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THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF FRIENDS OF FOOTBALL NZ

THE FOOTBALL MAGAZINE Issue Three, May 2015 ISSN 2422–8710

Darren Bazeley The Man Behind the U–20’s

$40,000 of prizes to be won at our golf day

Ricki Herbert ‘I CAN STILL MAKE A CONTRIBUTION’ OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF FRIENDS OF FOOTBALL

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THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF FRIENDS OF FOOTBALL NZ

s t n e t n o C THE FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Issue 3, May 2015

STORY 4 FEATURE Darren Bazeley

26 Friends’ Events

Reports from recent events hosted The former English pro who has by Friends of Football. wants to do something special for COVER STORY his adopted country.

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29 Ricki Herbert

The World Comes To NZ

Former All Whites and Phoenix What to look for when the FIFA coach Ricki Herbert believes he still has something to offer the U–20 World Cup kicks off. game in New Zealand.

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From the CEO’s Desk

33 International Diary

After a year in the role, NZ Football The Ferns head for the World Cup. CEO Andy Martin provides his briefing on the state of the sport in Around the Country this open letter. News from the regions.

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Doc on a Mission

35 Oceania News

New Zealand Football’s doctor, Auckland City retain their crown. Mark Fulcher, explains why he’s on Football Dad a mission to change the way our players and teams warm up. It’s not easy being a devoted father.

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20 The Girl Footballer

40 Friends of Football

What our group is all about, who Former Fern Barbara Cox tells the we are and how you can join. story of a special group of women who pulled on football boots in Get Off The Grass 1921. Andrew Dewhurst’s final word.

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PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS ISSUE Unless otherwise stated, all the photographs in this magazine are the work of Phototek’s Shane Wenzlick, the Official Photographer to Friends of Football. We are grateful to Shane for giving us access to his photographic library. 2

FANZ: The Football Magazine is published by Friends of Football Inc.

PO Box 9076 Newmarket Auckland 1149 Editor: Josh Easby email: josh@hurricane–press.co.nz www.friendsoffootballnz.com The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the group’s membership. All contents published in this issue remain the property of the appropriate copyright owner and may not be reproduced or copied in any form, print or digital, without the prior permission of the copyright holder. ISSN 2422–8710

THE FRIENDS’ DIARY Upcoming Friends of Football events include: GOLF DAY Friday May 22, 2015 Akarana Golf Club, Auckland See page 32 for details. FIFA U–20 WORLD CUP Opening Ceremony Saturday May 30, 2015 QBE Stadium, Albany 52 matches at venues throughout New Zealand with final at QBE Stadium on June 20. www.friendsoffootballnz.com FANZ: THE FOOTBALL MAGAZINE


FROM OUR EDITOR

A golden year — and it’s only May Josh Easby WE’RE BARELY halfway into 2015 and already it’s shaping to be an outstanding year for football. The year started with the return to New Zealand of Auckland City, fresh from their pre–Christmas exploits in Morocco at the FIFA Club World Cup. Their success, and the boost to the media profile of football in general, had a knock–on effect with more interest in their remaining ASB Premiership games. Being finalists at the Halberg Sports Awards helped too — despite the fact such recognition fuelled the envy of anti–football knockers who predictably argued that coming third in a competition didn’t merit awards. What tosh! As a nation, we’re outstanding at sports played by relatively few nations, and especially those that allow us to sit down at the same time (rowing, cycling, equestrian and so on.) It seems to be okay for individuals to excel in the bigger global sports — such as golf’s Lydia Ko — but heaven forbid that a team punches above its weight in the world’s most popular sport. The 2010 All Whites copped the same criticism when they were up for the same awards, having gone

unbeaten at the FIFA World Cup Finals in South Africa. So let’s accept that Auckland City got us off to a fantastic start this year. The cause of football was also helped hugely by a resurgent Wellington Phoenix whose first team played entertaining football and made a charge for regular season honours and the Hyundai A–League play–offs. Ernie Merrick’s squad proved a team from this side of the ditch can be competitive, even on a smaller budget, and it’s a shame the winning form didn’t last a week or two longer. The Phoenix decision to enter their second string in the ASB Premiership was a boon to the competition, boosting crowds in places like Whangarei and Cambridge where supporters appreciate the chance to watch top players in action.

In Fiji, Auckland City saw off Team Wellington in the final of the Oceania Champions League, ensuring a New Zealand team will again represent the region at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan later this year. Though the final was a niggly affair, with so much at stake, it still made for great drama and the chance to watch it live on television was another lift for local fans and neutrals. And now we’re about to see a string of major international tournaments in which our national teams can roll the dice and dream of more glory. The FIFA U–20 World Cup is almost ready to start; our Ferns are primed for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada ... and then the All Whites start their campaign to get to Russia in 2018. Bring on the second half of 2015!

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‘ ... no New Zealand team has ever won a game at this tournament, and no New Zealand team has qualified out of the group stage. That's our aim — to make some history. It's going to be hard, but if we can get into the knockout stages, anything can happen. We want to go as far as we can. ‘

Darren Bazeley Coach, New Zealand Under 20 team

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hen his players run onto the pitch to face the world’s best young players, Darren Bazeley may care to recall his own foray into international football. It was 1992 — before any of his New Zealand players were born — and Bazeley was a 19–year–old right back with English first division club Watford.

Bazeley came off the bench to play for the England U–21 side in a 2–2 draw against Hungary. He was on the pitch for 20 minutes. And then his international career was over. Opportunities in international football are rare and they must be treasured. Now 42, and after 11 years living in New Zealand, Bazeley gets the chance to draw upon his own experience to benefit a group of

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young men for whom the FIFA U–20 World Cup may be their only shot at international glory. Some, of course, will make their names during the three weeks of tournament play and they’ll have much to thank Bazeley for. After more than 400 games as a professional in top English

football, Bazeley is carefully molding a coaching career. So who is the man with the footballing world at his feet? ... continued on page 7.

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His biggest influences GROWING UP, Bazeley’s playing hero was Liverpool and Scotland striker Kenny Daglish. When he was 19, Bazeley got his chance to play in front of Daglish who was managing Blackburn Rovers . Bazeley played out of his skin that day, scoring two goals for Watford. Those goals and that game proved fateful for Bazeley as England U–21 manager Lawrie McMenemy was watching from the stand. It led to 19–year–old Bazeley’s inclusion in the next England squad, and his only international appearance against Hungary. In his career, Bazeley was managed by some of the biggest names in English football management.

They included Colin Lee, who played 185 times for Chelsea, managed Watford, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Torquay United, Walsall and Millwall. Another was Glenn Roeder, a defender who made almost 200 appearances for Newcastle United, had management spells at Gillingham, Watford, West Ham United, Newcastle United and Norwich City. But the manager who had the biggest influence on Bazeley’s thinking as a footballer was Graham Taylor in the two years he had with him at Watford.

Taylor, who managed England from 1990 to 1993, had a deep impact. Bazeley told former New Zealand international and blogger Maurice Tillotson: “Taylor made me examine myself, he knew everything about me, he taught me self–reflection.” Taylor’s attention to detail, his tactical awareness, statistics on game fundamentals and man– management made him, “the most knowledgeable football person I have ever met.” (Source: Cerebral Soccer: http:// tillotson.co.nz).

Taking on the world COACH BAZELEY goes into the tournament determined his side will be well–prepared for the games that lie ahead. Video analysis will play an important part. “We've got three or four games of all of our opponents on a database, so we can analyse them. It's helping us identify how teams play, and strengths of certain individuals. We've got someone constantly scouring the internet for information on our opponents,” Bazeley said. Despite the preparation, helped by enabling locally–based players to compete in the ASB Premiership under the Wanderers SC banner, Bazeley says home advantage and the local weather will be vital. “We need the crowd to be our 12th man,” he told FIFA.com. “We’re playing at home and have to make that count. “It also won’t do us any harm that 6

it will be winter here, and maybe one or two of the other teams won’t be quite as used to the conditions as our boys are. “We’ll need to use all those factors — the crowd, the weather and anything else in our favour — to make the most of this opportunity we have here.” When the tournament draw was made, Bazeley was pleased his side had missed the ‘big guns’. “There are no teams that will be easy and everyone that’s here has qualified through tough tournaments to achieve their place. “What we’ve got now is, on paper, a relatively favourable draw. “ ... it’s still going to be hard. We’re under no illusions of how hard it’s going to be.

New Zealand midfielder Bill Tuiloma is already a full All White

“But it’s a relatively good draw for us and gives us a great opportunity to do what we are setting out to do which is to get into that knockout phase.” And few would begrudge that success for Northampton lad who’s made New Zealand his home. FANZ: THE FOOTBALL MAGAZINE


Darren Shaun Bazeley Birthday: 5 October 1972 (age 42) Born: Northampton, England Personal: Married (to Sandy); daughters Taylor and Abbie Playing career Scouted by Watford at 13, joining the club’s youth programme Made first team debut at 17 Professional clubs (UK) Watford (1989–1999), 239 appearances, 21 goals Wolverhampton Wanderers (1999–2002), 70 appearances, 4 goals Walsall (2002–2004), 89 appearances, 0 goals New Zealand clubs New Zealand Knights (2005–2007), 41 appearances, 0 goals Waitakere United (2007–2008), 17 appearances, 1 goal International England U–21, 1 appearance (v Hungary, 1992)

Becoming a Kiwi BAZELEY’S FIRST taste of New Zealand football and the Kiwi lifestyle came in 2004 when he was 32 and nearing the end of his professional playing career in England. Sitting in the corner of the Walsall dressing room, he used to talk with All White Danny Hay and Steve Corica, an Australian. “We used to talk about Australia. Steve went over to New Zealand and I was invited over to take a look,” Bazeley told an interviewer. Bazeley came to New Zealand to join Hay in trials with the Auckland Kingz. Bazeley was offered a contract but declined, returning to England. When the Kingz were revamped as the New Zealand Knights, Bazeley decided to give it a second go. “We went back to New Zealand and loved it there. My wife and

I had always said that we would like to go abroad at some stage and we always thought we would go to Portugal.” Playing for the New Zealand Knights in the A–League re– united him with Neil Emblen who had been a team mate at Wolves and Walsall. (Like Bazeley, Emblen has built a coaching career in New Zealand, with Waitakere United and New Zealand national teams). Bazeley played every minute of the Knight’s 21 A–League matches in the 2005–2006, taking over the captaincy from Hay. His playing career ended with a season at Waitakere United, scoring his first goal in six seasons — the 25th of his pro career. Bazeley is settled in his adopted country, telling a recent interviewer: “I’m a New Zealand citizen now. My wife and my two girls — we’re all New Zealanders.”

