Flying Kiwis will keep you up to date on the endeavours of New Zealand sports folk overseas. Not the battlers, mind you, but the genuine overlooked and underappreciated superstars that for some ridiculous reason don’t get a look in on local media.
Chris Wood - Leicester City (English Championship)
Only two of our lads managed to get on the field for this post-All Whites round of footy. Clearly, the lack of Flying Kiwis in the top leagues around the world is a problem for our national team, and hopefully promoting our talent to reach the top takes a bigger emphasis moving forward. But in the meantime, we do have a few heroes to cheer for. Woody came off the bench against Tommy Smith’s Ipswich, playing 15 minutes and helping consolidate an away win for Leicester City that puts them in a three-way tie for first (second on goal difference). Dave Nugent scored a double in the 2-1 win. David McGoldrick had scored a very early opener for Ipswich, who competed really well, sticking close in the possession stats and getting forward with purpose, but it was the Foxes who looked more dangerous, and who made the most of the chances they created. Wood didn’t get a whole amount of time to make an impact. Flying half way around the world at the start of the week probably didn’t help his chances at a start, though he was able to head back to England earlier than expected after missing the second leg against Mexico through suspension.
Up Next: Millwall come to town Sunday morning 4am (NZT)
Tommy Smith - Ipswich Town (English Championship)
Smith played 90 mins against Woody’s crew. But it wasn’t the fluent defensive game like he’d been putting up regularly. Smith played against the Mexicans on Wednesday, so his build up was definitely affected. Leicester are a very good team anyway, so this was never gonna be easy. Tommy wasn’t able to dominate in the air, and he’s never an intimidating tackler. Against a pacey pair of strikers, it was a tough day at the metaphorical office. Something he’s been a little too used to in the past couple weeks. The fact that he was straight back in the starting lineup despite the short turnaround shows just how much faith Mick McCarthy has in Smith though. Tommy has only missed one league game all season – and that was at the start of this month when he was away on All Whites duty.