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Hudson steps down as coach

Anthony Hudson has stood down as All Whites coach. Credit: OFC via Phototek

Anthony Hudson’s time as head coach of the All Whites has come to an end.

The 36-year-old Englishman, who signed on in 2014 after three years as head coach of Bahrain, was out of contract after the All Whites were beaten 2-0 by Peru in the FIFA World Cup Intercontinental Playoff and has decided to not continue with the national team.

Hudson is currently in the final stages of his contract negotiations for his next move. He will look back on his time in New Zealand with fond memories.

“Firstly, I want to take this opportunity to offer my sincere gratitude and thank all of the New Zealand Football staff, players and the fans who have made my three years here in New Zealand an unforgettable one. I’ve enjoyed every second, it’s been a pleasure and an honour to work with this team and to truly experience what it means to be a proud Kiwi,” said Hudson.

“As a group we were obviously sad to not achieve our goal of qualifying for the World Cup, but from where we were three years ago to where we were in the dying few minutes of the game against Peru, I have to say I’m incredibly proud of all the players and staff, they were magnificent.

“They were together, they played with pride and bravery and were superb when we had a mountain to climb. The effort they have put in for this team over the years has been first class. I am proud of how far the team have come in the past three years and I hope that my time here has built the foundation for future success. I have no doubt New Zealand has a great team that is capable of achieving big things on the world stage.”

New Zealand Football Chief Executive Andy Martin said Hudson should be proud of the work he has done with the national team and has left his own chapter in All Whites’ history.

“We are disappointed to lose a top coach like Anthony, but we understand his decision and we wish him all the very best in his future endeavours,” said Martin.

“Anthony has been one of the finest coaches New Zealand Football has ever had. You only have to look at how far the team has come since the last Intercontinental Playoff against Mexico to see the progress of this side. For the first time in history this year we were able to name a fully professional squad and that is testament to the work Anthony has done.

“He has turned our team into a side which is capable of beating the world’s best and he has implemented structures within our High Performance pathway which will ensure this All Whites team will continue to develop and enjoy further success in international football.”

Hudson enjoyed a successful three years as the coach of the All Whites. He guided the national team to victory in the OFC Nations Cup in Papua New Guinea before the team had an impressive tour of the United States where they lost 2-1 to Mexico and drew 1-1 with the USA.

He led the All Whites to the FIFA Confederations Cup – at 35, he was the youngest coach in the history of the event – and secured New Zealand’s place in the Intercontinental Playoff with wins over New Caledonia, Fiji and the Solomon Islands. During his time in charge, Hudson never lost a game to Oceania opposition.

The All Whites delivered one of their best performances under Hudson in the home leg of the FIFA World Cup Intercontinental Playoff when they drew 0-0 with Peru in Wellington, but the World No 10 were the better side in Lima and booked their place in Russia.

Martin said the search for Hudson’s replacement as All Whites coach will begin immediately.

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