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Tour timing not right for Smeltz and Moss

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/09/2016

Glen Moss and Shane Smeltz could yet be part of New Zealand's World Cup qualifying plans despite both veterans being omitted from the looming tour to the United States.

Moss, 33, who made his All Whites debut a decade ago, wasn't among the three goalkeepers named for the tour in October comprising friendlies against Mexico and the United States.

Malaysian-based Smeltz, 34, has only played once under Hudson. His 51st cap was earned in last year's 1-1 draw against Myanmar.

Hudson says Wellington Phoenix gloveman Moss has been unlucky, having been named initially in his three previous squads for international windows but missing out through either injury or unavailability.

This time, he went with three players all with recent game time under their belt - European-based pair Stefan Marinovic and Tamati Williams, along with recalled Portland Timbers FC stopper Jake Gleeson.

"Glen's been incredible in the national team in the past," Hudson said.

"He's not playing right now but if we're in March and Mossy is playing well, he might find himself above two or three `keepers. You never know."

Smeltz's club, Kedah FA, said the 51-cap forward wouldn't be available for the second game against the US on October 11.

Hudson says that demand wasn't tenable but insisted Smeltz remains a player he admires.

Meanwhile, Hudson was reluctant to talk about the status of Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith, who hasn't been picked for recent All Whites duty.

Hudson said last year he won't pick any player, referring to Smith, who wants to be selected on their terms.

The coach said he met Smith on a recent trip to Europe but wouldn't reveal if there has been a thawing in relations.

He would speak again after the tour to Smith, who is presently sidelined for three months following back surgery.

Hudson says senior players have fully supported his stance on Smith, who was first-choice defender at the 2010 World Cup.

"All of them have expressed that they back my judgement on the situation and they're happy with what I decide.

"Whether he comes back or he doesn't, the decision will be made upon the best interests of the team."

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