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All Whites ready for action

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/05/2016

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson is looking forward to finally getting his team back on the park as they begin preparations for the upcoming Oceania Nations Cup in Papua New Guinea.

The All Whites haven't played since beating 92nd-ranked Oman 1-0 last November, after New Zealand Football's efforts to find opposition in FIFA's March window proved fruitless.

Now ranked 161st in the world, New Zealand will spend next week in Auckland before travelling to Brisbane for three warm-up games against teams competing in the Queensland division of the National Premier Leagues.

Hudson will name his team for the Nations Cup, which runs from May 28-June 11 in Port Moresby, on May 12.

The winner of the Nations Cup will qualify for next year's Confederations Cup in Russia.

"This Nations Cup is what the team and I have been working towards for the past 18 months," Hudson said.

"Our goal is to get to Russia and this is the first step towards making that a reality."

Hudson is pleased with the build-up to his first OFC Nations Cup in charge.

"We need three games in this period, so everyone can get game time before going to Papua New Guinea.

"We also need to acclimatise to the conditions which is why Brisbane will be perfect for us, and we want as many days on the training pitch as possible."

Hudson said his players were excited about getting into camp and finally beginning preparations for the 2018 World Cup.

"Our road to Russia begins now."

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