FORMER All White Chris Marsh, of Invercargill is once again representing his country on the football world stage.
He has been selected as the goalkeeping coach for the New Zealand Under-17 men’s football team which had qualified for the FIFA U17 World Cup in Brazil in October.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for me,” he said.
“It is rare for someone in a small region to get this opportunity.
“I will give the team and the country a successful World Cup which would look like getting the team outside the group and getting into the next round.”
Marsh played for the All Whites U23 Olympic team in 1998-2000.
Having a playing cap and now a coaching cap for New Zealand was incredible, he said.
Marsh recently returned from China where the NZ U17 men’s team competed in the 2019 Panda Cup, an International Youth Football U18 tournament.
Marsh said the team had used the Panda Cup as a build up for the World Cup.
The team won their first game against host country China 2:0.
Marsh said it was an exceptional performance.
Being an U17 team there was a big difference in experience from the other U18 teams, so to win a game against China was incredible, he said.
The NZ team lost their next two games 4:0 to Korea Republic and 1:0 to Thailand, finishing in third place.
The team had some good moments in their other games, he said.
“They worked hard off the ball and had some quality moments creating positivity going forward.”
Marsh is a Southland Boys’ High School PE teacher and football coach. He is also developing elite goalkeepers in Southland.
Being a region with a small population, we still have good players coming through the system, he said.
“If we develop them they have the potential to succeed outside the region like I did.”