All Whites defender Winston Reid has turned down the opportunity to represent New Zealand at the Olympics, instead choosing to attend a pre-season tour with his Premier League club West Ham United.
Reid was set to be named in the squad tomorrow as one of three overage players in the under-23 team alongside captain Ryan Nelsen and striker Shane Smeltz.
Earlier reports suggested that West Ham manager Sam Allardyce had barred the 23-year-old from competing in London, but Reid told Radio Sport this morning that it was his choice to represent club over country.
"At the end of the day it was my decision and I felt what I was doing was the right decision," Reid said.
"I'm not saying I didn't want to go to the Olympics or play for New Zealand, because I would have loved to, but I've got other commitments right now and in the long run that will hopefully benefit myself and New Zealand as well."
Reid was a key part of the West Ham side that were promoted to the Premier League after coming through the Championship Playoffs last month and previously played three matches in the top flight when he first joined the club following his heroics at the 2010 World Cup.
He said his main focus was to cement himself as a regular starter in Allardyce's line-up for next season.
"It would be different if I'd been at the club for six or seven years and I'd been playing regularly then maybe I could have done it, but I needed to work hard this pre-season and make sure the spot's mine at West Ham."
The battle between club and country is nothing new for New Zealand footballers with Ryan Nelsen forced to juggle both commitments throughout his career and Reid said he had looked to the veteran for advice.
"I've text Nelly (Nelsen) a couple of times in the past weeks, you could say that maybe I'm in the same circumstances as he was a couple of years back. Of course I'd love to be at the Olympics, but I'll hopefully get the opportunity to take part in one later on in my career."
Oly-Whites coach Neil Emblen will now have to name and alternative when he submits his team to the New Zealand Olympic Committee.