Author Topic: Beijing beckons for joyous NZ women  (Read 797 times)

Offline David

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Beijing beckons for joyous NZ women
« on: March 27, 2008, 11:56:18 PM »
The tension as the New Zealand women's football team awaited the announcement whether or not they would represent New Zealand at the Beijing Olympics was palpable, coach John Herdman says.
"Tension would be an understatement - I don't think any one in the team have any fingernails left," he told NZPA today.
After a brief moment of exultation when they news filtered through that they had got the nod from the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) yesterday, the team had knuckled down to another hard training session, the coach said.
NZOC secretary-general Barry Maister said yesterday the decision to select the women's team, who did not meet the selection criteria, was made for developmental reasons.
After a review by the NZOC board, it was decided Beijing would provide the women's team a "stepping stone" to the 2012 Games in London.
The men's team were deemed to be strong enough to advance past the first round of competition at Beijing so got the greenlight from NZOC selectors through the usual channels.
The women, who just needed a one-off defeat of Papua New Guinea this month to be nominated, did not meet that criteria.
However, because they met International Federation guidelines the women's case was put to the NZOC board, who deemed that the Games would provide a crucial development stage for the team.
At last year's World Cup in China, New Zealand were knocked out after losing all three of their group matches - 0-5 to Brazil and 0-2 each to Denmark and China.
Herdman said the team would be heading to Beijing knowing that they had been " highly competitive in the World Cup having held very good teams to nil-all at half time".
" We go in with a lot of confidence knowing we have done the hard yards - we genuinely believe this is an opportunity to get some results.
" It's great news for women's football, fantastic news for the players who have been working really hard for this opportunity.
"I think the NZOC made a good decision for the women's game in New Zealand which reflected the need to support women's football and the work that NZ football have committed to the women's game in the last three four years.
"It has really provided us with a vehicle to drive women's football forward - hopefully, we will do New Zealand proud."
Herdman said the team would continue training up to five days weekly on and off the pitch and would be seeking to travel around to get as much international experience as possible before the Games.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/4455296a18075.html

Offline David

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Re: Beijing beckons for joyous NZ women
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2008, 11:58:57 PM »
Soccer: Flak likely over Olympics decision

The New Zealand Olympic Committee expects "flak" over its decision to allow the women's soccer team to compete at the Beijing Games for developmental reasons.

Even though they didn't meet NZOC selection standards, the women's team were given the all clear on review by the NZOC board, which deemed Beijing would provide a "stepping stone" to the 2012 Games in London.

The men's team were deemed to be strong enough to advance past the first round of competition at Beijing so got the nod. The women, who just needed a one-off defeat of Papua New Guinea this month to be nominated, did not meet that criteria.

NZOC secretary general Barry Maister said the decision was a brave one and agreed it may set a precedent for the basis of future selections. "Whenever you show some leadership, whenever you make exceptions, whenever you go out on a limb, there is always a risk that others will say 'why not us'," he said.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/4/story.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10500581