New Zealand national team coach Ricki Herbert said that a 'first-class attitude' has helped free agent David Mulligan be selected for the final World Cup squad.
The 28-year old former Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers, Scunthorpe United, Grimsby Town and Port Vale defender was yesterday included in the 23-man selection for next month's World Cup despite being without a club since the end of the 2009/10 A-League season when the Wellington Phoenix failed to renew his contract.
But Herbert, who acts as both the All Whites and the Phoenix coach, revealed that the English-born Mulligan worked tirelessly to ensure he could live out his World Cup dream.
"David has been a victim of circumstances at the Phoenix where other players have come in and played well, keeping him out of the team," Herbert said. "He has never stopped working hard, however, and his attitude has been first-class."
The All Whites squad, led by Blackburn Rovers defender Ryan Nelsen, will link up in Auckland on May 19 before flying to Melbourne for a warm-up match against Australia on May 24. They will then travel to Austria for training and matches with Serbia and Slovenia before bunking down in South Africa for the group stage opener against Slovakia on June 15.