Brockie could make surprise return to New Zealand starting line-up against Peru

New Zealand and SuperSport United striker Jeremy Brockie.
New Zealand and SuperSport United striker Jeremy Brockie.
Image: BackpagePix

SuperSport United striker Jeremy Brockie could be in line for a surprise return to New Zealand’s starting line-up as they prepare to meet Peru in their World Cup play-off in Wellington on Saturday (05h15 kick off SA time).

Brockie is back in the All Whites squad for the first time in 18 months and been partly chosen because of his ability to handle adversity in difficult away situations.

New Zealand face a hostile crowd in Peru in the return leg of the play-off next week Wednesday with the aggregate winner qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Russia next year.

Brockie’s adventure in Africa with SuperSport‚ who compete in next weekend’s African Confederation Cup final‚ have hardened him to difficult travel and situations.

"Over the last six or seven months I've been to some pretty rough places‚ in front of massive crowds‚" said Brockie.

"But to be playing all over Africa has really opened up my eyes."

Just last month for the second leg of the Confederation Cup semifinal against Club Africain of Tunisia‚ SuperSport found the stadium locked and deserted when they were supposed to have a training session and had to make do with a session on a waterlogged field nearby.

"The next day we turn up at the game and go on the pitch an hour and a half before.

"There are 50 000-60 000 fans there and they are shining lasers in your eyes and putting big banners up reading about the devil and things like that."

Brockie‚ 30‚ had full water bottles hurled at him as he celebrated scoring in the 3-1 victory away win that put SuperSport into their first continental cup final.

"As bad as it sounds‚ it is actually enjoyable.

"It's much better playing in front of something like that instead of a couple of people from down the road.

"It’s grown me as a player‚" he told reporters as he celebrate his recall just when he felt his chances of earning more caps were fading away.

"As the camps came and passed‚ my hope started to deteriorate pretty quickly.

"But when I got the email and the call it was like being called up for the first time again I guess.

"It's another dream come true to be so close to World Cup qualification."

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