What Burnley star Chris Wood said about the possibility of representing New Zealand at the Olympics


Chris Wood says the decision to represent New Zealand at the Olympics this summer will be a collective appeal.

It is understood that the All Whites want to name the Burnley forward as one of the three older players allowed to represent them in Tokyo.

New Zealand have used this rule to appeal to their heavy hitters in the past and would like to do it again this time around, with Wood and Winston Reid on loan from West Ham to Brentford in the frame.

The Clarets man is ready to go but has said any decision will be made at the end of the Premier League season and in discussion with Burnley.

Wood, speaking to Lancs Live, said: “I am proud to represent my country at all levels and at all stages. If I could have a chance I would be ready and excited, but it all depends on Burnley and if it’s the right scenario. and times for them because it’s not in an international window.

“Burnley comes first in that direction and it would be a discussion, if the New Zealand manager wants to call me, at the end of the season when the Premier League is over.”

If Wood were called up, he could be out for three weeks at an important point in the pre-season for the Clarets, when that could have an impact on the opening of the Premier League season.

The men’s Olympic football tournament starts on July 22 and if New Zealand qualifies for the gold medal match, their tournament will not end until August 7, a week before the start of the Premier League season. The group stage ends on July 28.

The Clarets would play friendlies during this time as Japan’s return was not an ideal preparation for a season opener.

Sean Dyche has always been a supporter of allowing players to represent their country and will likely see Nick Pope and Matej Vydra called up by England and the Czech Republic for the European Championships this summer.

But that tournament ends on July 11, five weeks before the new high-flying season and four weeks before the end of the Olympics.

New Zealand last qualified for the Olympics in 2012, when Wood, then at West Brom, was on the squad as a 20-year-old rookie.

He scored in a 1-1 draw against Egypt with Mo Salah canceling out his striker, but the Kiwis bowed out in the group stage with a lone point in three games.

This time around, Danny Hay’s side have been regrouped with South Korea, Honduras and Romania and hope to progress to the final eight, where they could face France.


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