New Zealand Football unveiled a new high performance strategy in Auckland today, intended to "build a culture of continual success at international level."
Named 'Beyond Football', NZF chief executive Andy Martin said the strategy is one of the most important bodies of work ever conducted by the national body and the result of seven months of consultation with the football community.
Martin says key to the strategy will be placing the All Whites more prominently in the spotlight as part of making them a side with "credibility and professionalism".
"Everyone involved in sport understands how success at major international events can uplift a nation, capture the imagination of the public and provide benefits extending far beyond the realm of the game itself," Martin said.
"You need only look at the impact of the All Whites reaching the 1982 and 2010 World Cup tournaments to understand the possibilities open to football that come with that type of achievement."
Martin, who was joined at the announcement by All Whites coach Anthony Hudson, Football Ferns coach Tony Readings, NZF's high performance director Fed de Jong and technical director Rob Sherman, said a number of objectives and obstacles have been identified as a way of executing the plan.
The obstacles include a relative lack of resources, long-term domestic coaching depth and clearer pathways for talented players.
"As we aim to reposition football in the hearts and minds of New Zealanders, a clear strategy to ensure more regular, sustainable and defined success at the pinnacle events for our game - World Cup and Olympic Games tournaments - is absolutely vital," Martin said.
"The high performance blueprint for our game has detailed our current situation and, within key areas of focus, provides guidelines for our effort to ensure we position ourselves to achieve more success more often on stages that mean something to New Zealanders."
"Football is the number one sport in the world played by a large number of New Zealand's key trading partners," Martin said.
"The majority of those nations also qualify regularly for the major tournaments in the Fifa calendar so building an approach which is mindful of that serves two important purposes from our view.
"On the pitch; more regular contact with those countries will have obvious benefits for our teams and players in the journey along the qualification pathway towards the major tournaments we're targeting.
"Off the field, given the highly visible position of football in those countries, the strengthening of ties can only have positive effects for our economy and New Zealand's international profile moving forwards."
At the function it was also confirmed that the All Whites will play two fixtures in Asia in March's international window, while the Football Ferns will also play Denmark in Turkey in May, as part of their final preparation for next year's World Cup in Canada.