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Monday, September 13, 2010
Two more years for Herbert

Ricki Herbert has signed a two-year contract to remain as New Zealand coach. Herbert has been in negotiations with New Zealand Football since the end of the World Cup in South Africa, where the All Whites went through the group stages unbeaten.

"We're delighted to complete the deal and make that handshake [agreement] in Johannesburg official," NZF chairman Frank van Hattum said. "Re-appointing Ricki is the first step on our new journey towards Brazil 2014."

A formal agreement has also been struck between NZF and Herbert's club, Wellington Phoenix, guaranteeing the coach will be free from his club commitments whilst fulfilling his All Whites duties.

"It's just defining those times in those environments separately," explained Herbert, shortly before the Phoenix flew to Melbourne for their A-League games against Victory and Heart.

"To have a formalised plan for the next two to four years I think is important, not only for the players but also the management and knowing what we have to do and when we have to do it."

Herbert and NZF will reassess the requirements of the role at the end of the initial two years, which will run up to the end of the Oceania phase of 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

A decision will then be made on whether or not the deal is extended through to the World Cup in Brazil.

Herbert revealed the management group that includes assistant coach Brian Turner and technical advisor Raul Blanco would be in place for next month's fixtures against Honduras and Paraguay but were not guaranteed to continue after that.

"Brian has been great. He's been an integral part of everything I have done right the way to the Olympics and through to the World Cup finals," said Herbert.

"I haven't had a chance to sit down with Brian and see what his thoughts are and whether he wants to continue on.

"I think it's important from a stability point of view [to keep Turner and Blanco on]. But these people need time to understand the programme and the sooner we can get some certainty around that the better."




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