All White on the night
A FOOTBALL fan from the other side of the world is hoping it will be All White on the night as his team starts their World Cup campaign today.
For the first time in 28 years, New Zealand will take to the field in the FIFA World Cup finals today as they take on Slovakia – and will be hoping to do a little better than their only other appearance in Spain 1982, when they were beaten by perennial World Cup flops Scotland.
Auckland native Sean Giblin (37), who has set up home in Hampton Hargate, was one of the few Kiwis who followed the All White’s progress in ‘82, attending all the squads’ qualifying matches and staying up into the small hours to follow the team’s progress in Spain.
Now he is trying to persuade wife Steph to turn her back on her English roots to support New Zealand as they begin their campaign today.
He said: “Steph says she is going to support England, but I am trying to get her to support New Zealand. We also have a 10-month-old son, Aidan, who I hope will support New Zealand when he is older.
“She has got used to me wearing New Zealand shirts and flying flags and she will be cheering us on – so long as we are not playing England.
“Obviously, rugby is the main sport in New Zealand but football is getting bigger all the time. There were 30,000 people there when we qualified against Bahrain, much more than the 2,000 we used to get.”
The biggest game of the All Whites’ World Cup will come on Sunday when they take on Italy, but Sean said he was just hoping the team does better than their last attempt.
He said: “Last time we only scored two goals and went out in the first round.
“It will be tough this time, because we are only ranked 78 in the world and we have some tough games.
“We have a few good players and Blackburn defender Ryan Nelson is probably our best player. But we have a few others like Rory Fallon, who scored the goal to get us here, and Chris Wood, who plays for West Brom. If we can get past the first round, we will have done very well.”
White on the night: Sean Giblin will be supporting New Zealand during the World Cup. (METP-14-06-10AS049)