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Coaching qualifications Holder of UEFA ‘A’ Coaching Licence Coaching roles Northern Football Federation Federation Area Coach (2007– 2009) Federation Development Officer (2009–2012) Federation Development Manager (2012–2014) Waitakere United Youth League coach (2009) Assistant coach National teams Assistant Coach, NZ, at 2009 FIFA U–17 World Cup, Nigeria (qualified for knockout stage) Assistant Coach, NZ, at 2011 FIFA U–17 World Cup, Mexico (qualified for knockout stage) Head Coach, NZ, at 2013 FIFA U–17 World Cup, United Arab Emirates. Knocked out group stage

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THE WORLD IS WATCHING Counting down to FIFA U–20 World Cup THE FOOTBALL O MAGAZINE GAZINE YOUNG New Zealanders are embracing the FIFA U–20 World Cup, including many school students who competed to write songs especially for the tournament. Play It Strange, a music charity run by Split Enz founder Mike Chunn, and the cup’s Local Organising Committee (LOC) promoted the competition to find songs that would sum up the spirit of the tournament. Beth Stewart and Josh Somervell from Kaipara College won the contest for their song All For You, sharing the honours with James Donaldson from Mt Albert Grammar School for his song Colours. Both winners won a session at a professional recording studio to record their song. Their recordings will go on the 2015 Play It Strange CD and both receive a $250 Rockshop voucher. The judges commented on the two songs — “stylistically different but very effective in keeping with the focus of the FIFA U–20 tournament. “It was a tough decision for the judges. It’s great that young songwriters are reaching new heights of excellence.”.

FIFA U–20 World Cup 2013 Host nation: Turkey Winner: France Runners–up: Uruguay Third: Ghana Fourth: Iraq adidas Golden Ball: Paul Pogba (France) adidas Golden Boot: Ebenezer Assifuah (Ghana) adidas Golden Glove: Guillermo de Amores (Uruguay) FIFA Fair Play award: Spain

Dave Beeche, CEO of the tournament’s Local Organising Committee (left) with Play It Strange’s driving force, musician Mike Chunn. Photo: Play It Strange.

WHO'S PLAYING WHERE Group A—Auckland New Zealand Ukraine USA Myanmar

Group D—Dunedin Mexico Mali Uruguay Serbia

Group B—Wellington Argentina Panama Ghana Austria

Group E—New Plymouth Nigeria Brazil Korea DPR Hungary

Group C –Hamilton Qatar Colombia Portugal Senegal

Group F—Christchurch Germany Fiji Uzbekistan Honduras

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Adam Mitchell NZ U–20 captain ‘Everyone is starting to realise how big this event is. We've got media around the camp and players are getting interviews and little things like that so I think everyone is starting to believe how big it is and that we're here and that we can make something happen.’

THE WINNER’S CURSE WHILE THE U–20 tournament is famous for producing new stars of the game, victory has been less rewarding for the nations which have won the tournament. France are the current champions, after beating Uruguay 4–1 in a penalty shootout at the last finals. But France failed to qualify for the New Zealand event, becoming the fourth consecutive title holder to fail to qualify for the subsequent tournament.

HELPING OUR KIDS HOLDING HANDS with a future Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi is the stuff of childhood dreams. That opportunity was put within the grasp of every primary school child in New Zealand when the FIFA U–20 World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) offered player escort positions to all primary school age children through FIFA’s new sports based education programme. 10

LOC Chief Executive Dave Beeche said the learning tool should prove interesting for children, combining the obvious educational benefits with a sporting theme and then also giving them the chance to be part of the action when the tournament kicks off. “What better way to learn about the world and the people in it than by educating students through the

world’s most popular sport. “In addition to providing a great curriculum–based learning experience, all schools which download the FIFA U–20 World Cup Education Programme will give their pupils the opportunity to escort a player out onto the field prior to a match,” said Mr Beeche.

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New Zealand has been to three FIFA U–20 World Cup tournaments. Their best performance was in 2011 when the team held Uruguay and Cameroons to 1–1 draws and narrowly lost 1–0 to Portugal. After nine games at this level of competition, New Zealand has still to win a game. If 2015 is to provide the first win, here’s who we need to beat ...

OUR OPPONENTS Group game 1 NZ v Ukraine 1pm, May 30 QBE Stadium, North Harbour, Albany UKRAINE come to New Zealand with an impressive qualifying campaign behind them. They topped their European preliminary section, ahead of England, and then secured qualification by finishing in the top six of the secondary phase. They played in the same pool as the fancied Germans and clinched their place in New Zealand with a win against Bulgaria and a draw with Serbia. Ukraine competed in the 2001 and 2005 editions of the FIFA U–20 World Cup, progressing from their group stage but losing out in the last 16 knockout round (to Paraguay in 2001, and to Nigeria in 2005). The squad is coached by Oleksandr Holovko who made 58 appearances for the Ukraine national team. Group game 2 NZ v United States 1pm, June 2 QBE Stadium, North Harbour, Albany THE UNITED STATES earned their place in New Zealand through a 2–0 sudden death play–off win against El Salvador. Football is booming in the United States, with a good performance at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil last year

and growing popularity of the MSL. The U–20 squad coming to New Zealand will be a useful indicator of the depth of talent coming through, with a mix of players who are playing domestic football and those on professional contracts overseas. The team’s best finish at this level came in the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship when the Americans beat Iraq in the quarter final before losing to Nigeria in overtime in the semi–final and Brazil in the play–off for third. The US are coached by Tab Ramos who played 81 times for his country. Group game 3 NZ v Myanmar 7pm, June 5 Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington MYANMAR clinched their berth in New Zealand with a 1–0 win against United Arab Emirates in the knockout phase of Asian qualification. They finished runners–up in their pool thanks to a 3–0 win against Thailand and a scoreless draw with Yemen. Myanmar are making their debut at the FIFA U–20 World Cup and will be coached by German Gerd Zeise.

Gerd Zeise Myanmar coach ‘There is only so much we can do to improve the physical constitution of our small players — you cannot make them big or really strong — but my target is to work on their stability in one–on–one situations so they cannot be muscled off the ball easily. If we can do that, and exploit our own

New Zealand can qualify for the knockout stage by finished first or second in Pool A or by coming third with one of the best group records.

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STARS IN WAITING The FIFA U–20 World Cup is renowned for finding football’s future stars — especially those who have a talent for scoring goals. Stars who have made their names at previous tournaments include Argentians Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, France’s Thierry Henry and Paul Pogba, Brazil’s Ronaldinho, Holland’s Arjen Robben, Spain’s Andres Iniesta, Chile’s Alexis Sanchez, and Columbia’s James Rodriguez. Who’s going to emerge from this year’s tournament? Here are eight possibilities ... Hirving Lozano Right wing, Mexico After scoring double figures in goals and providing many more from the flank, this teenager has won over fans at his Pachuca club. He scored five time at the 2015 CONCACAF U–20 Championship, which Mexico won on penalties against Panama. Juan Fernando Quintero Midfielder, Columbia Quintero has already played 11 full internationals for his country, including a goalscoring effort against Ivory Coast at last year's World Cup in Brazil. Only 1.68m (5'6") he's been compared to Lionel Messi, and he plays for Portugese side Porto so will face some of his clubmates when the Colombians meet Portugal in Hamilton. Angel Correa Striker, Argeninta Hailed as the future of Argentinian football, Correa was his team’s star player when they won the 2015 South American U–20 Championship, scoring four goals. After transferring from Argentinian club San Lorenzo to Spanish giants Atletico Madrid, he encountered heart problems which have now been treated. Good with both feet, he’s known for making confident runs at defenders. 12

Marcos Guilherme Attacking midfielder, Brazil His performances in the Conmebol qualifying games have prompted interest from Shaktar Donetsk and Bayern Munich but they’ll need to pay a reported NZ$45 million fee to persuade his Brazilian club Atletico Paranaense to agree to his release.

Rodrigo Amaral Striker, Uruguay Uruguayan supporters believe Amaral’s tricks and innovative plays might hold the key to success in New Zealand. He made four assists in the South American U–20 Championships, where he was also named the 'Revelation of the Tournament'. Amaral is still proving himself at senior level, recently breaking into the first team at his Nacional club. He has been a prolific scorer in the club’s youth sides. Malcom Striker, Brazil Already a first team regular at his club Corinthians, this 18–year–old comes to New Zealand with the tag of 'the next Neymar' . European heavies Chelsea and Barcelona have been tracking his progress amidst speculation that a big money move might follow an impressive tournament Down Under.

