Soccer: Herbert signs All Whites deal

All Whites coach Ricki Herbert. Photo / Mark Mitchell
All Whites coach Ricki Herbert. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The reappointment of Ricki Herbert as All Whites coach was completed today, putting pen to paper on a two year deal.

The signatures confirms the handshake agreement between New Zealand Football chairman Frank van Hattum and Herbert following the All Whites FIFA World Cup campaign in South Africa.

"We're delighted to complete the deal and make that handshake in Johannesburg official," van Hattum said.

"Reappointing Ricki is the first step on our new journey towards Brazil 2014."

New Zealand Football have also entered into a formal arrangement with Wellington Phoenix to ensure Herbert will be free from his club commitments whilst fulfilling All White duties.

"The Phoenix and Terry Serepisos have been extremely cooperative during negotiations and we thank them for allowing us to access Ricki during FIFA windows."

Herbert, who took over the national team in 2005, guided the team to the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and to the 2010 FIFA World Cup via Oceania qualifiers and a two legged playoff with the fifth placed Asian team, Bahrain.

Herbert's All Whites returned from South Africa this year as the only unbeaten team having secured draws against Slovakia, Italy and Paraguay.

Under Herbert, the All Whites also notched their first win on European soil, a 3-1 win over Georgia in Germany in 2006, although that feat was recently topped with a 1-0 win over Serbia in Austria.

Herbert will keep the reigns until at least the end of the Oceania phase of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in mid to late 2012. Those matches also double as qualifiers for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The intention is for both parties to assess the requirements of the role at the end of the initial term, with a view towards extension through to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Herbert's next games in charge will be the ASB International Series with matches against Honduras at North Harbour Stadium on October 9 and Paraguay in Wellington on October 12.

- NZHERALD ONLINE

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