Winston Reid has his sights set on the next World Cup – and isn't ruling out playing for New Zealand beyond that campaign.

It's news that will gladden the hearts of All Whites fans around the country, given the importance of the West Ham player.

Even after a decade in the national team, the desire still burns deep, at a time when he could be forgiven for focusing exclusively on his club commitments.

But Reid desperately wants to qualify for another World Cup, so that the new generation of Kiwi players can have the same life-changing experiences that he enjoyed in 2010.


"I've had conversations with [coach] Danny [Hay], about what he wants from me," Reid told the Herald, after a training session at the team's Dublin base. "He asked me what it means for me, and I told him I really and genuinely want to do it, not only for myself but for the younger kids, for the guys coming through.

"I was fortunate enough to play at a World Cup and it did a lot for me. To be able to give them a chance to be there and compete, it's second to none, so we have to try our best to get there."

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar would take Reid to the cusp of his 34th birthday, but that may not be the end.

"I haven't set a time frame on it," said Reid. "This campaign is going to be another two years and I will take stock after that. But as long as the body is fine and I am in the right frame of mind and able to give 100 per cent every single time then I will want to play."

Of course it's all dependent on a successful comeback, after being out of action for 18 months with a lingering knee injury.

All Whites Winston Reid. New Zealand All Whites v Peru - FIFA World Cup Intercontinental play-off match at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand. 11th November 2017.
All Whites Winston Reid. New Zealand All Whites v Peru - FIFA World Cup Intercontinental play-off match at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand. 11th November 2017.

His presence in Dublin has raised eyebrows among some West Ham fans, but Reid was always confident he would make the trip.

But his injury journey has been long and lingering, since the Swansea match in March last year, when he was knocked unconscious and damaged ligaments in his knee.

After surgery he started pre-season, but "something didn't feel right" and following another scan Reid returned to London to see a specialist.


He confirmed it was "quite significant" and that set Reid back another eight or nine months.

He was back training with the first team in February, before having screws removed from his knee, which meant another eight week delay.

Reid felt fine when he returned in July for the final phase of pre-season, but there have been further frustrating delays.

"There have been small muscle issues since then," said Reid. "You always get that when you have been out for a long time."

Reid has battled niggling injuries over the past few years, but still averaged 28 games a season between 2012 and 2017,

"It's been tough and sometimes you get to a point where enough is enough," said Reid about this latest episode. "But that is what you sign up for when you become a player. It's part of the game and I have been fortunate enough. It was a freak injury."

Reid's value to the All Whites cause has been illustrated once again over the last two days.

His presence alone is a boost, setting the standards in training and giving the young players a source of inspiration.

"I've been watching him on television for so long," said new All White Joe Bell. "Now today was he playing behind me at training, and I was asking for the ball from him. It's not all the time you get to play with someone who was your idol."

"He's massive for us," agrees long time team mate Michael McGlinchey. "He lifts everyone's standards and guys like him and Chris Wood even push the coaches."

It's hard to escape the image of Reid scoring that goal against Slovakia in 2010, leaping majestically for an unforgettable moment in New Zealand football history.

But Reid has now been in the team for a decade.

He has a different style to previous leaders like Ryan Nelsen or Hay, but has been every bit as influential, epitomized by his brilliant displays in the Peru series two years ago.

"Ten years…how time flies," laughed Reid. "Things go really quick, a lot of the people I played with their careers are finished now, that's definitely strange. People come and go but the culture will always be the same, the spirit in this team."