Football Fever

New Zealand Secondary Schools team
The FIFA World Cup is in full swing – and we can watch from afar and get excited, but New Zealand did not qualify. Eight years ago in South Africa, New Zealand was there at the big dance, and were the only team that was unbeaten at the tournament. At Green Bay High School, whisper it quietly, do we have a goalkeeper who can go on to the World Cup in North America in 2026 and be our defensive rock?

Ben Coyle-Smith (Year 11) is currently in camp with the New Zealand Secondary Schools team that is to fly out on international duty in Malaysia. Having been identified as a possible tourist by selection in the 28-strong training squad in Palmerston North, he has now made the team and leaves for warmer climes on Friday.

This is not the first international football that Ben has experienced, having played (and won) on the international stage in Canberra when he was in Year 9 and has been a member of the National Talent Centre set-up for the past two years.

Ben’s training schedule gives an insight into how he has turned his natural talent into international recognition. He has been playing in goal for ten years (at Bay Olympic and at school), trains seven times a week and plays two games in a weekend. Being one of our WILsport JETS students Ben has benefited from the nutritional advice, physical and mental training and sports psychology support given to these elite athletes.

The Green Bay High School football community can rest easily as he will be back in the country in good time to resume for the first XI at the start of term 3. You can follow Ben’s progress on Instagram at Ben.Coylesmithsport.