By Jason Pine

Who holds the most power in New Zealand Football? NZME journalist Jason Pine ranks the New Zealanders, or those with direct and significant influence on, or stature in, the game of football in New Zealand.

1. Sarai Bareman (Global head of women's football for Fifa)
The 36-year-old West Aucklander holds one of Fifa's top jobs and one of the most important positions in women's sport worldwide, in charge of formulating and implementing Fifa's global strategy for the women's game.

2. Anthony Hudson (All Whites coach)
Can make or break international careers with the stroke of his selection pen, but is also starting to show the kind of leadership which could give the national side an outside chance of qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

New Zealand Oly Whites Coach Anthony Hudson and Football CEO Andy Martin. Photo / Brett Phibbs.
New Zealand Oly Whites Coach Anthony Hudson and Football CEO Andy Martin. Photo / Brett Phibbs.

3. Andy Martin (CEO, New Zealand Football)

Advertisement

As head of the game's national body, Martin hold considerable sway over the strategic direction of football in this country and the allocation of funding to its various stakeholders.

4. Winston Reid (All Whites captain)

Comfortably the best current New Zealand player, national team captain (when available) and the owner of a freshly-inked six-year contract extension at his Premier League club, West Ham United.

5. David Chung (OFC President, Fifa vice-president)

As head of the Oceania Football Confederation, of which New Zealand is the most powerful playing nation, the PNG national represents our region at world football's top table, the Fifa Council.

Papua New Guinea and Oceania and FIFA football representative David Chung.
Papua New Guinea and Oceania and FIFA football representative David Chung.

6. Darije Kalezic (Wellington Phoenix coach)

The Dutchman has taken the reins at the country's only professional club where he's quickly imposed a European structure and discipline among his players. Will have a huge say in deeming which kiwi youngsters are good enough to make the jump to the professional ranks in New Zealand.

7. Tony Readings (Football Ferns coach)

As coach of the national women's side, Readings sits at the peak of the aspirational pathway for young kiwi female footballers, and has achieved solid results with the side since taking the reins in 2010.

8. Rob Morrison (Chairman, Wellington Phoenix)

A former international merchant banker, the head of the Welnix Group holds the purse strings at the Phoenix and has significant say on all the big financial and strategic decisions made at the club.

9. Doctor Michelle Cox (Former Football Fern, Managing Director, Cozan & Co GmbH, Switzerland)

Following an illustrious playing career which included ten years in the national side, Cox quickly moved into football management and consultancy. She oversees a company which develops programmes and policies on behalf of international sports organisations such as Fifa, UEFA and the AFC.

10. Andrew Scott-Howman (Barrister, General Counsel to NZPFA)

The well-connected Wellingtonian played a key role in the last negotiation of the All Whites' collective agreement and is an important part of the relationship between our top players and the national body.

11. Danny Hay (Former All White, New Zealand under-17 and ESAFC coach)

The former Premier League defender and New Zealand captain holds a number of coaching roles, including our youngest under-age national men's side. His opinions and philosophies on the game are held in extremely high regard.

12. Ramon Tribulietx (Auckland City FC head coach)

An astute football tactician and student, the Spaniard has overseen a period of unprecedented success at Auckland City, guiding them to multiple national and Oceania titles and several appearances at the Fifa Club World Cup.

Ivan Vicelich (L) and Ramon Tribulietx. Photo / Michael Craig
Ivan Vicelich (L) and Ramon Tribulietx. Photo / Michael Craig

13. Gavin Wilkinson (Former All White, General Manager, Portland Timbers)

Having played for the MLS franchise for five years, Wilkinson has been in the senior management team at Portland for over a decade, with the club having sold out every league match since 2011 and having a season ticket waiting list of 10 thousand fans.

14. Ivan Vuksich (Auckland City Chairman)

The former National Commercial Manager at Fletcher Construction has enabled Auckland City's recent success with his financial clout and unbridled passion for the club.

15. Andreas Heraf (Technical Director, New Zealand Football)

The former Austrian international gained this key role in April and is in charge of ensuring the technical infrastructure is in place to support the game at all levels in this country, including the rollout and implementation of the Whole of Football plan.

16. Tai Nicholas (Secretary General, OFC)

The headquarters of Oceania Football is overseen by the former lawyer and Cook Islands native, who is responsible for implementing and executing the decisions of the OFC Executive Committee.

17. Andrew Durante (Wellington Phoenix captain, All White)

The Phoenix skipper is about to start his tenth year at the club and is regularly consulted by the management and board on decisions affecting the team and it's on and off-field performance.

18. Chris Wood (All Whites striker)

Having secured a move to Premier League side Burnley, the robust striker has joined Reid as a poster-boy for young kiwi footballers. Often captains the national side and will inevitably become the All Whites' greatest ever goalscorer.

All Whites Chris Wood. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / www.photosport.nz.
All Whites Chris Wood. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / www.photosport.nz.

19. Wynton Rufer (Former All White, Managing Director of WYNRS Academy)

Arguably our greatest ever player, Rufer's playing deeds and post-career activities see him hold sway in high footballing places.

20. Ryan Nelsen (Former New Zealand captain)

While not currently involved heavily with the game, the inspirational former national captain has incredible mana in football circles and has helped broker player deals in the US, where he now lives.

Ryan Nelsen.
Ryan Nelsen.

21. David Dome (General Manager, Wellington Phoenix)

Charged with the day-to-day running of the Phoenix, Dome is heavily involved in discussions around player recruitment, marketing, fan engagement and implementing the strategic direction of the club.

22. Harry Ngata (Former All White, television commentator, NZPFA member)

The popular former professional enjoys a high profile in the game though his media work, employment with sports apparel company Puma and involvement in causes such as the White Ribbon violence prevention organisation, of which he is an ambassador.

23. Ivan Vicelich (Former All White, Auckland City assistant coach, NZPFA member)

An All Whites icon, decorated player and recently inducted Fifa Legend, Vicelich is still heavily involved in various aspects of football and is still called "The Godfather" by his former team-mates.

24. Andrew Gourdie (Mediaworks journalist/presenter)

Holds a high profile in media circles and takes the lead for Mediaworks' on-air and online platforms on football matters. Famously helped broker Winston Reid's pledge of allegiance to New Zealand over Denmark in 2010.

25. Darren Bazeley (All Whites assistant coach, NZ under-20 men's coach)

Part of Anthony Hudson's support staff and head coach of the under-20 men's side which has achieved some promising results at recent World Cups.

26. Declan Edge (Former All White, Technical Director at Ole Football Academy)

The forthright former international oversees the football programme at the burgeoning Ole Academy in Wellington, with graduates including All Whites starlet Ryan Thomas. He also coached Western Suburbs to the 2017 Central League title.

Declan Edge. Photo / Duncan Brown
Declan Edge. Photo / Duncan Brown

27. Noel Barkley (Former All White, CEO, New Zealand Football Foundation)

The former international striker has vast commercial experience, including being Sales Director for the 2015 under-20 World Cup. He heads the NZFF, which acquires and manages funds for New Zealand Football to provide the long-term financial support needed to grow football in this country.

28. Deryck Shaw (President, New Zealand Football)

The owner and director of a strategic planning consultancy has been NZF President since 2015.

29. Duncan Oughton (US-based player agent)

The former international and MLS professional is now a scout and player agent for Sports Invest USA.

30. Noah Hickey (Former All White, Wellington Phoenix board member)

The former professional has moved seamlessly into business after his playing days, including a place on the Phoenix's football committee.