Neil Emblen confirming on Tuesday goalkeeper Glen Moss will lead the All Whites side from the back in the absence of Winston Reid and Tommy Smith.
When it comes to on-field leaders in football, the players wearing the gloves are often overlooked and labelled; too eccentric or too far away from the action to have any impact.
But the All Whites will buck that trend next month in Japan with interim coach
Neil Emblen confirming on Tuesday goalkeeper Glen Moss will lead the side from the back in the absence of Winston Reid and Tommy Smith.
And in speaking to Moss – who will follow in goalkeeper footsteps of the likes of England-s Peter Shilton and Spain-s Iker Casillas – about his elevation to the captaincy, you instantly understand the reasons why the 26-cap All White will get the armband; a humble and assured tone blows away any traces of the over-used goalkeeper/mad-man footballing portrait.
“It was a pretty surreal moment when Embers told me I-d be captain for the match,” Moss said.
“I was already excited about the game and looking forward to getting into camp and now I-ve been made captain, it-s raised that feeling up a notch. It-s a pretty proud moment for me.”
Moss- stability and experience will act as act as a counter balance for a squad in a moment of transition with an interim coach and changes among the playing group.
“Embers and I have known each other for a while now and I-ve also been in the set-up for a while now too going back to 2005.”
“He knows my personality and the communication skills required for the role and
I-m looking forward to providing that link between the players and the management which is important in international football.”
Asked about his thoughts on taking on the 48th ranked Blue Samurai – a side in their final preparations for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in June – the leader of the 91st ranked All Whites was in no doubt.
“It-s a fantastic game to get. The playing squad have asked New Zealand Football for games like this and credit to them for arranging it.”
“This is the first game of our next World Cup cycle so we want to start things off well in our campaign.”
While Moss assumes leadership of a youthful looking group making those early steps towards qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, it-s a prospect which excites the 31-year-old goalkeeper.
“I think it-s a fantastic squad that-s been named. When you look at Bill [Tuiloma] and Storm [Roux] coming in against Mexico and how they shone and stood out, we-ve got some good young players.
“They need as many games as possible so it-s a great opportunity for them.”