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Hamish bidwell
Chances are France 1998 gets a mention when everyone's favourite football team, the New Zealand Knights, hit town in 10 days time.
The Hyundai A-League team have been confirmed for a pre-season fixture against a Hawke's Bay Invitation XI at Bluewater Stadium on June 25, which will bring together two players from the last Scottish team to play at the World Cup.
Jonathan Gould and Scot Gemmill aren't remembered from that tournament in the same breath as Sylvain Wiltord and David Trezeguet, but they were there and they will be at Park Island when the Knights unveil their marquee signing for the 2006/07 season.
Son of the legendary Archie Gemmill, the former Nottingham Forest and Everton star will be having his first run for his new team against the Gould-coached Invitation line-up.
"Yeah, Scot Gemmill and I are old Scottish teammates, so it's great to have a player of his calibre coming here," Gould said this morning.
"The majority of our team will be made of players from around the North Island, a lot of whom are from the New Zealand under-20 team. I'm hoping to play three or four of our Hawke's Bay United players, including the likes of Graham Fyfe, Sam Jenkins and Shannon Fowler.
"It should be a really good young side and this is a great opportunity for them to show themselves against players like Noah Hickey, who's just come of the All Whites' game against Brazil, and, of course, Scot Gemmill."
The idea for the fixture was hatched last month, when new Knights coach Paul Nevin was scouting players in the under-20 series between New Zealand and Australia. Gould, New Zealand's assistant coach on that trip, told him that if needed a pre-season fixture, Hawke's Bay would be only too happy to host it.
"It's great for football in this region and great for the Knights to get out to the provinces," said Gould.
"I'd never met Paul Nevin before but the game, like any business, is all about contacts and networking and you have to put yourself out there and matches like these are an example of what can come about when you do."
The Knights game is part of a massive Sunday of football at Park Island. Napier City Rovers will meet Central League rivals Miramar Rangers in the main game of the day, at 2pm.