David Selke Striker, Germany Named the best player at last year”s European U–19 Championships, won by Germany and largely through his goalscoring feats. The Werder Bremen star found the net in every match except the final to top the competition’s goalscoring chart with six. Strong, quick and technically proficient, he’s rated one of the best prospects in the Bundesliga. Giovanni Simeone Striker, Argentina Simeone plays for Argentina super club River Plate and is the son of Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone. With nine goals in as many games in the qualifying stages of the U–20 World Cup, he’s being tipped as the potential Golden Boot winner in New Zealand. No team has won more U–20 cups than six–time winner Argentina and Simeone will play a key role if they are to win cup number seven. FANZ: THE FOOTBALL MAGAZINE


New Zealand’s Bill Tuiloma (above) is tipped by former All White captain Danny Hay as a player with the potential to star at the tournament. Tuiloma has broken into the top flight of French football and looks forward to coming home for the cup.

OUR LOCAL HERO DEFENSIVE midfielder Bill Tuiloma could be one of the homegrown stars of the FIFA U–20 World Cup, according to those in the know. Already a full All White, Tuiloma has been playing overseas for two seasons and made his first–team debut for French Ligue 1 giants Olympique Marseille this year. Former New Zealand captain Danny Hay rates him highly. “Bill Tuiloma is a massive talent. I see a lot of similarities in him and Winston Reid (current New Zealand captain who plays at West Ham United). He’s extremely athletic, quick, strong, intelligent and reads the game very well,” Hay told Goal. com. “He’s at one of the best clubs in Europe and is really digging his

heels in and making a good fist of it. He certainly has a big, big future and for New Zealand to do well at this Under–20 World Cup, then he is going to have to come to the fore and make sure the team ticks along nicely.” Tuiloma looks forward to playing in front of a home crowd at last. While living so far away, he keeps in touch constantly with loved ones at home — the people who help fuel his fire to succeed on the world stage. “I keep in touch with my friends and family every day. I send them a message or give them a call and see how things are going. I’ve got big support back in New Zealand from my friends and family and I’m very grateful to have that.”

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Danny Hay Former All White ‘For New Zealand, Bill Tuiloma is a massive talent. I see a lot of similarities in him and Winston Reid. He’s extremely athletic, quick, strong, intelligent and reads the game very well.’

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AN OPEN LETTER After a year in his role as New Zealand Football CEO, Andy Martin discusses the key achievements over the last 12 months and the important next steps in this open letter to the stakeholders of the beautiful game ...

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he 12 months since I began in the CEO role has flown by. I’ve received considerable support and advice, watched a huge amount of football and feel really welcomed in the New Zealand community for which I thank you all. It was another very strong year for our community football programme as we enjoyed continued growth in participation numbers at grassroots level, another year of experience and progression under the Whole of Football Plan, and yet another period of rapid growth for futsal under New Zealand Football guidance. At the top end of the domestic game the ASB Premiership saw the introduction of the Wellington Phoenix and with only one round left in the minor premiership, the competition is extremely tight with the last two semi–final places set to be decided only in the final round of the league. New regulations regarding safeguarding berths for New Zealand players were brought in as we moved to secure the domestic pathway for our emerging talent towards the international arena. The development of the game at

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the highest domestic levels around the country was also reflected in the ASB Women’s and Youth League competitions with Mainland Football and the Nelson Marlborough Falcons shining through over the course of their competitions while Mainland Futsal’s triumph in the National Futsal League was another first for the game. In the elite game we appointed a new coach for the All Whites and Anthony Hudson has hit the ground running in the execution of his detailed approach to securing a berth for New Zealand at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The Football Ferns continued to ramp up their preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup later this year in Canada and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio as Tony Readings and his team set about their task of achieving history for our country at the biggest events on the calendar. Our international women’s age– group sides were on the world stage with the U–17 and U–20 teams in action at their World Cup events, with the U–20 side raising the bar by earning a place in the knockout stages for the first time in our history while the Men’s U–17s secured their

berth in their age–group World Cup event later this year. To ensure that type of success continues on the world stage, we launched our blueprint for the elite game in December with the introduction of our Beyond Football plan. We aim to reposition football in the hearts and minds of Kiwis with a focus on wining at World Cups to demonstrate the huge untapped potential that exists in our game. Our approach harnesses the truly global scale of our sport as we build a credible, fundable plan to talk to investors about — football remains undercapitalised and if we are to grow and fulfill our potential this needs fixing. As we continue to refine and build the platforms from which we can raise the profile of our game, the international success of Auckland City FC at the FIFA Club World Cup in December gave us wonderful example of how football can captivate the nation while the strong showing of the Wellington Phoenix in this year’s A–League competition provides further fuel for our growing fire. Off the field the forward progress continued as we installed a new leadership team at New Zealand FANZ: THE FOOTBALL MAGAZINE


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Football, guided by a restructured and refreshed Executive Committee working from a set of re–designed statutes. That stable base allows us to look ahead with confidence and the next 12 months will be a crucial period in our drive forwards and it is imperative we maintain the momentum the game has created in recent times. Our focus will be firmly on executing on the Beyond Football plan — to reposition football — to win at World Cups often, to inspire the nation and to see the game, our global game, become a leading sporting diplomacy tool for the country. Flowing into that plan is a drive to ensure we develop the best coaches, great competitions and clear pathways supported by top class facilities and new funding, essential elements in our effort to transition the huge numbers of participants in our junior game to the youth and adult ranks. March will see the launch of a new national coaching register with a two–year amnesty to establish who our best coaches are, where they are and how we can develop them to inspire our coming generations at all levels. Mid–year, the creation and consultation around a refreshed blueprint for our national competitions structure is a vital piece of work as we aim to hit on the winning formula for our domestic game which will provide stable, sustainable products which appeal to everyone with an interest in this critical step of our pathway; from players and supporters through to sponsors and broadcasters. The continued evolvement of our community model under the Whole of Football Plan must ensure delivery as close to the grassroots as possible to keep us at forefront of community sport development with fully aligned development pathways flowing towards the top domestic competitions. For our headline acts; the All Whites and Football Ferns, 2015 is a 16

year of differing ambitions. There is a clearly articulated plan for the All Whites to get to Russia in 2018 and the next 12 months will see Anthony Hudson continue to determine his squad, build contact time and set the processes, culture and expectations ahead of a critical 2016 year of qualification. As part of this approach we will see a fully aligned Olympic squad as well as our U–20 team aiming to do the country proud in our home World Cup event. For Tony Readings and the Football Ferns, the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada in June has long been a target and after a full programme of preparation the team will being going all out to win the showcase tournament — an achievement which would provide a priceless boost to our code which would be felt at every level of the game. Once again I thank everyone for their commitment to our sport in whatever capacity you’ve undertaken to drive us forwards and I ask you keep encouraging

non–football people to join our movement. We have great momentum and alignment and while we won’t always get things right, we have great communication channels for everyone passionate for the change to have their say. Long may this continue and I look forward to seeing you during 2015. Finally, I can assure you that we will have the best prepared New Zealand U–20 team ever as they tackle the challenge of FIFA U–20 World Cup in May. Our coaches Darren and Neil will be fully supported by Anthony and Alex Armstrong and the preparations are tracking well on and off the field. What happens once the whistle blows is always difficult to predict but, with each and every one of you helping to fill the stadium every time we play, we will have the passionate support we need as we push for history on home soil. — Andy Martin Chief Executive, NZ Football

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SPORTS MEDICINE

Stonger. Fitter. Faster. M ark Fulcher is a man on a mission — a bold and unwavering mission to use his science to help create a nation of better footballers. He’s the sports physician who consults to New Zealand football and is the doctor advising our national teams, including the All Whites and Ferns. This year, his top priority is to convince the New Zealand football community to embrace a simple warm–up routine that he insists can drastically reduce injuries, and create footballers who are the “fittest, fastest, strongest.” “And who doesn’t want that?” he asks.

Fulcher has a practical knowledge of how medical theory meets football practice — he has played at the highest level of domestic football, having turned out for national league side Waikato FC. Not the tallest of goalkeepers (“I think I might even be the shortest goalkeeper to have played national league”), Fulcher was Waikato supporters’ Player of the Year and played until a couple of years ago. Having graduated from medical school in 2001, Fulcher has specialised in sports–related medicine all his career. In 2012, he was appointed as consulting doctor to the national body and immediately began work with our top coaches.

