Q and A: Alan Stroud

Alan Stroud was in the All Whites fold for nearly a decade and still plays football in the masters grades.

Former All Whites goalkeeper Alan Stroud is now acting as an ambassador for the 2018 Golden Oldies World Football Festival, which takes place in Christchurch during April.

Football runs through his blood as his father, Arthur, was also a New Zealand international goalkeeper.

After playing three matches for the All Whites between 1986 and 1995, Alan is still involved in the game as a coach and plays for an over-45s team in the masters grades.

He lives in Christchurch and runs his own bar called O’Sheas Public House, where many people will be going during the Golden Oldies festival for a nice cold drink after the games.

To enter your team and for more information please visit www.christchurchgoldenoldies.com/football

How did you become involved in helping promote the Golden Oldies festival and how exciting is it to be having such a big event in your backyard in Christchurch?

I think I was asked because I’ve been around a while and when you have been around a while you get to know a lot of people – either that or it’s because I own a pub!

As a masters footballer yourself, what do you enjoy about playing at an advanced age and why do you think people should enter a team to be part of the Golden Oldies tournament?

What I love is that a bunch of boys who used to play against each other and didn’t have enough to field full teams have got together so that we could have a run around and a few beers and a few laughs afterwards. Giving old farts a chance to get out on the pitch is magic.

Christchurch has been through a lot in recent years but is still a beautiful city, how important do you think events like these are to continuing the city’s rejuvenation?

Christchurch’s recovery has been slow going but having events like this breathes life back into the city. They bring the fun and bustle that we have been missing for too long.

Football runs in your blood and your father was also a New Zealand representative. Did you get into the game through your father and what was it like following in such big footsteps?

Dad played in goal for New Zealand in the 1960s.We are the only father and son to have played in goal for New Zealand. My son Ben, 19, has played for the national U-17 side but is a central defender. It’s a funny coincidence that there have only been two current English Championship-winning teams to have played here and dad played against Manchester United with the likes of Dennis Law, Bobby Charlton and George Best while I was lucky enough to play against Everton in 1987. I only let one goal in but Man Utd won 11-0!

You were involved in the All Whites set up for nearly a decade and played three internationals. What was your on-pitch highlight during that time and why?

My first All Whites game was memorable for the fact that we played Fiji in Suva and the pitch was invaded by frogs. My last game was against Paraguay in the Chilean national stadium in Santiago and it made all the times when I had missed selection or sat on the bench worthwhile. We went on to have a 2-2 draw with Uruguay and had close to 10,000 turn up just to watch us training. Another highlight of my career was my first game for Canterbury in 1985, I was having a run around then and played up front with a fellow named Kevin Keegan in a 0-0 draw with the All Whites at English Park.

Away from the field, what are some of your fondest memories of being an All White and are there any particular anecdotes that stick in your mind?

Being selected for New Zealand by one of my childhood goalkeeping heroes, Bobby Clark, who played in goal for Aberdeen (where I was born) and Scotland. When we were introduced, I told him we had met before and I was surprised he didn’t remember me running on to Newmarket Park as a 10-year-old at half time to get his autograph when he played for Aberdeen against Auckland.

What do you think of the current All Whites and their chances of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup?

The modern day All Whites are a totally different proposition. Largely thanks to the Wellington Phoenix, most of the players are full-time professionals whereas we were doing well to get our boots at half price from Front Runner. Players like Ryan Nelsen, Winston Reid and now Chris Wood have opened doors and there are now more opportunities for our best young players all over the world. It’s every player’s dream to play in the World Cup finals and I wish these boys all the very best to make it a reality.

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