The New Zealand national football team have sent home Brisbane Roar teenager Dane Ingham from their Auckland camp after the four-cap fullback arrived out of shape.
Barely three days from the side’s World Cup qualifier against the Solomon Islands, coach Anthony Hudson decided to send the 18-year-old Ingham home, saying he hadn’t met the All Whites’ fitness standards, Reuters reports.
Born in Australia, Ingham and older brother Jai defected to the All Whites earlier this year on account of their New Zealand-born mother.
Yet while Jai has fallen to the fringe of Hudson’s plans, Dane has enjoyed a solid run in the Kiwi squad and played two games at this year’s Confederations Cup.
However, Hudson felt Dane had failed to stay in shape during the A-League off-season, where he plays with Roar.
“He was unfit, his body fat was high. We’ve given him a couple of fitness tests and he’s not where he needs to be,” said Hudson.
He added that midfielders Clayton Lewis and Bill Tuiloma had both been left out of this week’s World Cup qualifier squad for the same reason.
Ingham’s departure makes him the fifth Kiwi player to miss Friday’s match in Albany, north of Auckland, along with Winston Reid, Tommy Smith, Shane Smeltz and Marco Rojas.
A second leg will follow in Honiara four days later.