World Cup Supply and Demand: The Lad article With their coach and manager both retired, the New Zealand team is set to start a new chapter with a World Cup qualification campaign.
The New Zealand Socceroos will begin their campaign against the South African champions, the Pretoria Kings, on Saturday at Wellington’s Mascot Stadium.
After missing the World Cup for the first time in four years, the Kiwis will then play the Netherlands in Perth on the same day, with a game against England to follow on Sunday.
The squad is currently in the midst of an international break to recover from the loss of both their coach, Rob Taylor, and their manager, Mark McCallum, and has been in the thick of the European Championship qualifiers.
With a World Championship qualifier in mind, the NZ Socceroos have had to prepare themselves for a tough run in the tournament, including a World Club Championship game against Portugal in August.NZ’s preparations will be the biggest challenge of the entire campaign, with the NZs next fixture being a World Rugby Championship fixture against the All Blacks in Auckland on Sunday afternoon.
It will be a new challenge for New Zealand coach Steve Hansen, with both McCallums coaching the Kiwi men’s side.
The Kiwis have won only one of their last four matches against the Springboks, including the loss in the World Rugby Challenge Cup in April.
Taylor’s side lost to South Africa in a thrilling World Cup quarter-final in April, with their coach also sacked in November for his role in the South Africa match-fixing scandal.
“The first thing that we’re all trying to do is be as focused as possible on this World Cup campaign,” Taylor said.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we are in the strongest position to compete for a spot at the World Championships, so we’re doing everything we can to be ready for that.”
It’s been an amazing experience, so to come back from that disappointment and to be a part of it, to be in the right position to have a good World Cup is a really special moment.
“It’s important to recognise the NZ’s World Cup pedigree, with New Zealand already reaching the quarter-finals of the last three tournaments, including back in 1998 when they were one of the best teams in the world.
Taylor was a key part of the Kiwins win against South Africa, which led to a World Soccer Championship berth.”
We’re in a great position to be competitive for the World Club Championships and I’m excited about that,” Taylor told The Sunday Times.”
Having the support of the coach, and the support from the players, the support in the club, the club’s board and the players is invaluable to getting there.
“New Zealand’s World Club Challenge opponents will be led by the reigning World Cup champions, Argentina.
Argentina have qualified for the tournament after finishing second in their group.