Ricki Herbert will continue as the All Whites coach and and has signed a new three-year
coaching contract with the Phoenix, despite the lure of lucrative coaching offers from clubs around the
Herbert yesterday announced he had spurned offers from
top-level European, Asian and African clubs and signed a new three-year
coaching contract with the Phoenix.
He also had an agreement with New Zealand Football (NZF) to
remain head coach of the All Whites which he was confident would be
sorted out in talks between NZF and Phoenix owner Terry Serepisos.
“The club is in phase two — we got it to a finals series (this year), the club wants to be a winning side in the A-league.
“We want to go better and have the club win a grand final in next three years — that would be wonderful.
“And to go back to back World Cups would be great — that’s another massive challenge . . . .”
Ninety percent of the current team could go to another World Cup and “that’s exciting for me”.
Herbert said it had not been a difficult decision to make.
Loyalty, pride in what the All Whites had achieved by emerging
as the one unbeaten team at the World Cup, and not wanting to see a
repeat of the post-1982 scenario where the game “collapsed” after New
Zealand’s first World Cup finals appearance in Spain which he played
in, had played a part in shaping his decision.
Serepisos was also instrumental in helping him make that decision.
“It hasn’t been easy but at the end of the day, Terry has been
the defining factor for staying in New Zealand,” said Herbert, whose
tenure with All Whites began in 2005.
Since then, he has guided the All Whites through qualification
for last year’s Confederations Cup and this year’s World Cup where they
drew with Slovakia, defending champions Italy and Paraguay.
“Three years ago, when New Zealand football was kind of
nothing, the support I had from Terry through those days, and will
continue to have, has been the biggest catalyst to achieving what we
have, not only at club level but also international level,” Herbert
New Zealand Football (NZF) chairman Frank van Hattum confirmed yesterday Herbert’s All Whites role was still under discussion.
“Herbert and I have agreed in principle for Herbert to continue
in his New Zealand role, which for the last three years he has balanced
with his Wellington Phoenix duties, but now need to work through any
new arrangement with the A-League club.”