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All White Matthew Garbett reflects on World Cup qualifier loss and looks to the future

One pass, one shot, one controversially disallowed goal was all that stopped the All Whites from fighting their way back in the playoff match for the 2022 World Cup held in Qatar.

It was a tough result to swallow for the team as the decade long drought of world cup appearances grew longer. Matthew Garbett (20) reflected on the sides journey through the qualifiers and into the final play off match VS Costa Rica.The All Whites squad have been together since the Olympics in 2020 and according to Matthew, “The team culture is very good”. The football style would’t work without a lot of coaching, trust and perseverance with the same players.

Having spent a season at Torino FC after signing from Swedish second tier side Falkenberg, Matthew noticed the change in culture, the ferocious focus on football, and the lifestyle in differences between Italians and Kiwis.

Every footballers dream is to play in the English Premier League and Matthew’s is no exception, with his family being Manchester United fans the only thing halting that desire is being born in Chelsea, London. The 2021 Champions League winners are known for scouting overseas talent and having range of youngsters in rotation so we might be seeing him at Stamford Bridge in a few years.

Looking back, Matthew has come far since the Kapiti Coast and Western Suburbs Academy. He’s on track to become second ever New Zealander to play in the Serie A (behind teammate Liberato Cacace) and this could be what the All Whites need to help qualify for the World Cup in 2026.