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Is this All-Whites team overachieving or underachieving?


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I've been in New Zealand for 2 weeks now and learning a bit about the country, it makes me question if these players are underachieving or overachieving.

There are only 2 big cities in the country. Auckland and Wellington (which aren't even that big to begin with). The rest are hills full of sheep with the occasional mountain. 

They have 3 million people and unlike Uruguay, have little interest in football. Yet they have players in the Premier League like Winston Reid and Chris Wood. As well as the championship.

They have that but lost the nations cup to Tahiti in 2012, and won only on penalties against Papúa New Guinea last year.

Are they overachieving due to how much they have in a tiny country? Do they benefit from UK scouts by being commonwealth? Are they underachieving for not being totally dominant in Oceania?

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They certainly benefit from the commonwealth but when Rugby is your number one sport, and to be fair, one of the royal flag ship sports after cricket in the commonwealth, it’s not surprising Rugby takes precedence.

I believe football is more popular in Australia due to the Croats, Italian and Greek Aussie communities more so than British, but then our Aussie posters are better placed to answer that question than me. 

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There are only 1 Championship and 2 Premier League regulars in their squad.

Winston Reid's parents moved to Denmark when he was 10 years old. Tommy Smith was born in Macclesfield, England. That means only 1 player, Chris Wood, was scouted whilst playing in New Zealand.

Even Ryan Nelson came to England via the MLS.

I don't know much about the history of the A-league but I am guessing having teams in that helps them kick on from where they used to be.

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