Reid can't play in Olympic team
Wed, 20 Jun 2012 6:38p.m.
By Andrew Gourdie
The New Zealand under-23 men's football team for the London Olympics will be announced tomorrow, but Winston Reid won't be among the 18-man squad.
His English club West Ham has refused to let him join Ryan Nelsen and Shane Smeltz as one of three over-age players for the tournament.
New Zealand football hoped Reid would get to repeat his World Cup heroics at the London Olympics,
But West Ham manager Sam Allardyce wants him to take full part in the club's pre-season campaign as they prepare to return to the premier league.
New Zealand Football chief executive Grant McKavanagh says he understands the reasons why.
“We fully understand his position around it and it's important for Winston to step into the top flight of the premiership.”
Reid says while he'd love to go to the Olympics he respects - and agrees with - the club's stance, and decided not to challenge their decision.
“I could have pushed for it but I had to ask myself what was going to benefit me most and I want to play a lot of games in the league so I decided not to go to the Olympics and stay at West Ham and fight for my starting spot.”
McKavanagh says it is a shame Reid won’t be joining the New Zealand team.
“We would've liked to have seen him press harder but at the end of the day the club make the decision around this.”
The club outlined their decision in a letter to New Zealand football - citing the fact they aren't required to release over-age players for the Olympics because the tournament doesn't fall in a FIFA window.
Allardyce played hardball over the release of Ryan Nelsen during his time in charge at Blackburn Rovers, but New Zealand Football says when they come knocking during official match windows - they won't take no for an answer.
“We have a pretty clear expectation that players will be released in windows now and that's what we'll pushing for in every window,” McKavanagh says.
Midfielder Michael McGlinchey is expected to be named as Reid's replacement when the Olympic squad is named tomorrow.
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