How a simple warm–up routine is helping develop better footballers He has quickly moved to help NZ Football introduce and roll out a programme called FIFA 11+, a programme that’s taken 12 years to develop internationally. Footballing nations that have completed a full roll out of the programme include Japan, Spain, Germany and Brazil. Top clubs such as FC Barcelona are enthusiastic disciples of FIFA 11+, and are claiming many benefits. So what is FIFA 11+? “The programme takes 15–20 minutes to do and is designed to replace a standard warm–up,” explains Fulcher. “If it is done twice a week, it reduces the risk of injury by 30% and the risk of severe injury by

Members of the All Whites go through the 11+ programme before a match. OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF FRIENDS OF FOOTBALL

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How to use FIFA 11+ THE 11+ has three parts with a total of 15 exercises which should be performed in the specified sequence at the start of each training session. A key point in the programme is to use the proper technique during all of the exercises. Full attention needs to be paid to having the correct posture and good body control, including straight leg alignment, knee–over– toe position, and soft landings. The three parts are:  Running exercises at a slow speed combined with active stretching and controlled partner contacts.  A set of six exercises, focusing on core and leg strength, balance and plyometrics/agility, each with three levels of increasing difficulty.  Running exercises at moderate/high speed combined with planting/cutting movements. Players should begin with level 1. Only when an exercise can be performed without difficulty for the specified duration and number of repetitions should the player progress to the next level. For full details on how to set up for 11+, and to understand the exercises, go to: http://f–marc.com/11plus/home/

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50%. These are things like an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury in the knee.” NZ Football has committed to a nationwide roll out which includes:  Integration into all coaching courses.  Used by all national teams.  Used at national talent centres.  Incorporated into the Quality Club Mark.  Demonstrations of the programme will be taken to each regional federation each year, with the aim of creating a pool of trainers who can educate local coaches. The programme is supported by the Accident Compensation Corporation which pays out more than $50 million a year to those who suffer serious sports injuries. “It’s pretty obvious what the benefits are if we can cut those by 50%,” says Fulcher. In 2013, ACC figures show 395 footballers underwent knee reconstructions — that compares to 411 for rugby and 406 for netball. “Women stand three to eight more times the chance of an ACL injury than men.” Those in sports medicine suspect the reported statistics are merely the tip of an iceberg, with many injuries either not reported or their victims shrugging them off as part of a sports culture that often

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‘This isn’t just about reducing injuries. It’s about making better footballers.’ — Dr Mark Fulcher

encourages players to “harden up.” “We need to change the way people think about warming up,” Fulcher says. “If we start (using FIFA 11+) at the age of 12, we not only reduce injuries, but we help develop players who are stronger and who have got better movement patterns. “This is all about helping us get better footballers.” Fulcher says the problem of serious knee injury is a major threat for those with the ability to play at top level. The odds of professional players making full recovery after ACL surgery are not good; and the chances of academy players turning professional after suffering an ACL injury are even less. “You’re talking a year off the pitch to recover ... the average cost of such an injury to a European club is €580,000 (NZ$810,000). “You can see why 11+ has got the support from the major nations and the professional clubs.” New Zealand Football has committed to rolling out the 11+ programme throughout

the country, and is supporting a schedule of regional workshops through federations. Fulcher says the workshops will see participants leave as FIFA–certified instructors in the programme and that growing pool of people will be able to spread the word about injury prevention. “Our goal for this year is to educate

500 trainers and we’re already down the path a little bit. “Success will be seeing the FIFA 11+ being delivered at every club across the country. Over the next three years, as we continue this work with ACC, hopefully more and more players are doing the programme and we’ll see some tangible change in our injury statistics.”

Results speak for themselves IN 2008, FIFA backed a research project to learn whether lower limb injuries could be prevented through the implementation of a structured warm up routine — the FIFA 11+ programme. The study focussed on 2,500 Norwegian amateur female football players aged 13–17. Almost 1,900 players trialled FIFA 11+ while 600 remained in the control group which performed warm up as usual. The programme was carefully monitored to ensure the trial group performed the exercises to specification. The research project ran for a full season and injuries were tracked throughout. When performed twice a week, the group using FIFA 11+ had 37% fewer injuries at training, and 29% fewer match injuries. Severe injuries (needing more than 28 days to return to play) reduced by almost 50%. The incidence of acute, overuse, ankle and knee injuries reduced significantly.

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HERITAGE OF THE GAME

The arrival of the ‘girl footballer’ 20

F

rom July to September in 1921, groups of women in the three main centres of New Zealand (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch), formally decided to play football, rugby and rugby league. What influenced several hundred women to form clubs, train and play these games at a particular historical moment, remains a matter of conjecture. FANZ: THE FOOTBALL MAGAZINE


By Barbara Cox Captain of the first NZ women’s national team, 1975

Left: The Aotea Ladies of Wellington in full motion. Source: Auckland Weekly News — University of Auckland Library.

The publicity for one sport fuelling the establishment of another, the emigration of large numbers of single women who had played sport in English public schools and even the pictorial coverage of women playing cricket, football, hockey and lacrosse may all have been contributing factors. World War I also undoubtedly played a part in influencing the growth of women playing sport.

Replacing male employees sent to the battlefront, many women manned factories and workplaces. If they could do ‘men’s’ jobs, then surely they could play men’s sport? Many businesses and factories in England and America sponsored female sports teams. There is evidence of two clothing factories involved in setting up football teams; Classic in Auckland and Aotea Ladies in Wellington.

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It must be remembered that the beginning of the 1920s in New Zealand was characterised by a widespread concern for the physical fitness of its people and a decreasing population. The death rates from WW1 and the 1918 influenza epidemic intensified this concern but in April 1921, ‘panic’ set in when it was discovered that New Zealand had the second highest maternal mortality rate in the Western world. Whatever the reasons, the responsibility for reversing the declining birth rate was placed firmly upon women’s shoulders. Soon after, women started to form clubs, train and play these games in the three main centres, adverse connections between motherhood, femininity and athleticism started to appear in newspapers. Playing ‘men’s’ sports was not part of what ‘nature’ intended for women. Vitality was a major theory in the late 19th century, suggesting that the human body could be likened to an energy field holding a limited amount of bodily fluids. Initially this theory focused on male seminal fluid but it did not take long before the theory was applied to women and their physical activities outside the home. 21


HERITAGE OF THE GAME

‘Girls who did not play football would, when the time came, make better mothers to healthier children than would be born of more athletic mothers.’ — Mr H.Longworth, chief physical instructor, NZ Education Department Energy had to be carefully nurtured for the needs of the mind and the body: for once used up, it was gone for good. The Auckland Star and The Dominion both reported the comments of Miss Cowdroy, headmistress of Crouch End Girls’ High School in London: “A girl had a large store of vital and nervous energy which she could draw upon, if normally developed, at the great crisis of motherhood. That strength was a deposit account; but if she used it as a current account, as a boy could afford to do, her children would pay the bill. “ The Auckland Star and The Dominion also quoted Dr Arabella Kenealy, a member of the Eugenic Movement in England: “Athletic women produce female off–spring, mainly, and seldom have sons. When sons are born to 22

them, these are apt to be puny and delicate, or generally emasculate or of inferior type. The cultured classes who are mainly afflicted by athletic training are failing to provide sons of the fine physique and manly talents and initiative which have set our Anglo–Saxon race in the van of evolution.” Mr H. Longworth, chief physical instructor for the New Zealand Education Department, emphasised to school teachers how physical training was of great value in the making of a sturdy nation and how games especially should be encouraged for the growing child. However, he is quoted in the New Zealand Herald as stating: “Girls who did not play football would, when the time came, make better mothers to healthier children than would be born of more athletic mothers.” During this period, the term ‘girl’

Aotea Ladies 1921

represented any single female aged between 20 and 25 years. Medical opinion particularly stressed how women’s bones were softer than men’s. For good measure as well, Dr Simpson pointed out in The Dominion that women were “fatter and not muscular and not stable on their feet as men” and the element of risk was caused by the liability of women to falls. Rugby at the time was seen as a rough game, even for men, but “if a man suffered an injury on the football field, he recovered fairly quickly, but this would not be so with women.” Letters from the public also strongly condemned the proposed participation of women in the three sports: some reinforced medical beliefs of women’s inherent frailty, others appealed to women’s innate femininity; “Do they realise that FANZ: THE FOOTBALL MAGAZINE


Photo: Auckland Weekly News — University of Auckland Library. such a game involves a sacrilege of feminine qualities ...?” or “Let man tease about high heels, pneumonia blouses, lip–sticks and powder puffs. He prefers his womenfolk that way rather than acting the part of ‘muddied oafs’.” Initially, football from a medical viewpoint appears to have been viewed with less disfavour, although several doctors all stated they could not “honestly recommend” one girl to take it up. A number of factors may be responsible for this rather grudging acceptance of women playing football; women appeared to be already playing the game, seemingly without any drastic consequences; the game of football was seen as a less violent game than either rugby or rugby league by the public in general and the strong support from a female doctor — Dr Maud Fere —

who became president of the first women’s club in Christchurch. She publically recommended: “Football is the finest sport for girls that exists — no medical man or woman could have anything to say against it.” However, in a letter to The Dominion, one author was quick to dispute Dr Fere’s words and was equally quick to apply a double standard to the girl footballer: “If the lady aforesaid would watch a game of ‘soccer’ next Saturday played by teams of men, she will notice that play is not of the kid glove order by any means; and that the bumps, jolts and falls are quite severe enough to injure any girls who play the game in an energetic manner; If it is not played with energy, then it is not ‘soccer’ and this is the plain truth of it. “ In other words, if a player performed in a vigorous manner,

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‘Football is the finest sport for girls that exists.’ — Dr Maud Fere, President, Canterbury Ladies’ Football Association 23


then she was likely to injure herself or others because of her innate frailty but if she played in a restrained, less energetic fashion because she was frail, then she was not playing the game of football. A case of being damned if you do and be damned if you don’t! One of the early games reported in The Dominion, The Press and Otago Daily Times took place in Christchurch on Saturday 24 September 1921. The Canterbury Football Association put on a display of football designed to interest and attract a wide range of spectators to their newly acquired ground at English Park. The programme started with a 6th grade boys’ final, then the women’s match, followed by the senior men’s knock–out final between Nomads and Rangers. A large crowd witnessed

the first women’s representative game between Wellington and Canterbury, a match which ended in a 1–0 victory to Canterbury. Otago Daily Times described the game thus: “At the end of the first spell, the girls were showing signs of tiredness and the brief respite was very welcome” and “there were humorous incidents in plenty which kept the crowd constantly amused throughout the game,” before ending on a note of positivity, “the crowd surged around the girls and congratulated them freely on the excellent game they had played.” The Press advised their readers that the players “ran and kicked, tumbled, passed or missed to their heart’s contents. It wasn’t good soccer, but it was clean and refreshing.” But then the reporter went on to claim: “The Christchurch girls did some fair foot–passing,

and the Wellington defence was good. Not many ‘headers’ were attempted, and it could be just as well if this feature of the play were eliminated altogether from girls’ soccer because on a wet day a heavy ball falling from a high kick and headed off, might cause injury.” Even the referee came in for mention: he was described in The Press as “being lenient with the whistle’ as well as” the object of sympathy as he went out to his duties, but he found them quite pleasant and not the least bit embarrassing; in fact his decisions were not questioned by any of the players...” The Wellington players were conventionally attired in navy blue gym tunics with light blue stripes while Canterbury players wore black jerseys with wide red bands around the centre, black shorts and long

