New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson described Chris Wood as “the fittest he’s ever been in his career” after the Leeds United striker scored the only goal in a 1-0 friendly win over Australian club side Redlands United.
Wood is set to captain the All Whites in the forthcoming OFC Nations Cup and he helped Hudson’s side continue their warm-up with a victory in Brisbane on Sunday.
The forward struggled with hamstring problems at Leeds this season but he was put through an intensive fitness regime by United’s coaching team before returning to contention for the Championship run-in.
Despite missing a glut of league games, he finished the campaign as the club’s top scorer with 13 goals, including a penalty in a 1-1 draw with Preston North End on the final day.
Hudson said: “It’s a difficult time of the season for him but he’s come in and is probably the fittest he’s ever been in his career.
“It’s the best I’ve seen him in his approach to the team and the tournament.
“That’s a real credit to him and it’s a great example to the rest of the players.”
New Zealand begin their OFC Nations Cup bid against Papau New Guinea this weekend.
Hudson’s side are attempting to secure a place at the Confederations Cup in Russia next year.