COMMENT:

The All Whites game against Ireland can't come soon enough.

That match, at the impressive Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Friday morning (NZT), will be followed by a trip to the Baltic to face Lithuania in Vilnius (Monday NZT).

The activity will end a long period of hibernation for the national team, and also bring to a close a tumultuous period in New Zealand football history, which encompassed the departures of NZF chief executive Andy Martin, former technical director Andreas Heraf and president Deryck Shaw.

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It was a phase that also saw the bizarre appointment of Fritz Schmid, following

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