The All Whites might not be going to the World Cup in Brazil next month but former coach Ricki Herbert has landed a dream job with Fifa at the event.
Herbert, inaugural coach of the Wellington Phoenix, will be a member of a 14-strong Fifa Technical Study Group (TSG) during the tournament in Brazil.
Describing the appointment as “a fantastic opportunity and an incredible honour”, Herbert is excited about being involved in the World Cup again after guiding the All Whites unbeaten through the group stages four years ago.
“The purpose of the TSG is the identification of how all teams approach the tournament,” Herbert said.
“What systems are they employing; what is their technical approach; their strengths and weaknesses; and what are the modern trends at the highest level of the game.”
Herbert went to Zurich in March for a briefing from the technical director of the TSG, Jean-Paul Brigger, and former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier who will be overseeing the study group in Brazil.
“We will be in teams of two and operate over two venues,” Herbert explained.
“I will be given one team in a match and my partner will do the other.
“We will then submit our observations to a central point where the information will be collated and eventually distributed to Fifa-s 208 member countries.
“Members of the group will also have the opportunity to view training sessions, and be able to sit down with managers to discuss how they are approaching games.
“Obviously those conversations will be confidential but helpful in understanding what their philosophies are.”
Being involved with soccer-s governing body doesn-t mean Herbert has lost touch with the grass roots of a sport that has been his life.
Along with his son Kayle, he has just returned from the United States where the RHFA under-15 team competed in a tournament.
Rather than go straight home to Wellington the pair went to Taranaki for a three-day academy for eight to 14-year-olds.