... and the legacy of women’s football lives on

FORMER FERNS HONOUR RIA PERCIVAL EVENT: Friends of Football re–union

FORMER FERNS gathered before the recent international between New Zealand and DPR Korea at Bill McKinlay Park, Auckland, at a get–together organised by Friends of Football. The match marked the 100th international played by Ria Percival who was presented with a jacket to mark the achievement by former Fern Michele Cox. Percival became only the second New Zealander to notch up a century of full international appearances after her skipper Abby Erceg reached the same milestone last year. At the function were (standing, from left): Julie Hogg, Tara Pryor, Sandra Twiname, Wendy Henderson, Yvonne Vale, Terry McCahill. Seated (from left): Michele Cox, Barbara Cox, Wendy Sharpe, NZ Football chief executive Andy Martin, Amanda Crawford and Carol Waller.

VENUE: Bill McKinlay Park, Auckland 24

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stockings. Both teams wore caps of matching colours and strong, sturdy boots. By choosing to wear shorts, the Canterbury players demonstrated their approval of the proposals circulating around New Zealand to reform women’s dress and clothing, particularly the removal of the corset. Even The Press reporter suggested that the outfit of the Aotea Ladies from Wellington was not a suitable “rig–out” for football on such a warm day but complimented the Canterbury players on their choice of outfit, even though the“combination lent an added appearance of weight, their wide shorts did not look any way tomboyish.” In discussions following the match, it was reported by The Press that “many who went out to the match to scoff, remained to praise” and the opinion was freely expressed that as it was played on Saturday, “soccer is a more suitable game for girls than hockey... It seems certain that girl’s football has come to stay.” Alas, it was not to be. Although the 1920s was a significant time of social change with more freedoms for women, the strongly proclaimed medical, physical and feminine discourses promoted through the newspapers left the emerging girl footballer with little chance to establish herself. Faced with criticism for her lack of femininity, her selfishness in not performing her duty to have children or worse still, the possibility of being unable to bear children because of playing a ‘man’s’ sport, the girl footballer, who emerged in such a blaze of publicity, vanished without a trace. But one is left with a small tantalising doubt. If women had chosen not to play rugby and rugby league just as football for women was emerging in a relatively positive light, could football have become the national game for women?

RECOGNISING ACHIEVEMENT

WELL DONE, RIA

FULL BACK Ria Percival has joined skipper Abby Erceg as a member of the Football Ferns centurians club. Having made her debut as a shy 16–year–old against China in November 2006, in the same match that Erceg played her first full international, Percival (25) made her 100th appearance for her country against DPR Korea at Auckland’s Bill McKinlay Park. Percival, who started her senior career with Auckland club Lynn Avon United, now plays for USV Jena in the German Bundesliga, was delighted to reach her century in her home town. " ... to get my 100th and to be at home in front of friends and family is something really special."

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A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE EVENT: Friends of Football BBQ VENUE: Newmarket Park, Auckland

New Zealand internationals Adrian Elrick (left), Sam Malcolmson and Ray Mears were among many who turned up at Friends of Football’s re–union at the former home of Auckland football, Newmarket Park, in March. Photo: Dave Barker.

FOOTBALL’S DAY AT THE RACES EVENT: Macular Degeneration NZ Raceday VENUE: Ellerslie Racecourse, Auckland MANY FAMILIAR faces from the world of football got behind Macular Degeneraton NZ’s annual raceday at Ellerslie Racecourse in February. Former All White coaches Allan Jones and John Adshead are prominent supporters of the charity and they led efforts on the day to raise money through raffles and silent auctions. Auction items included a coaching session by veteran All White Ivan Vicilich and a series of paintings by another former national coach, Barrie Truman. A proud Allan Jones revealed the day had generated about $46,000 in much–needed income for Macular Degeneration, a charity that promotes awareness of the condition that is the leading cause of severe vision loss. Macular Degenerations causes progressive loss of central vision though the peripheral vision is not affected. One in seven people over the age of 50 years is affected in some way and the incidence increases with age. The macula is the central part of the retina, the light–sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The retina processes all visual images. It is responsible for your ability to read, recognise faces, drive and see colours clearly. Macular Degeneration is thought to be caused by genetic and environmental factors. People over the age of 50 years are at risk. If you smoke or have a family history of Macular Degeneration, your risk of developing the disease is much greater. For more information, visit www.mdnz.org.nz. 26

Former All Whites Earle Thomas (left) and Alf Stamp were among football personalities at Friends of Football’s table at the raceday event. Stamp, a past winner of New Zealand Football’s Personality of the Year, came to Auckland from his Sydney home with wife Rae to support the charity event. Photo: Josh Easby.

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FOSTERING FRIENDSHIP

Another pleasant Sunday at the park

I

t may be 36 years since a match was played at Auckland’s Newmarket Park but dozens of games and incidents were replayed in a matter of hours when Friends of Football staged a reunion at the ground. Friends of Football provided guided tours for former players, coaches and supporters who wanted to see the park again, and remember the internationals, national league games and cup finals that once took place there. Over a Sunday afternoon, a steady stream of football lovers took time out to stroll around the park devastated by a landslide in 1979 but which has since enjoyed a $6.7 million rehabilitation into a family– friendly park by Auckland Council.

Woolliam, the official mascot of the FIFA U–20 World Cup, made a surprise appearance at the Newmarket Park event. Photo: Josh Easby.

Many former internationals and national league players joined fans, referees and administrators to recount some of the stories of Newmarket Park. Former All White Sam Malcolmson was reunited with referee Les Coffman on the very spot Malcolmson was sent off during a local derby between Eastern Suburbs and Mt Wellington. International full back and former national league coach Maurice Tillotson was able to acknowledge the memory of his father whose ashes were spread in the eastern corner of the park when it was still a football ground. And players were able to embellish the memories of goals scored from impossible positions, against some

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of the world’s greatest players, and all on a ground that was built by workers in the 1930s depression. It became football’s home in 1964 and regularly hosted crowds of more than 10,000, most of whom were packed shoulder–to–shoulder on 42 rows of concrete terrace. Players such as 1966 World Cup winners Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst, Gordon Banks and Martin Peters all played there, while former England manager Glenn Hoddle played his first full 90 minutes for Tottenham Hotspur as an 18–year– old on tour in New Zealand. Referee Les Coffman returned for another look at the park where he refereed the first game played there (Auckland v German club Munster in 1964) and the last match there in which New Zealand beat Australia 1–0 in a full international. Coffman also refereed the only international game abandoned in New Zealand, a match in the 1970s when New Caledonian players refused to accept a sending off when trailing 4–0 to New Zealand in the first half. Former All Whites to revisit the park included Brian Turner, John Morris, Earle Thomas, John Houghton, Sam Malcolmson, Ray Mears, Adrian Elrick, Maurice Tillotson and Dave Taylor. FIFA U–20 World Cup mascot Woolliam turned up to meet the fans and to encourage kids who enjoyed an endless kickabout at the end of the ground where legendary striker, the late John Wrathall, scored his 1,000th goal in 1971. As with many a Sunday afternoon in the 1970s, the balls were bagged at 5pm and the crowd quietly left Newmarket Park once more…

Friends of Football acknowledge the support of Eastern Suburbs FC whose girls’ team ran the sausage sizzle stall for our Newmarket Park event as a fundraiser. 28

New Zealand play Wales at Newmarket Park in 1971. Photo: Dave Barker.

Guests at the re–union enjoy a sausage sizzle. Photo: Dave Barker.

Sam Malcolmson and referee Les Coffman re–enact a famous red card. Photographs: Dave Barker (left), Josh Easby (right). FANZ: THE FOOTBALL MAGAZINE


AN AFTERNOON WITH RICKI HERBERT EVENT: Friends of Football lunch

Herbert (left) with his All Whites coach from 1982, John Adshead. The pair were re–united at the Cambridge lunch along with other squad members from 1982, including Brian Turner and Ken Cresswell. Photo: Shane Wenzlick.

VENUE: John Kerkhof Park, Cambridge

R

icki Herbert has been busy in the couple of years since leaving his coaching roles with the All Whites and Wellington Phoenix but he found time to be the special guest at Friends of Football’s annual Cambridge lunch. Speaking before the ASB Premiership game between WaiBOP United and Team Wellington, Herbert shared his views on a wide range of topics during an informal question and answer session. Herbert worked for FIFA’s Technical Study Group at last year’s World Cup in Brazil before coaching North East United in the Indian Super League. In New Zealand, he runs his own football academy.

