World Cup goal in sight for Higham

By Gary Caffell


Football

Wairarapa United speedster Dale Higham could be part of the action at the Fifa Under-20 World Cup in Turkey later this year.

Higham has been selected in a 26-strong Junior All Whites squad preparing for the Oceania Under-20 championships in Fiji from March 21-29.

There, they will compete against hosts Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia, with the overall winner to represent Oceania in the World Cup.

The Junior All Whites are the defending Oceania champions after winning at home in 2011 and going on to contest that year's World Cup in Colombia, where they performed well; drawing 1-1 with Cameroon and Uruguay before being eliminated by a 1-0 defeat to eventual runners-up Portugal.

Higham has been a star of the Wairarapa United squad over the past couple of seasons, playing a key role in their memorable Chatham Cup final 2-1 win over Napier City Rovers in 2011 and their strong, but ultimately unsuccessful, bid to take their first Central League title last year.

And Wairarapa United coach Phil Keinzley has no doubts about Higham's ability to foot it on the international stage.

"He's got speed and skill and that's a pretty handy combination," he said.

While most of Higham's appearances for Wairarapa United have been at left or right midfield, Keinzley also took the opportunity to try him at fullback towards the end of last season and was impressed with how he responded to that challenge.

"He's developed into the sort of player who you can put anywhere and he will do the job for you ... he's got more than a couple of strings to his bow."

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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