Writer: Mikey Delap
Date:Thursday November 12 2009
Rovers and New Zealand captain Ryan Nelsen is hoping that he be able to annoy his boss Sam Allardyce this weekend - but in the best way possible.
Nelsen is hoping to leads the Kiwis into the World Cup finals next summer by winning their World Cup qualifier against against Bahrain on Saturday.
This would mean that Nelly would miss out on a rest between Premier League seasons but Ryan knows it will be a small price to pay for fulfilling a dream.
Ryan, speaking to his hometown press in Wellington said - 'I think the only person who doesn't want me to get there is the manager, because I'll pretty much be playing two years straight,'
'So hopefully I'll annoy him after this game.'
Despite the jest, Nelsen has indicated that Rovers teamates have been great to him and offering encouragement to the NZ cause. *Apart from Brett Emerton and Vince Grella who are fearing a beating.*
'They have been so supportive, they have been wishing me and New Zealand so much luck,' Ryan said.
'Though I think for some of them they think if we get through they think it'll be an easier game for them.'
The only other time New Zealand reached a finals, Nelsen was only a tot, perhaps looking up to his Dad back then as he would Chris Samba nowadays!
Ryan continued - 'I was very young. I was six months or one. I'm 26 now,' (Ryan then started pointing to his hair) 'Arctic blonde streaks.'
'I can remember my father waking me up in the early hours to watch. I didn't know what it was because I was pretty young, but I do remember getting up and being excited and not really understanding it.
'(New Zealand coach) Ricki (Herbert) showed us the (footage) of some of the old games, when he had a perm down to his shoulders and a few horrendous haircuts were floating around.
'It was really nostalgic and awe-inspiring to see these guys at those level and gave us some major motivation.
'Hopefully in a few years time people will be looking back and laughing at our horrendous haircuts.'
Good luck Ryan, hope you do it buddy!
* I may have made this bit up in an attempt to wind Sas and Retro up, I'm not sure.
Date:Thursday November 12 2009
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