His grandmother’s words of wisdom helped persuade new All White Tyler Bindon to switch his football allegiance from the United States to New Zealand, his mother has revealed.
Speaking to 1News, former Football Ferns goalkeeper Jenny Bindon said: “After a good chat with Nana, it was all about follow your heart and that’s something we’ve preached from a really young age for him.”
Defender Bindon (18) said: “I chose New Zealand because it’s my home, at the end of the day, and I want to represent what’s close to my heart.”
The player, who joined English club Reading this year, is in line to make his debut for New Zealand in Saturday’s international friendly against DR Congo, to be played in Spain.
He has a strong New Zealand sporting heritage with mother Jenny playing 77 games for the Ferns, and father Grant captaining New Zealand at volleyball.
His parents will be at the game in Spain to support their son.
“Grant will definitely cry, I’m sure there’ll be a few tears of happiness,” Jenny Bindon told 1News.
Watch 1News’ story
Game to be played on Saturday October 14, 2023 (NZT)
New Zealand v DR Congo
Estadio Nueva Condomina, Murcia, Spain, 5am (NZT)
Game to be played on Wednesday October 18, 2023 (NZT)
New Zealand v Australia
Gtech Community Stadium, London, 7.45am (NZT)
Updated New Zealand squad
Changes made to the squad since it was first named:
Wing-back James McGarry suffered a hamstring injury when playing for his Aberdeen club, and has been replaced by Dalton Wilkins (Kolding, Denmark).
Newcomer Matt Dibley-Dias returned to his Fulham club for treatment after he suffered an injury in training camp.
Teenager goalkeeper Henry Gray has been added to the squad.
Max Crocombe (2 caps) Burton Albion FC, England
Michael Woud (4 caps) Ventforet Kofu, Japan
Nik Tzanev (1 cap) AFC Wimbledon, England
Henry Gray* (0 caps), Ipswich Town, England
Bill Tuiloma (37 caps) Charlotte FC, United States
Dalton Wilkins (2 caps) Kolding, Denmark
Liberato Cacace (15 caps) Empoli FC, Italy
Michael Boxall (43 caps) Minnesota United, United States
Nando Pijnaker (12 caps) Sligo Rovers, Ireland
Niko Kirwan (8 caps) Calcio Padova, Italy
Tommy Smith (50 caps) MK Dons, England
Tyler Bindon* (0 caps) Reading FC, England
Callum McCowatt (12 caps) Silkeborg IF, Denmark
Marko Stamenic (14 caps) FK Crvena zvezda / Red Star Belgrade, Serbia
Matthew Garbett (15 caps) NAC Breda, Netherlands
Sarpreet Singh (9 caps) FC Hansa Rostock, Germany
Alex Greive (10 caps) St Mirren FC, Scotland
Ben Waine (8 caps) Plymouth Argyle, England
Chris Wood (70 caps) Nottingham Forest, England
Eli Just (16 caps) AC Horsens, Denmark
Joe Champness (6 caps) Adanaspor, Turkey
Max Mata (4 caps) Shrewsbury Town, England
*Debut senior international call-up