Chris Wood named All Whites Captain

Ex Hamilton Wanderers and Leicester City striker Chris Wood will become one of the youngest players to captain the All Whites, named on Thursday to lead the team in their international against China on Saturday (NZ time).

In the absence of the injured Winston Reid for the two games against China and Thailand, Hudson gives the armband to the 22-year-old saying he is keen to broaden his leadership group with the involvement of a number of young players in the squad.

"Since Chris joined us in Doha he has worked hard, he cares about the national team and he is a top professional," Hudson said on Thursday in China.

"He is a great role model for some of the younger players. Since I have been in this role, Chris has been superb on and off the pitch."

The All Whites coach said Wood will become a pivotal figure within the organisation as they look to build their approach towards the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

"Chris is going to be a very big player domestically and as a result he will be a huge part of the growth of football in New Zealand."

Wood has already earned 35 caps for the All Whites, scoring 12 goals in the process.

Born in Auckland, Wood had his early career in the Waikato playing for Hamilton Wanderers and has been on the pathway after representing his country at U-17, U-23 and senior level.

He got his chance in the UK with West Bromwich Albion in 2009 and in the ensuing five years was loaned to a number of other English clubs before earning a transfer to Leicester City, where he scored twice on debut.

Wood played a part in Leicester's promotion to the Premier League, and scored the equaliser as a substitute in their 2-2 draw against Everton in their first match back in the EPL at home.

Wood was the youngest member of the All Whites squad at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

Chris Wood