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Nine long months after Ricki Herbert's resignation, the All Whites will finally have a new coach today as Anthony Hudson is unveiled at a New Zealand Football press conference in Auckland.
The 33-year-old Englishman takes the reins after a year in charge of Bahrain's national team, whom he coached to four wins, five draws and three losses.
Herbert's assistant, Neil Emblen, who coached the All Whites on an interim basis this year, is expected to be retained by Hudson, at the very least for his first assignment against Uzbekistan in Tashkent on September 8.
The son of former Chelsea star Alan, Hudson has also coached Bahrain under-23, Newport County and Real Maryland Monarchs and had a stint as Tottenham Hotspur's reserve team coach after retiring early following a playing career marred by alcohol problems.
He holds a UEFA Pro Licence and is expected to bring a fresh, modern tactical approach in line with the exciting crop of young attacking talent at the All Whites' disposal.
Hudson and Emblen were scheduled to meet last night ahead of today's 11am announcement.
Hudson won the job ahead of Australians Frank Farina and Gary van Egmond and local contenders Emblen and Ramon Tribulietx.
The coaching selection panel consisted of NZF chief executive Andy Martin, high-performance director Fred de Jong, former All White Ivan Vicelich and Graeme Robson, a performance planner from High Performance Sport NZ.
Hudson cites Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho and Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa as his inspirations and spent time learning from both men last year.
"I admire them both," Hudson told The Daily Mail in March.
"You have to stand for something. I would hate to be a coach that plays off the cuff, or just tells his team: 'go and play.' It scares me to think you could end up with a team that has no identity and plays horrible football. My whole life has been about trying to find a way to win with a certain style . . . It's almost obsessive how much I prepare. I watch and edit games every day. It does make it very difficult to have anything else in your life . . . I watch a lot of Chilean football, a lot of Marcelo Bielsa teams. I've come up with my own way of playing that I believe in, a style that's effective but entertains people."
Meanwhile, All Whites forward Ryan Thomas scored his second cup final win over Ajax yesterday, claiming the Dutch Super Cup for PEC Zwolle with a 1-0 win over the Eredivisie giants.
Thomas started the match and played 62 minutes with Zwolle's winner coming in the 55th minute through Stef Nijland.
It was the second successive victory for Zwolle over Ajax in a cup final after Thomas scored twice in April's 5-1 win in the Dutch Cup.
"Great way to start the season winning the supercup!" Thomas tweeted.
- The Dominion Post
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