And he still believes he’s got something to offer New Zealand football, having served the All Whites as a player and a coach over a 35–year period. Enzo Giordani, publisher of the popular blog In–The–Back–of–the– net: A Footballaholic in New Zealand (http://in–the–back–of–the.net), transcribed Herbert’s session, and we have extracted the following highlights: On the role of his football academy: “…we’ve got an incredibly strong curriculum that’s come from some pretty good people around the world that are working with arguably some of the best kids in the world so hopefully that transpires

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‘Hopefully there’s thinking long term in New Zealand about having competitions that could produce international talent.’ Photo: Enzo Giordani

to helping the new national coach at some stage have a good crop of players come through.” On making a contribution to national success: “…I’m working hard around the country to hopefully prepare, support, develop, assist the next tier of national team players at some age group, and hopefully… hopefully be able to help in some other directions nationally or whatever but I’ve been waiting for that phone to ring. Let’s wait and see…” On the Indian Super League (where crowds are as high as 120,000): “Currently it’s the fourth biggest attended league in the world. So EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga, Indian League — every other competition sits behind it.” On being part of the FIFA Technical Study group in Brazil: “It’s helped from a personal point of view because around some areas in New Zealand now I’m operating 30

my own academy and so that sort of up to date information on preparing young players is pretty much at the forefront for me so I’ve been very lucky to kind of connect with those people and have that information brought back to New Zealand.” On how styles of football are evolving: “You know I always think it will be a sort of evolving opinion on the type of football that’s played and I think traditionally around the world now you’ll probably start to see a combination of a raft of things. It’ll be interesting! “… the Under 20 World Cup — where’s that going to go? What’s that trend going to look like? I think it’ll be a little different than perhaps we’ve seen in the past.” How to improve the skills of our coaches and administrators: “I’d like to see a far bigger investment in getting people offshore and even if it was for small periods of time to let them experience what it is like. Because

it’s vastly different from what happens here.” On the 2010 World Cup campaign in South Africa: “…I was with a couple of media guys, I won’t mention the names, and they were talking about the side being quite defensive and I said ‘well, Shane Smeltz, Rory Fallon and Chris Killen played up front in all those three games’. “I’m not sure that three out and out strikers have played in a World Cup campaign for New Zealand. Three out and out strikers … I trusted those players to actually formulate and do things well at the front from a defending point of view.” On the 2015 form of the Phoenix: “I think you’ve got to be impressed now with what’s happening at the Phoenix. It’s stable, it’s solid, they’re doing well. I think the best thing that’s happening now is, and it should have happened six years ago but for six years it kept getting turned down, is that FANZ: THE FOOTBALL MAGAZINE


there’s an opportunity for young players to play somewhere. People have an opinion whether it’s the ASB Premiership or not, but at the moment it is the ASB Premiership and they’ve got an academy. For the first six years for me at the Phoenix a player like Kosta (or) Marco couldn’t play anywhere. There was nowhere for them to play.” On whether New Zealand could sustain a second A–League club: “Ahh… I don’t think so. And I’m not sure they’ll be allowed to … Will it get supported?” On the trend for top ASB Premiership sides to sign imported players: “I’ll be honest — there’s a lot of foreign players playing and I’m thinking at the end of the day maybe that’ll have a consequence on what happens internationally. Maybe. “In Australia I think they think differently because they’ll decrease the volume of overseas players and when you have an academy you’ve

got to be an Australian resident. So the long term thinking of if you go into Asia, and you’ve seen the consequences it’s been for the young teams for Australia, that they’ve hardly qualified for anything. The senior team is surviving. But ultimately the A–League is a strong catalyst to produce international talent. “Hopefully there’s thinking long term in New Zealand about having competitions that could produce international talent.” On whether New Zealand would be better off in Oceania or Asia: “So what’s the best pathway? Do you actually spend time and invest time because the interesting thing for Australia will be all those young teams that have failed to qualify. Are they actually going to produce talent (for) when Tim Cahill retires and Joe Bloggs retires? “Is that Australian team going to be good enough to continue to go to the World Cup? I’m not sure because it will only come from here

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Former internationals gather at Cambridge. Back (from left) Ken Cresswell, Bill de Graaf, Ricki Herbert and Brian Turner. Front: Julie Hogg, Jo Fisher and Barbara Cox. Photo: Grant Stantiall.

and if they are failing every time and missing every hurdle and, I don’t know, hypothetically, we’re in Asia and we never qualify for anything in the (under) 17s and the 20s or we don’t go to the Olympics or whatever, and we stop producing players in our own country and we don’t invest in players playing in the ASB Premiership and nothing keeps evolving… then I’m not sure the national team will go anywhere. Maybe by then you are picking eleven players (from) abroad. “Depends whether you want to say ‘hey, let’s stay in Oceania, might be a window, we might draw the fifth placed team in Asia, we might qualify for the World Cup, that’ll do us — we’ll take that. “Not sure I would …” 31


UPCOMING EVENT

A DAY AT THE GOLF

EVENT: Friends of Football Golf Day VENUE: Akarana Golf Club, Auckland DATE:

Friday May 22, 2015

TIME:

Shotgun start at 12.15pm

It may not be the Masters or Augusta, but here’s your chance to join in partnership with

Friends of Football at our inaugural annual golf day. The event, which is being held in partnership with New Zealand Football, provides a great opportunity to enjoy a round of golf in the company of fellow football lovers. Make up a four. It’s only $90 pp or $350 for a team of four. The entry fee covers golf, complimentary drink and food after the game, a ‘goodie bag’ packed with free balls, tees and a Friends of Football cap. You’ll also get the chance to win more than $40,000 of great prizes — including a $30,00 SsangYong Korando SUV or $5,000 cash for landing a hole–in–one. Make this your fun day out over 18 holes at Akarana. To enter, email arminlindenberg@xtra.co.nz or brian–turner@xtra.co.nz.

Win a SsangYong Korando SUV worth $30,000.

PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS ISSUE Unless otherwise stated, all the photographs in this magazine are the work of Phototek’s Shane Wenzlick, the Official Photographer to Friends of Football. We are grateful to Shane for giving us access to his photographic library. 32

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INTERNATIONAL DIARY Getting behind our national teams THE FOOTBALL O MAGAZINE GAZINE NEW ZEALAND’S Ferns are in the final month of preparation for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. The squad has had a harsh reminder of what they face with warm–up games against the world’s second–ranked team, United States. Playing in front of 35,817 spectators at Busch Stadium, St Louis, the Ferns crashed 4–0 but learned much from the match. It was the largest crowd since the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup to watch a USA women’s game at home, and it reminded the New Zealanders that one of their challenges is coping with large, partisan crowds in North America. “When we signed up for the game we didn’t know the crowd was going to be that big,” coach Tony Readings said. “But now we know that it’s great because when we play in the World Cup, particularly when we play Canada, we’re going to be in a stadium full of tens of thousands of people, none of which want us to win. “ The United States became the Ferns’ seventh opponent this year ranked higher than them — a testing lead–up to the tournament in Canada. “We’ve got our playing model and there is a lot of variety within that. We’re not looking to really be adding much to that now. There will be definitely be tweaks and adjustments we’ll make but if you’re

‘ ... when we play Canada, we’re going to be in a stadium full of tens of thousands of people, none of which want us to win.’ — Tony Readings New Zealand Ferns coach a team going to the World Cup and you’re looking to make wholesale changes at this point, you probably haven’t done the due diligence and work at the start.” Readings became the Ferns coach when John Herdman left in 2011 to coach World Cup host nation Canada. Readings successfully led the Ferns at the 2012 Olympic Games where the team reached the knockout stage of a major tournament for the first time.

The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be the biggest in the history of the competition, with 129 nations entered and more than 400 qualifying games needed to decide the finalists ...

NEW ZEALAND FERNS JUNE 6, 2015: The FIFA Women’s World Cup gets underway with New Zealand (ranked 19th in the world) drawn in Group A against hosts Canada (8th), China (14th) and Holland (15th). JUNE 7, 2015: NZ v Holland, Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton. JUNE 12, 2015: NZ v Canada, Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton. JUNE 16, 2015: NZ v China, Winnipeg Stadium.

NEW ZEALAND ALL WHITES OCTOBER 2015: The All Whites will begin their qualifying campaign for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia by playing in the OFC Nations Cup against Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, and Vanuatu, and the winner of a preliminary round between American Samoa, Cook Islands, Samoa, and Tonga. OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF FRIENDS OF FOOTBALL

NEW ZEALAND U–17S MAY 26, 2015: NZ v Croatia MAY 27, 2015: NZ v Qatar OCTOBER 2015: FIFA U–17 World Cup Finals, in Chile 33


AROUND THE COUNTRY News from football’s regions THE FOOTBALL O MAGAZINE GAZINE

LONG–TIME Ranui Swanson AFC coach and administrator Greg Smith has died after battling a lengthy illness. A Life Member and former President of the West Auckland club, Smith passed away at North Shore Hospital, surrounded by his wife Tracy and their six children. NORTHERN FOOTBALL’S Alida Shanks is leaving to take up a new position as Commercial Manager at NZ Football. She’s been at NFF four years and leaves her current role as Communications and Marketing Manager.

AUCKLAND FOOTBALL has appointed Carl Edwards as a Football Development Officer. The 25–year–old will look to build on the foundations laid by Steven Dillon, the role’s previous incumbent who has moved to New Zealand Football. Edwards will work with interim Football Development Manager Angela Wallbank and fellow development officers Gemma Lewis and Brenda Kerr, as well as futsal development officers Marvin Eakins and Nic Downes, as the department continues to grow the game across the Auckland region. Edwards has plenty of footballing experience to draw upon, having played for 20 years and coached for six season, as well as holding a refereeing qualification. He also helps Auckland City with technical analysis. 34

WAIBOP FOOTBALL have revamped their top men’s competitions, renaming the Federation 1 and 2 Leagues as the WaiBOP Premiership and WaiBOP Championship. The rebranding came complete with logos for each competition and a promotional campaign which has led to more media coverage in the region. FORMER Northern League player Holly Nixon has become the region’s dedicated women’s Football Development Officer. Since her appointment, she’s spearheaded moves to boost girls– only competitions, and a Mothers and Daughters Festival planned for Mother’s Day.

