New All Whites coach not lacking ambition

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 16:45 05/08/2014
DAVID WHITE/Stuff.co.nz

New All Whites coach Anthony Hudson talks about his aspirations for the team.

AMBITIOUS: Anthony Hudson is unveiled as the All Whites new coach and says he wants to bring a more attacking mindset to the national team.
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GOOD START: New All Whites coach Anthony Hudson is earning praise from his players in Doha.

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Taking over a regime many perceived as dictatorial, defensive and had grown complacent, new All Whites coach Anthony Hudson is pledging to breathe fresh oxygen into the lungs of New Zealand Football.

While the review of the All Whites' failed 2014 World Cup qualification campaign has been controversially kept under wraps, it appears Hudson, who quit as Bahrain's manager to succeed Ricki Herbert, knew exactly what people wanted to hear when he was unveiled in Auckland today.

In outlining his vision for the national men's team, many of Hudson's points tackled elements of the programme widely criticised, particularly over the last four years, under Herbert's regime - with particular emphasis on forward thinking and future achievement.

''I want to go to the World Cup. I want to make history with the All Whites by going further than we've ever gone,'' Hudson said at a press conference today.

''Overall, just a real positive and aggressive manner to how we approach games. That style of play will colour everything we do.

''As soon as possible there will be, I don't want to use the word overloaded, but certainly we will try and show the players as much as possible through videos, different forms of analysis, meetings, working on the training pitch, ways of learning philosophy and teaching how we want to play.

''You will see a team that goes out to try and win games by being organised, incredibly organised.

''[But] It's not just results, it's about relationships.''

Ending the nine-month window since Herbert's departure, Hudson arrives with a compressed but fast-rising CV, having been an assistant at Tottenham Hotspur before taking the Bahrain job - and now his second national post at age 33.

Hudson says his age and ambition ''is a perfect fit'' for the situation the All Whites currently find themselves in - and had been watching for Herbert's departure for the last four years.

''I've had a keen eye since the 2010 World Cup. I'd been really interested in how New Zealand got to the World Cup and their achievements in South Africa. Since then I've always followed the All Whites,'' he said.

''I'd made it clear for a very long time, I'd always been interested in the All Whites. When the job came about I'd made it known to people close to me there was a place in a national team I was very interested in.

''At a young age, I've achieved a lot. Coupled with where the All Whites are at the moment, it's a really good fit. There's so much going on behind the scenes and so much being planned. I'm really keen to get started.''

The specifics of that start now rest on how quickly Hudson's immigration requirements can be met - with New Zealand Football optimistic Hudson will be granted his visa requirements in time for the All Whites' friendly against Uzbekistan next month.

The news is also good for interim All Whites coach Neil Emblen, who Hudson said will remain assistant coach of the team.

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