Māori Soccer reaches a milestone today announcing Te Rarawa and Tainui's West Ham Untied soccer defender Winston Reid as the new Maori Soccer Ambassador.
The announcement comes before he plays on home soil tonight in Auckland.
He's arguably the highest profile Māori athlete on an international level, playing with some of England's top tier football players.
Now Winston Reid will be the face of football for many young aspiring Māori players.
All Whites' player Leo Bertos says there's not much interest amongst Māori to play football, but hopes that with the help of Winston, more Māori will want to play.
“A lot of idols and heros and inspirations are All Blacks, runners, swimmers, athletes, rugby league players and all other codes. There aren't too many footballers, so I think it's great for the game and it's great for Pacific and Māori people.”
For the first time ever, New Zealand will host two premier league teams West Ham United and Newcastle United for the Football United Tour.
Bertos says "I'm expecting West Ham to show their class, and to show why they pay the big bucks for those guys in the premier league."
The Wellington Phoenix play West Ham United tonight at Eden Park.