Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Herbert in top company

Ricki Herbert has reached the top of the soccer coaching ladder after a 20-year climb.

Herbert this week learned he had been appointed to the panel of instructors and lecturers for the sport's world governing body's Courses.

The Fifa appointment, which took effect on January 1 this year, means Herbert joins 29 other soccer coaches on the panel.

Herbert said he was surprised, and delighted, to be put into such a category.

"Very few people in the world get an appointment like this, and I believe it is recognition for what New Zealand achieved at the World Cup finals last year," Herbert said.

"We must have been doing something right for this (appointment) to happen."

The All Whites exited the World Cup at the group stage in South Africa after drawing three matches.

Herbert has worked his way through the coaching system over a long period.

He thought he had reached the coaching pinnacle when awarded a Uefa professional licence in June, 2008, and did not anticipate this latest appointment.

"I suppose it is also a reward for the work I have put in over the last 20 years or so," he said.

"It has been a long, tough battle but one I have thoroughly enjoyed.

"I have been privileged to be involved in football for so long. For many people their involvement ends when their playing career comes to a halt, but it was always my ambition to stay in the game."

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