All Whites target quits as Bahrain manager

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 10:08 28/07/2014
Anthony Hudson
Reuters
READY TO ROLL: Bahrain coach Anthony Hudson is expected to be announced soon as the new All Whites coach.

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Anthony Hudson is poised to become the next All Whites coach after reportedly resigning as Bahrain boss.

Sky Sports UK today reported that the 33-year-old Englishman had resigned from his job as Bahrain coach.

The Bahrain Football Association is yet to announce whether it will accept Hudson's resignation but it appears New Zealand Football has got its man.

It is believed NZF headhunted Hudson as its top choice to replace Ricki Herbert, who fell on his sword in November.

Hudson, the son of former Chelsea star Alan, coached Bahrain's under-23 side to its first ever Gulf Cup of Nations title last year before stepping up to take the Kingdom's senior team.

NZF discussed the three shortlisted candidates at a board meeting in Wellington on Saturday, with Hudson and Australian duo Frank Farina and Gary van Egmond the names most closely linked with the job.

''We're close, we'll have some news during the week,'' said NZF chief executive Andy Martin.

''We're warm, yeah, if things progress as we expect over the next three or four days.''

It has been a long and exhaustive process to get to this point.

The four-strong selection panel consists of Martin, his high performance director Fred de Jong, High Performance Sport NZ's Graeme Robson and former All White Ivan Vicelich.

''There were four stages in the process, [Vicelich] was involved in all bar the third stage,'' Martin said.

''The third stage was where we shortened the list and there was a conflict of interest [with Vicelich's Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx]. So at that point he stepped out of the process. When we got to stage four the conflict wasn't there and he was back in the process.''

Martin said money had not been an issue during recruitment.

''There hasn't been anybody excluded on financial terms at all. We're where we want to be.''

NZF are also expected to announce the inclusion of a Wellington Phoenix reserve team in the national league within the next week or so.

''That's very close as well, that's positive,'' Martin said.

''Once we nail the Phoenix issue then the focus can be on getting the national league stronger."

Martin said money had not been an issue during recruitment.

''There hasn't been anybody excluded on financial terms at all. We're where we want to be.''

NZF are also expected to announce the inclusion of a Wellington Phoenix reserve team in the national league within the next week or so.

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''That's very close as well, that's positive,'' Martin said.

''Once we nail the Phoenix issue then the focus can be on getting the national league stronger."

- The Dominion Post

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