Hammers give Reid NZ go ahead
Upton Park new boy cleared to play in All Whites friendlies
By Edwin Chong. Last Updated: August 18, 2010 3:18pm
Reid: Cleared for All Whites duty
West Ham have granted new signing Winston Reid permission to play two New Zealand friendly matches in October.
The 22-year-old arrived at Upton Park from Danish club Midtjylland earlier this month and is expected to play a key role in manager Avram Grant's plans this season.
However, the Premier League club have given the defender clearance to feature in the All Whites' first internationals since their unbeaten run at the World Cup in South Africa this summer.
New Zealand Football chief executive Michael Glading insists the presence of Reid and other foreign-based stars such as Blackburn captain Ryan Nelsen is crucial for the friendlies.
"We have to go back to what is the purpose of this game," Glading told Radio Sport.
"It's to start a new campaign, and it's to pay homage to and pay thanks to the support the New Zealand people gave to this team.
"I think that's reason enough to say if that request did come to actually turn it down, frankly.
"On the positive front we've already had clearance from West Ham."