Soccer: Emblen rejects Waitakere offers

By Terry Maddaford

Neil Emblen wants to coach internationally. Photo / Natalie Slade.
Neil Emblen wants to coach internationally. Photo / Natalie Slade.

The "coach wanted" sign has been hung out at Waitakere United after a breakdown in talks between the club and incumbent Neil Emblen.

Waitakere chairman Peter Bult said his board were "absolutely disappointed" they could not find a way for Emblen to continue at the club he has taken to three successive ASB Premiership grand final triumphs.

Negotiations broke down over the club's insistence Emblen devote all his energies to coaching at Waitakere. Initially, the club offered him a fulltime role under those conditions. He turned that down and was later offered the chance to continue coaching the team (on a part-time basis) but having to work under a director of football. Emblen again declined, leaving the club with no option but to advertise the job.

Speaking from England, where he is coaching the Olywhites, Emblen said he was disappointed the parties could not find a solution.

"I would like to continue at Waitakere," he said. "But when they said it would be a fulltime role with no chance of coaching at the international level, I said no.

"There are only about 150 national coaching or assistant coaching roles in the world and at present I have been given a chance. I don't want to walk away from that."

As well as taking the head coaching role with the Olympic team, Emblem is Ricki Herbert's assistant with the All Whites.

Emblen did not see that as an insurmountable clash given the schedule for the World Cup qualifiers. The club, however, views it differently.

"Neil is our man," said Bult. "He has done a good job here but you saw what happened when he was away with the All Whites - we lost to Hawkes Bay. As a club we felt the job demands a fulltime coach."

Meanwhile, the results of a review into the ASB Premiership and a number of recommendations made by former New Zealand Football chief executive Bill MacGowan will go before the NZF board next week after which the format and playing conditions for the 2012-13 season will be released.

NZF chief executive Grant McKavanagh also said there were no plans to change the date of the Women's Knockout Cup final between Three Kings United and Massey University on August 26.

- NZ Herald

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