AFTER A two–year “phase in” period, Central Football have confirmed that it will be compulsory for all affiliated clubs to have at least one qualified Club–based Referee attached to every 11–a–side team from 2016. The initiative will encourage clubs to identify more referees from within their ranks, and a similar campaign has already taken effect this year in the WaiBOP region. CENTRAL FOOTBALL has appointed Kylie MacKenzie in the new role of Operations Manager for the Wanganui region. MacKenzie has been involved in football most of her life, having played for Wanganui City Football Club for the past 10 seasons.

CAPITAL FOOTBALL has appointed Jamie Cross as Referee Development Officer based in Wellington, taking over from Barry Tasker. He was Capital’s Operations Administrator until his departure last May to take up the referee development role at Northern Football Federation.

MAINLAND FOOTBALL is seeking applications for four positions to be appointed by the Board Appointments Panel for a two–year term. Meanwhile, the federation is looking to appoint a permanent CEO following the February departure of Mike Coggan after nine years in the role. He resigned to take a new role as Chief Executive of Otago Cricket. Eddie Clark, Mainland Football Board Member since 2010, has been working as the interim CEO since Coggan’s departure.

FOOTBALL SOUTH have held a consultation process with affiliated clubs on the concept of establishing a ‘home of football’ for the region. The consultation found wide support for the concept with leading suggestions for a venue being Logan Park, Tahuna, Oval and Opoho, though some clubs urged the federation not to risk losing the tradition of home and away games. FANZ: THE FOOTBALL MAGAZINE


FURTHER AFIELD What’s happening in Oceania THE FOOTBALL O MAGAZINE GAZINE

AUCKLAND SEAL OCEANIA TITLE AGAIN AUCKLAND CITY are planning another assault on the FIFA Club World Cup after sealing another Oceania Champions League title. The Navy Blues will go to Japan in December to try to match or better their third–placed finish at last year’s tournament in Morocco. New Zealand was guaranteed representation at the Japan tournament when Team Wellington earned the right to meet Auckland City in the final in Suva. Whichever team won would take home more than $600,000 and the right to shoot for a multi–million dollar paycheck in Japan. The Navy Blues took the lead inside the first 15 minutes in the final after striker Joao Moreira converted from the penalty spot. Wellington found an equaliser in the 79th minute when Ian Hogg smashed home from a Cole Peverley free–kick, to send the match to extra time. Tempers flared as Hogg conceded a penalty with nine minutes remaining and teammate Chris Bale was sent off in the resulting fracas. Wellington goalkeeper Michael O’Keeffe palmed Darren White's spot kick wide, and sent the game to a shootout. In a tense series of spot kicks, Auckland’s nerve held best and the club celebrated the retention of its Oceania title. City’s victory at the 2015 Fiji Airways OFC Champions League was their fifth successive regional title, and the club’s seventh overall.

Auckland City FC coach Ramon Tribulietx ... successful defence of Oceania Champions League.

In the individual awards the Fairplay Award was given to Suva FA, with captain Pita Rabo on hand to collect the trophy. The Golden Boot went to Ba FC and Fiji U–20 striker Saula Waqa, while Auckland City FC goalkeeper Tamati Williams took home the Golden Gloves. The Golden Ball, for player of the tournament, was awarded to Auckland City FC captain Ivan Vicelich in recognition of his abilities on the field, as well as his leadership and presence.

Ramon Tribulietx Auckland City coach ‘I think we deserved it. We’ve tried to develop something over the last six years and when you put the kind of effort in that we have, life gives you some rewards and I think that’s what has happened here.’

CONGRATULATIONS to referees Matt Conger, Simon Lount and Nick Waldron who will be Oceania’s representatives among the 21 referees and 6 support referees at the FIFA Uc–20 World Cup.

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AUCKLAND CITY Winners 2015 Fiji Airways OFC Champions League

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Football Dad Tunes from Top Gun Football Dad shifted uncomfortably on his stool, at the back of the room. “Okay, awesome, great to see everybody dancing!” shrieked Weird Lady’s Sister. “What an awesome party we’re having!” A lengthy and painful crackle emanated from the battered speakers, and across the clubrooms. Weird Lady’s Sister had dropped the microphone right in front of the subwoofer. “Ooops!” she shrieked as she retrieved it from the floor. “Time for Kings of Leon—Sex on Fire.” Football Mum was not impressed. “Do you think she knows it’s a song about sexually transmitted diseases?” she whispered into Football Dad’s ear. “I mean, for Christ’s sakes — it’s a junior football club prizegiving!” “I know, I know … I said to them ‘just hire a digital jukebox’,” Football Dad explained. “It was going to cost them $100. But apparently this woman ‘has experience’ and offered to do it for free.” He shrugged his shoulders at Football Mum. “Experience at what?” she whispered. “Drinking Cody’s and teenage pregnancy?” Trying desperately to supress a huge belly laugh, he grabbed Football Mum round the waist. “Stop it.” The Eldest One came running over, two friends in tow, waving sausage rolls. Pastry crashed to the floor in front of Football Dad, small chunks the size of 10 cent pieces. 38

“You couldn’t find some fruit or something?” Football Mum asked hopefully. “We’re going outside,” announced the Eldest One. Before she could utter another word, the PA crackled again. “Okay, that was Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins!” chirped Weird Lady’s Sister. The club’s Junior Co–ordinator wrenched the microphone from Weird Lady’s Sister’s hand.

‘ Budget soft drinks, sausage rolls and polonies,” Football Mum whispered venomously in his ear. “All the food groups covered.’ “We’ll start the formalities,” he boomed. “All the kids, you find your coaches now.” A clusterbomb of kids exploded across the room, the noise of giggling, yelling and whooping reaching a deafening crescendo in the old 1970s pre–fab building. “SHUUUUUTTTUUUUP!” A silence fell across the room. Junior President had their attention now. “I’d like to start by thanking the ladies in the kitchen,” he said, inflating his chest. “Lovely spread

tonight, you’ve outdone yourself.” Football Mum’s patience was wearing thing. She mimicked putting her finger down her throat, and the motion of a decent chunder. “Stop it,” giggled Football Dad. “Budget soft drinks, sausage rolls and polonies,” Football Mum whispered venomously in his ear. “All the food groups covered.” The prizegiving dragged on for what seemed like hours. 40 minutes in — one speech from The Droning Pom in charge of the 9th grade kids lasted 10 minutes — the Youngest One’s team was called to the front. Weird Lady began an elaborate tale of the team’s fortunes. Football Dad rested his head on Football Mum’s shoulder and emitted a low and slow groan. The Youngest One scored the obscure and not very coveted award for “Being Nice to Everybody”. “Could be worse,” Football Mum chuckled. “At least she didn’t win the ‘Always Trying But Never Quite Scoring a Goal Award’.”

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FOOTBALL DAD A long–time writer, Football Dad’s identity is a well–kept secret in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty where he writes his regular column for the award–winning matchday magazine of WaiBOP United, The Range.

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FRIENDS Our aims & purpose FRIENDS OF FOOTBALL is an independent group of people with a common interest in sharing their love of the ‘beautiful game’ and its rich and proud history as the globe’s most popular team sport. We’re passionate about protecting and promoting the positive aspects of the game to others — young and old — and the benefits it provides to the wider community. Our Vision We’ll create opportunities for people to share their love of football without boundaries of age, colour/ ethnicity, gender or status. Our Mission  To promote the positive aspects of football as widely as possible, particularly among young people.  To foster fellowship and a love for the game among friends spanning all spheres of football — playing, administering, officiating or supporting — from the cradle to the grave. Our Goals/Objectives  To promote and enhance the profile of football through our membership.  To acknowledge and salute those who have made a significant contribution to NZ Football 40

 To encourage greater publicity and promotion for football at all levels and to support national men’s women’s and junior teams both at home and abroad  To foster social and business networking opportunities between members.  To generate the same passion and zeal for our national teams playing at home similar to cricket’s ‘Beige Brigade’ and the Phoenix ‘Yellow Fever.’  To develop a ‘home’ for football memorabilia which could, in time, become a showpiece for local and international visitors.  To provide a means to be able to offer talented juniors the opportunity to train and trial with a professional club in New Zealand or abroad.  To inspire talented young Kiwi male and female footballers through a connection with the game’s sporting icons.

HOW TO JOIN US it costs just $25 a year to be a member of Friends of Football. To join, write to FoF, PO Box 9076, Newmarket, Auckland 1149, or email details to Barbara Cox at b_cox@xtra.co.nz. Send cheque to Friends of Football or pay direct to our bank account, providing your surname as reference. Bank BNZ Dominion Road — 02 0144 0285148 00. preserved, to recognise those who have contributed in the past and to inspire those in the future. Our Celebration of Excellence tonight is part of our effort to add to football’s heritage.

Football’s Heritage We believe the heritage of our game should be nurtured and FANZ: THE FOOTBALL MAGAZINE


OF FOOTBALL

The committee of Friends of Football. From left: Earle Thomas, Josh Easby, Armin Lindenberg (secretary), Sam Malcolmson, John Morris (chair), Brian Turner (founder), Barbara Cox (treasurer), Mark Burgess, Andrew Dewhurst. Photo: Shane Wenzlick.

