The New Zealand Men’s team have ended a three-month long search after Anthony Hudson’s departure last fall and now have a new boss to guide them to the 2022 World Cup. His name is Fritz Schmid.
“Who?” You may ask.
Well, Schmid comes to New Zealand following an almost four-year-long period as Technical Director for Malaysia. Prior to that, he was assistant coach for the Austrian national team, so there’s no lack of experience at the international scene.
Schmid also has experience in the English Premier League as he was assistant coach to Christian Gross in his ill-fated attempt at taking charge of Tottenham Hotspur back in the 1997/98 season.
The appointment must be said is a bit of a shock as Schmid was never mentioned as a potential candidate, but the Swiss coach crossed paths with New Zealand Football’s current Technical Director Andreas Heraf when Heraf was in charge of the youth setup for Austria, so there’s your link.
— New Zealand Football (@NZ_Football) February 23, 2018
This means that, as expected, Auckland City manager Ramon Tribulietx, who many in the NZ football community seemed to be holding out hope for, will not leave the OFC Champions League holders for now.
Unsurprisingly, Schmid’s big goal is the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and he believes that is achievable.
“Our ultimate goal over the next four years is to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and I am confident we can achieve this,” Schmid told the press in Auckland.
Schmid’s first match in charge of the All Whites will be in a closed-doors friendly with Canada at the end of a training camp in Spain next month.