James McGarry targets March tournament for recall to All Whites

Defender James McGarry says he hopes his form for Scottish club Aberdeen will earn him a recall to the All Whites for the four-nation W Cup tournament in March.

McGarry (25) has played only once for New Zealand — against Lithuania in 2019 — but he’s working to win a place in the squad that will travel to the United Arab Emirates to play two of Croatia, Egypt and Tunisia.

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He told Scotland’s Daily Record: “Hopefully I will get into the national team again at some point. I just have to keep playing and playing well to get into that squad.

“I was supposed to be in it before my injury. That injury came up at an unfortunate time, only a couple of weeks before the camp I was supposed to be in.

“The next one comes up in March, so the focus for me is to make sure I have the best possible chance to be in that squad.

“That is definitely my goal — I’ll be back in for March, which is the next international window.”

Former Wellington Phoenix defender McGarry has made 13 appearances for Aberdeen this season, despite missing pre-season training with his move from A-League club Central Coast Mariners, and delaying his arrival as he and his partner awaited the birth of their son, Storm.

Since then, a hamstring injury disrupted his season and cost him the chance to play for the All Whites against Greece and the Republic of Ireland in November.

With Aberdeen trying to chase down third place in the Scottish Premiership, McGarry says it’s his chance to earn a recall.

“The goal is to get back into the international squad,” he said.

“With Aberdeen, we have a big season with lots of games, so there will be lots of opportunities to put myself on show and perform. That’s something that is important for me because I want to be more consistent.

“If there is consistency, I will get those opportunities. It’s the same with going for the national team — it’s about being a consistent performer. Coaches look for consistent performers.”

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