Ricki Herbert is keen to unleash his All Whites young guns against Jamaica in tomorrow night's international at Mt Smart Stadium with the proviso that head honcho Ryan Nelsen will be in the starting XI.

Hamstrung somewhat by the short lead-in for the game and without a full-on training session to assess his 18-strong squad, Herbert yesterday suggested he wants to have a good look at players he sees as the next generation with an eye to the important Oceania Nations Cup.

"We will definitely have a look at guys like Chris Wood, Marco Rojas, Kosta Barbarouses, Tommy Smith and Winston Reid," said Herbert.

"But I'm also 100 per cent in favour of using as many of the seven bench players as we can."


He said he will not make up his mind on the starting line-up until he has had a chance to assess his players after their weekend commitments.

Herbert is expected to name his starting XI either before or after tonight's training session at the match venue. That will be Nelsen's only run with the team before the match.

He arrives mid-afternoon today after not being involved in Tottenham's embarrassing 5-2 loss to North London rivals Arsenal in yesterday's Premier League action.

"This will be a good challenge for the boys," said Herbert. "Jamaica will be a decent team. They have been playing regularly and come here after a series win over Cuba.

"In term of recent match play they are miles ahead of us.

"I expect they will be typical of many counties like Costa Rica, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago in the Concacaf Confederation.

"They are not in the top 50 in the world for no reason. They play entertaining football and the recipe for a great game is there for a whole lot of reasons."

Herbert is likely to stay with his three-at-the-back approach which has served him so well in recent times.


"In reality, we haven't had time to do anything different."

With Nelsen set to start, Herbert has an interesting call to make in settling on the other defenders. Ben Sigmund has been outstanding for the Wellington Phoenix and will be pushing for a place but with Herbert keen to play his younger players, Reid and Smith will be in that equation.

While Tony Lochhead and Leo Bertos have been favoured on the flanks, Herbert hinted it might be good to have a look at in-form Hyundai A-League players Jeremy Brockie and Michael McGlinchey in that role.

In the central midfield roles Ivan Vicelich and Tim Brown will be favoured to start but Dan Keat is another newcomer who Herbert is keen to have a look at.

With excitement machines Wood, Rojas and Barbarouses ready to take any opportunity coming their way, Herbert will again have to strike a balance as Shane Smeltz and Chris Killen will be just as keen for game time.

The Jamaicans arrived in Auckland yesterday with a squad boosted by the inclusion of several European-based players who did not play in the 1-0 and 3-0 wins over Cuba.


Coach Theodore Whitmore, a member of Jamaica's 1998 World Cup squad, has included five European-based players including three from England lower divisions.

He also has three from American MLS clubs.

* Mt Smart Stadium
* Tomorrow 7.30pm.