lon. He started chant­ing back and wav­ing to them, which drew smiles and laughs from his team-mates.

As he said last week when asked what his im­pact would be on the squad: ‘‘I bring the fun’’.

A group of about 50 jour­nal­ists and cam­era­men were await­ing their ar­rival at their train­ing des­ti­na­tion - Markham Col­lege, an in­ter­na­tional school in the south­ern part of Peru’s cap­i­tal city.

The me­dia then did ev­ery­thing they could to get a glimpse of train­ing. Three pho­tog­ra­phers jumped on top of the roof of a ute to see over the wall at the ob­struct­ing their view. Oth­ers stood on top of news vans or tried to peer through gaps in fences.

The var­i­ous videos and photos which emerged showed cen­tral de­fender Tommy Smith sit­ting out of train­ing with ice on his in­jured calf, al­though Hud­son said he ex­pected him to be fit for the sec­ond leg.

The same could be said for striker Chris Wood, who got through a full ses­sion. He is ex­pected to start in the sec­ond leg at the Es­ta­dio Na­cional to­mor­row (3.15pm kick­off NZT) af­ter only be­ing fit enough for the bench in the first leg due to a ham­string com­plaint.

Safely through train­ing, Wood and Win­ston Reid - who are both stars of the English Pre­mier League - were mobbed by au­to­graph and selfie-hunt­ing kids from the col­lege and were only too happy to oblige.


The All Whites ar­rive for the first leg of their World Cup play­off against Peru in Welling­ton last Satur­day.

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