Nelsen and Smeltz to lead NZ in London

New Zealand included four players from the 2010 World Cup in its football squad for the London 2012 Olympic Games, including captain Ryan Nelsen and Shane Smeltz.

Queens Park Rangers defender Ryan Nelsen, who captained New Zealand at the World Cup, will also lead the Olympic team as one of three over-age players in the U-23 squad.

Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith, West Bromwich Albion striker Chris Wood and Perth Glory striker Shane Smelz are the others backing up from South Africa 2010.

"I'm buzzing to be honest," a proud Smeltz said.

"To represent New Zealand on any occasion is an honour but the Olympic Games will be something special.

"To be part of a tournament that features the best of the best from every sport will be a highlight."

Central Coast Mariners midfielder Michael McGlinchey was added as one of the over-age players when defender Winston Reid was refused a release by his club West Ham United.

The 18-man team will be coached by former Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Neil Emblen and will play pool matches against Belarus, Egypt and Brazil.

"The over-age players give us a good balance and experience down the spine of the team. We've been able to pick the All Whites premier defender, first choice midfielder and most prolific striker," Emblen said.

"Ryan's influence in particular will be massive for a group that includes players as young as 17 and any time you can include a player in your squad that was commonly regarded as one of the best at the World Cup in South Africa it's a boost for your side's chances."

New Zealand will play Japan, Korea Republic and United Arab Emirates in warm-up matches.

New Zealand Olympic Games squad:
Goalkeepers: Jake Gleeson, Michael O'Keeffe.
Defenders: Ian Hogg, Tim Myers, Tommy Smith, Ryan Nelsen, Adam Thomas, James Musa.
Midfielders: Tim Payne, Michael McGlinchey, Alex Feneridis, Cameron Howieson, Adam McGeorge.
Forwards: Kosta Barbarouses, Shane Smeltz, Chris Wood, Marco Rojas, Dakota Lucas.

Source AP