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Nelsen to captain Olympics football team

Published: 3:05PM Wednesday April 18, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

  • Ryan Nelsen clears the danger (Source: ONE Sport)
    Ryan Nelsen clears the danger - Source: ONE Sport

Olympics selectors have confirmed All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen will lead New Zealand's football side in the London Olympics.

Nelsen will be one of the three players over the age of 23 allowed in the squad, which is expected to include around five All Whites in total.

Nelsen currently plays for Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League, following a stint at Blackburn Rovers, where he was captain.

All Whites Marco Rojas, Kosta Barbourouses, Tommy Smith and Jake Gleeson are likely to featur in the full 18-man squad named by June 15, as they are all under 23.

Rebecca Smith, meanwhile, has been named captain of the Football Ferns side heading to the Olympics.

New Zealand Olympic Committee secretary General Keryn Smith hoped New Zealand's football sides would make an impact at the Olympics.

"Based on the Football Ferns improving ranking internationally as well as the All Whites' World Cup performance, we are looking to both teams to make a mark," she said.

New Zealand football chief executive Grant McKavanagh echoed Smith's words, adding New Zealand will be able to field "an exciting young line up of players now earning a living in leagues around the world."

McKavanagh also confirmed that Neil Emblen would coach the men's team in London, after successfully guiding the team through qualification. Tony Readings is the Football Ferns coach.

Today's announcements from the NZOCmarked the 100th day before the London Olympics opening ceremony.