All Whites offer Hudson job, Bahrain dig heels in

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 05:00 31/07/2014
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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New Zealand Football have made a formal offer to 33-year-old Englishman Anthony Hudson to become the next All Whites coach.

But the Bahrain Football Association insist the man likened by Harry Redknapp to a "young Jose Mourinho" remains committed to his contract with the Kingdom.

The BFA issued a statement yesterday revealing it had received a letter from Hudson in which he requested an "amendment" to his contract and confirmed he had received an offer to coach New Zealand.

But the BFA said it was confident Hudson would coach Bahrain at November's Gulf Cup and January's Asian Cup.

Andy Martin, NZF's chief executive, said the incoming coach would be in place for September's away game against Uzbekistan.

Hudson is scheduled to meet top Bahrain officials to discuss his contract after the Eid Al Fitr holidays, which end today.

NZF had hoped to unveil Ricki Herbert's successor at a press conference in Auckland today but that has now been pushed back until next week.

The coaching situation was discussed at an NZF board meeting in Wellington on Saturday and NZF also met with All Whites captain Winston Reid during his visit with West Ham United.

Hudson began his coaching career at the Real Maryland Monarchs before progressing to Newport County and Bahrain under-23 then taking charge of the senior side last August.

He also worked as Tottenham Hotspur's reserve team coach, holds a UEFA Pro Licence and has visited and studied at a host of leading clubs around the world.

Hudson's former West Ham Academy team-mate, Richard Garcia, told Fairfax Media that he would do a "fantastic job" as All Whites coach.

Garcia, a former Socceroos and English Premier League forward now playing for Perth Glory, has kept in touch with Hudson over the years as their respective playing and coaching careers blossomed.

"I know he's done the rounds of visiting Mourinho and Harry Redknapp," Garcia said.

"He came to Hull as well to see how we were set up and what we were doing. It is testament to him - he is a real student of the game and he really got around everyone's systems and methods. For someone at that age to be coaching at that level is fantastic. It's always hard being a national team manager but the thing with Anthony is that he's had that experience. I think he's the youngest guy to ever be invited onto the Pro Licence and the amount of research and the amount of clubs he went around to in the past five, six years is amazing. Having that international experience with Bahrain, I'm sure he'll do a fantastic job."

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While Hudson is younger than All Whites defender Ben Sigmund, Garcia did not believe that age would be an issue.

"If you know how to treat people then it doesn't matter what age you are. It's about mutual respect between a coach and a player. I don't think you're looking for an authoritative figure, you're looking for someone who is going to manage you as a player well. That is the most important thing and I'm sure he'll know exactly how to manage the players the way they like. He'll have a different outlook on the way football should be played. Sometimes it takes someone from far away just to change things every so slightly."

- The Dominion Post

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