Meet our committee John Morris, ONZM, Chair A member of the Blockhouse Bay side which won the National League–Chatham Cup double in 1970, goalkeeper Morris represented New Zealand from 1970–73 and was Auckland Player of the Year 1977. He gained NZFA Regional and NZFA Staff Coach certification, coaching school, regional and National League teams. He was NZ Football chair (2002–08) and was a member of FIFA’s Technical Committee. After 20 years as Headmaster at Auckland Grammar School, he now works as an education consultant here and overseas. Armin Lindenberg,Secretary During 18 years as a newspaper journalist, Lindenberg covered the 1981–82 World Cup campaign and two Olympic Games, winning NZ Sports Writer and Sports Journalist of the Year awards.

The last 25 years, he has worked as a communications consultant, specialising in media relations, corporate and stakeholder communication. He is a Life Member of Eastern Suburbs AFC and of the NZ Sports Journalists Association, and a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand. Dr Barbara Cox, MBE,Treasurer A former captain of both New Zealand and Auckland Football representative teams. She has coached and administrated football at all levels of the game and has written extensively on the history of the women’s game in New Zealand. She is currently CEO of the Bill McKinlay Park Trust and chairperson of University–Mt Wellington AFC . Brian Turner,Founder Debuting as a 16–year–old, Turner played 102 times for New Zealand, including 59 full internationals,

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between 1967 and 1982, and in three World Cup campaigns. He played professionally for Chelsea, Portsmouth and Brentford and was three times NZ Year Player of the Year, and three times Auckland Player of the Year. As an assistant coach or manager, he took part in two World Cup campaigns, and was coach Ricki Herbert's assistant with the undefeated All Whites squad at the 2010 finals in South Africa. He was admitted to football's Hall of Fame in 1995. Sam Malcolmson, Committee A member of the 1982 All Whites who qualified for theWorld Cup finals in Spain, Malcolmson continues his involvement in football through media work and coaching school football in Auckland. He’s coached at senior level and been an administrator, utilising business skills gained with sports companies such as Adidas, New 41


Balance, Umbro and Starter. Mark Burgess, Committee A dual New Zealand international, Burgess played 50 cricket tests for his country and played once for the New Zealand football team (against Manchester United). As a youngster, he was New Zealand Football Player of the Year in 1965, and represented the national U23 team. In the 1990s, Burgess served on the national council of New Zealand Soccer (now NZF). Andrew Dewhurst, Committee Andrew began broadcasting with The Radio Network in Wellington in the 1990’s before moving to Auckland as one of the original hosts on Radio Sport. Now director of his own media and PR company Gracie Productions, Andrew splits his time between broadcasting with SKY Television as football and tennis commentator and managing sports clients such as the SKYCITY Breakers, Triathlon New Zealand, Basketball New Zealand and Badminton New Zealand. He played National League (briefly) and Northern League football.

Earle Thomas, Committee Thomas played 49 times for New Zealand between 1967–80, scoring 19 goals, and he captained the All Whites 1975–76. For his club Mt Wellington, he scored 99 goals in 187 games. He has held senior management roles with sportsgoods firms Spalding, Top Flite and Calloway. He’s now a director of a sports importing business, and still coaches junior football. Josh Easby, Committee Cambridge–based Easby has written about football for 40 years, editing books, match programmes, websites and since 1997, the daily email newsletter There’s Only One Arthur Bottom for fans of English League Two club York City (of which he is a former director). He's on the committee at Cambridge FC where he coaches women’s football. He's the owner of book publishing company Hurricane Press and he’s deputy chair of Radio New Zealand. Cathleen Bias, Committee Having worked for New Zealand Football between 2006 and 2015,

Cathleen brings to our committee a thorough knowledge of the processes that drive the game in this country. Her work for NZF covered projects and events, and overseeing Goalnet, the sport’s player database. She has also worked as team manager for the NZ U–17 women’s team and follows other sports, including BMX. Steve Laus, Committee Laus played more than 300 games at top level for various northern clubs including Bay Olympic, Central United, East Coast Bays and Onehunga Sports. He’s the North Island manager for a national auto parts supply company, and brings his commercial expertise as well as his knowledge of football to our committee.

PHOTOGRAPHER Phototek’s Shane Wenzlick is the Official Photographer to Friends of Football. We are grateful to Shane for giving us access to his photographic library for use in our publications and at our events.

FRIENDS OF FOOTBALL EVENTS Friends of Football aims to host a growing number of events. Check our website for details of upcoming events or better still, become a member so we can keep you

We believe football people love to get together off–the–pitch to make or

informed.

renew friendships. That’s why Friends of Football looks to host regular events

www.friendsoffootballnz.com

to bring people together. And we try to make our events entertaining and informative with top speakers such as All Whites coach Anthony Hudson (above, speaking at our Celebration of Excellence dinner).

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THE 30–SECOND TEST THAT COULD SAVE YOUR SIGHT FORMER All Whites coaches Allan Jones and John Adshead have been campaigning to raise awareness within the football community of a condition that puts your sight at risk.

THE TEST

Amsler Grid The Amsler Grid (above) is a useful tool to detect vision problems resulting from damage to the macula (the central part of the retina). How to do it: 1. Cover one eye, then focus on the dot in the centre. 2. Do any of the lines look wavy, blurred or distorted? 3. Are there any missing areas or dark areas in the grid? 4. Don't forget to test both eyes. 5. If you see wavy, broken or distorted lines, or blurred or missing areas of vision, you may be displaying the symptoms of Macular Degeneration. Contact your doctor or optometrist immediately.

Having worked as an ambassador for the charity Macular Degeneration NZ, Jones has been actively encouraging football players and supporters to take a simple test to check whether they’re at risk. Macular Degeneration causes progressive loss of central vision but the peripheral vision is not affected. It is the leading cause of severe vision loss. One in seven people over the age of 50 years is affected in some way and the incidence increases with age. The macula is the central part of the retina, the light–sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The retina processes all visual images. It is responsible for your ability to read, recognise faces, drive and see colours clearly. Jones and Adshead spearheaded

this year’s raceday at Ellerslie Racecourse, an event that raised about $46,000 for the charity and that attracted many well–known football personalities. Macular Degeneration is thought to be caused by genetic and environmental factors. People over the age of 50 years are at risk. If you smoke or have a family history of Macular Degeneration, your risk of developing the disease is much greater. For more information we encourage everyone to visit www. mdnz.org.nz.

NEW FACES ON OUR COMMITTEE

Cathleen Bias

Steve Laus

Friends of Football are pleased to welcome two new members to the group’s committee. Long–time former employee of NZ Football Cathleen Bias and footballer Steve Laus have been co–opted to the commitee. Cathleen brings excellent database skills and will help us build better means of tracking our membership as it grows, while Steve brings commercial expertise as well as enthusiasm to the role.

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GET OFF THE GRASS The final word from Sky Sport commentator Andrew Dewhurst The Hyundai A–League play–offs for the Wellington Phoenix are over — but just reaching them is in itself a sign of success . Ernie Merrick dragged the Wellington side screaming and kicking back into the limelight; not bad considering the past two seasons have delivered 9th and 10th place finishes. More so than the fact they have qualified for the play–offs for me is the way in which they have done it, on the back of some beautiful football at times, in particular the period just before the Asian Championship enforced break. Merrick turned what was largely a one dimensional and often long ball based team into a side capable of ripping anyone apart with their movement and passing. The introduction of new players such as Nathan Burns, Roly Bonevacia and Michael McGlinchey have been pivotal in that overhaul, but when you consider that many of the players contributing week in week out to this change and the improved results have been at the club for some time, the coaching expertise of Merrick is put even

more under the spotlight. They are not on the same level (yet) as Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC and perhaps Adelaide, but what they are is contenders. Gone are the tag of ‘can’t win on the road’ and being a one dimensional side too reliant on belting teams off the park in the wind and rain in the Capital. This is now a team that truly has the respect of the rest of the league for the results but importantly the way they play to get them. The biggest success story for me is Burns. Sure, he could have signed for one or two others in the Hyundai A–League but he chose Wellington and Merrick. And his career blossomed as he was back in the form of his life and in the Aussie side. Burns is a shining testament to agents and players that the best Aussies can and should consider the Phoenix as a career option. For too long (Durante the exception and he is now of course a ‘Kiwi’) the best Aussies have ve not wanted to crosss

the ditch, for whatever reason. Now they must consider it a serious option. Merrick has got the imports right. This has throughout the history of New Zealand teams in the Aussie competition been a disaster. Players signed (sometimes sight unseen) on the basis they would bring class, an extra edge and put bums on seats when all they end up doing is bringing excess baggage (sometimes around the waist) with the only ‘bum on a seat’ being their own on the subs bench. Bonevacia, Rodriquez (to a lesser degree) and even Roy Krishna have flourished and put the spotlight on the Phoenix for the right reasons. So marks out of ten? For me I have to say 7.5 with this year clearly a success on all levels, with plenty of room still though for improvement. Now let’s start getting excited about the possibilities for the Phoenix next season!

THE FOOTBALL MAGAZINE To read the previous issues of FANZ, go to: http://issuu.com/hurricanepress 44

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Profile for Hurricane Press

FANZ: The Football Magazine (Issue 3)  

FANZ: The Football Magazine Winter issue 2015. The Official Magazine of Friends of Football (New Zealand). www.friendsoffootballnz.com

FANZ: The Football Magazine (Issue 3)  

FANZ: The Football Magazine Winter issue 2015. The Official Magazine of Friends of Football (New Zealand). www.friendsoffootballnz.com

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