All White play­ing for his fu­ture in Peru

Nelson Mail - - SPORT - PHILLIP ROLLO

All Whites de­fender Kip Colvey is not just play­ing for a ticket to the World Cup, he is play­ing for his fu­ture too.

The 23-year-old played the full 90 min­utes in New Zealand’s 0-0 draw against Peru in Welling­ton on Satur­day and is a good chance to start at right wing­back again, in the sec­ond leg in Lima to­mor­row.

It is quite re­mark­able re­ally, be­cause even though Colvey has played 14 times for his coun­try now, he did not even get on the field for his club, San Jose Earth­quakes, dur­ing the 2017 Ma­jor League Soc­cer sea­son.

In fact, af­ter mak­ing four ap­pear­ances the first seven games of the pre­vi­ous cam­paign, his first sea­son as a pro­fes­sional foot­ball player, Colvey has been re­stricted to sit­ting on the bench in MLS or be­ing loaned out to San Jose’s af­fil­i­ate club Reno 1868, in the sec­ond-tier United Soc­cer League.

Colvey, who was born in Hawaii but grew up in the Marl­bor­ough Sounds, is off con­tract next year.

San Jose do have the op­tion to ex­tend his cur­rent deal but as far as he is con­cerned, his fu­ture is up in the air.

Which means there is plenty of ex­tra in­cen­tive to show­case his abil­i­ties against Peru - a team ranked 10th in the world - not that he re­ally needed it.

‘‘It’s def­i­nitely good to put your­self in the shop win­dow,’’ Colvey ad­mit­ted.

‘‘You’re al­ways play­ing for your job when­ever you take the field. I have an op­tion for next year so hope­fully the Quakes pick it up.

‘‘Right now I’m just fo­cus­ing on this and get­ting to the World Cup, and this is my main goal for next year.

‘‘Not get­ting first team min­utes was a bit of an is­sue for me this year and there is a big dif­fer­ence be­tween play­ing in the USL to go­ing into an in­ter­na­tional com­pet­i­tive match but I feel like I’ve worked a lot in the last cou­ple of weeks and months so I think that I’m ready.’’

With his fam­ily flying up from Linkwa­ter to join more than 37,000 other spec­ta­tors in the stands on Satur­day, Colvey said he soaked up the big oc­ca­sion as best he could, as he walked out with his team-mates on to West­pac Sta­dium.

Both teams were greeted with a haka in the play­ers’ tun­nel be­fore pass­ing a col­lage fea­tur­ing some of New Zealand’s best mo­ments on the foot­ball field; Rory Fal­lon’s goal against Bahrain, Win­ston Reid’s goal against Slo­vakia and Shane Smeltz’s goal against Italy, to name a few.

Along with those im­ages were the three words; never say die.

Colvey said those three words sym­bol­ised the ‘‘Kiwi at­ti­tude’’.

‘‘It’s a long, long time since the 2010 World Cup, so it’s been a motto around the team for a long time and I think it does sum up a big part of the team.’’

By keep­ing a clean sheet in the first game, Colvey be­lieved the All Whites have put them­selves in a strong po­si­tion for the sec­ond game. Now they just have to back it up in Lima with a scor­ing draw or a win.

‘‘That’s what we wanted go­ing into that game so we are happy with that,’’ he said.

‘‘We al­ways knew that we could go toe-to-toe with a team like this and we showed that.

‘‘We’ll take that one step fur­ther in Peru.’’

PHOTOSPORT

All Whites de­fender Kip Colvey lunges in to win the ball off Peru’s Chris­tian Cueva in Welling­ton.

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