Danny Hay has been confirmed as the new coach of the All Whites. The former All Whites defender replaces Fritz Schmid who stepped down from the role earlier this year. Schmid resigned in June, ending a 16-month tenure where the side played just four games. The 44-year-old Hay, who led Eastern Suburbs to their first win of the ISPS Handa Premiership last year, is a former New Zealand U-17 head coach. Hay follows Ricki Herbert in becoming the second person to captain and coach the national team.Herbert was also the last Kiwi to coach the team fulltime. He left in 2013 after six years in the role. Hay said it was a huge honour to be named as Head Coach of the national team he cares deeply about. "I've been heavily invested in the game in this country for a very long time now, and the All Whites in particular is something that is very close to my heart having played for, and captained the side," he said. "As a proud New Zealander, and proud football person, this is a huge opportunity on a personal level, but also comes with massive responsibility to ensure I do the best job I can." Hay said what excites him, more than anything about this role, is the opportunity to bring together and work with a group of players who genuinely want to do well for their country. "It's an exciting time for the game as I firmly believe we have a balance of experience, youthful vitality and real quality," he said.
The mix of players who have been at big clubs in Europe for a number of years, those operating consistently at MLS [Major League Soccer] and A-League level, combined with some emerging talent, has to excite any football fan looking to the future. Ultimately, the next few years is about bringing these players together on a regular basis so that we have a genuine chance of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar." Hay is one of six players from New Zealand to compete in the English Premier League (making five appearances with Leeds United from 1999 - 2002). He has forged a home-grown coaching career. He worked at Sacred Heart College from 2007 to 2019 and was the New Zealand U-17 Head Coach for two FIFA World Cup cycles (2015 and 2017) where in 2015 they made the Round of 16 after defeating Paraguay and drawing with Syria. They lost 1-0 to Brazil in the Round of 16. In 2017, the NZ U-17s drew with Turkey and competed well with Mali and Paraguay. Hay will begin with the All Whites next month and will be straight into his work as he selects his first squad for the international friendlies against Ireland and Lithuania in November.
Wellington Phoenix FC