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All Whites coach Herbert excited about Thailand trip

New Zealand national team coach Ricki Herbet is excited about the challenge facing his squad in the next week or so.

The All Whites travel to Thailand for matches against the Thai national team and the Thai 'A team' on Saturday and Tuesday.

Herbert sees it as a good opportunity to get all the New Zealand players together for the seven-day camp as it doesn't happen all that often.

"Time together is hugely important," Herbert said.

"The difficulty we have when we play big crucial matches is a lack of time.

"We've got players scattered around the world now, and it's not easy from a logistical point of view."

The mini-tour is a chance for Herbert to prepare his players for the Confederations Cup in South Africa in June and World Cup qualifiers later in the year.

"This tour is about us, spending time with the players, looking at what we need to achieve later this year as well," Herbert added.

"I think if we can bed that down, put some clarity around it and get players comfortable with those aims then that'll only help in the long run.

"It's seven days working together, seeing the players, having time to communicate face-to-face and having a look at the tactics and strategies we're going to evolve later on."

Herbert said he was looking forward to the test of playing Thailand in their natural environment.

"Thailand are in good form and their results recently have been very interesting," said Herbert.

"We do know they'll be mobile, technically very good and have pace around the pitch."

The All Whites squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Mark Paston (Wellington Phoenix), Glen Moss (Melbourne Victory)

Defenders: Kris Bouckenooghe (Club Roeselare, Belgium), Andrew Boyens (New York Red Bulls), Tony Lochhead (Wellington Phoenix), David Mulligan (Wellington Phoenix), Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn Rovers, England), Aaron Scott (Waitakere United)

Midfielders: Tim Brown (Wellington Phoenix), Jeremy Christie (Wellington Phoenix), Simon Elliott (San Jose Earthquakes, US), Chris James (Tampere United, Finland), Duncan Oughton (Columbus Crew, US)

Forwards: Kris Bright (Panserraikas FC, Greece), Jeremy Brockie (North Queensland Fury), Chris Killen (Celtic, Scotland), Shane Smeltz (Gold Coast United), Jarrod Smith (Seattle Sounders, US).

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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