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Ricki Herbert

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Full name  Ricki Lloyd Herbert
1978  Mt Wellington AFC
Position  Defender
Years  Team
Height  1.80 m
Playing position  Defender
Role  Footballer
Name  Ricki Herbert

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Date of birth  (1961-04-10) 10 April 1961 (age 54)
Current team  Maldives national football team
Similar People  Leo Bertos, Shane Smeltz, Ryan Nelsen, Ben Sigmund, Mark Paston

Place of birth  Auckland, New Zealand

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Ricki Lloyd Herbert, CNZM (born 10 April 1961) is a New Zealand former footballer and former head coach of the New Zealand national team, stepping down after the side failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and former manager of A-League side Wellington Phoenix. Herbert represented his country at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain and coached the New Zealand national team at the 2010 World Cup. His most recent role in international football was as the head coach of Maldives national football team.


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Playing career

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Herbert represented New Zealand at age group level, playing for the New Zealand under-20 side and gained 61 full international caps from 1980–1989, scoring seven goals.

Ricki Herbert Ricki Herbert Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Herbert made his full international début in a 4–0 win over Mexico on 20 August 1980 at the age of 18, and featured in all 15 matches of the All Whites' World Cup qualifying campaign for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain. Herbert was a substitute for the loss against Scotland, but was reinstated to the starting eleven for both Soviet Union and Brazil as New Zealand failed to claim any points in their first World Cup finals appearance.

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At club level, he represented a number of teams in his homeland and played in the Australian league. He had his greatest success with Mt Wellington AFC where he won three league championships during two spells with the club and two Chatham Cup triumphs.

In 1982 Herbert spent some time in England at Southampton F.C., where he made a few appearances for the reserve team and one disastrous friendly appearance for the first team. He also had a spell in English football with Wolverhampton Wanderers from 1984 to 1986, where he made 49 appearances in total. He was signed by manager Tommy Docherty who had previously coached Herbert while manager of Sydney Olympic. However, his time at the club coincided with them sliding down the leagues; Herbert was part of the team relegated to the third tier in 1985, but left in March 1986 shortly before a successive relegation after falling out with new manager Sammy Chapman.

Early career

Herbert began his coaching career at Papakura City AFC in 1990, before taking over at neighbouring Papatoetoe AFC in 1993. From 1996 he took charge of Central United in the National Summer League, finishing mid table in his first season in charge. In both 1997 and 1998, Herbert took Central United to victory in the Chatham Cup and finished a close second in the league. In 1999, New Zealand reverted to separate North Island and South Island leagues, with the winners of each playing off for title of New Zealand Champion. Central United, winners of the North Island Soccer League, defeated the South Island winner, Dunedin Technical, 3–1, after extra time, in the championship final.

Oly-Whites and U17

Herbert's domestic success attracted attention from NZ football association, and in 1999 he was appointed coach of the under-23 Oly-Whites qualifying campaign for the Sydney Olympics. An appointment of assistant national coach followed in 2001. In 2003 Herbert took charge of the New Zealand U-17 team.

As Director of Technical Development, Herbert was again responsible for New Zealand Olympic campaign in 2004, although they failed to qualify for the finals in Athens.

National team

Herbert was appointed All Whites coach on 25 February 2005, replacing Mick Waitt after being his assistant since 2003, with his first game in charge being scheduled in June that year as a friendly against archrival Australia. As national coach, the All Whites won their first match in Europe when beating Georgia 3–1 in Germany in May 2006. On that tour, which included a 4–0 loss to Brazil, the All Whites drew 1–1 with Estonia in Tallinn. Herbert was honoured New Zealand Coach of the Year for 2007. Herbert led the New Zealand national football team to the victory in the 2008 OFC Nations Cup, qualifying for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. Herbert is the second manager and only New Zealander to take New Zealand to the FIFA World Cup for a second time when his side qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup by winning World Cup qualifying play-off against Bahrain. On 15 June 2010, New Zealand drew 1–1 with Slovakia in their opening match in the World Cup Finals. This was their first ever point at a World Cup Finals and was earned when Winston Reid headed home a dramatic injury-time equaliser. Herbert described the draw as the "best ever result" for the New Zealand national team. In New Zealand's second game in the tournament, they held reigning world champions Italy to a memorable draw. The All Whites' third game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was against Paraguay. The outcome was a nil-all draw, meaning New Zealand did not advance to the second round. New Zealand ended up becoming the only 'undefeated' team in the tournament.

Herbert announced his retirement following the All Whites' 4–2 loss to Mexico in November 2013, failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

New Zealand Knights

In December 2006, after FFA announced that it had revoked the 2006 season A-League licence held by the Knights' owners, Herbert took over the reins of the now defunct New Zealand Knights under an arrangement between the FFA and NZ Soccer whereby the national body would step in to manage the club to meet their commitments for the remaining five games of the season. In that time the franchise won three matches, drew one and lost to competition winners Melbourne Victory.

Wellington Phoenix

In 2007 the new A-League franchise, Wellington Phoenix was granted a three-year license, and owner Terry Serepisos and Herbert immediately confirmed as head coach. On 26 February 2013, Herbert resigned from his role as head coach and will take on an advisory role within the club.

NorthEast United FC (India)

On 19 August 2014, he was named as the manager of NorthEast United FC in the inaugural Indian Super League. On 13 October 2014, the team won their first ISL match at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, Spaniard Koke scoring the only goal of the game to defeat the Kerala Blasters.

2014 FIFA World Cup (Brazil)

Herbert was appointed to FIFA's Technical Study Group to analyse tactical and technical dimensions of play at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Papua New Guinea

In July 2015, Herbert coached the Papua New Guinea Under 23 side to a bronze medal at the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.


Herbert was appointed head coach of the Maldives on September 9, 2015. He sought an early termination to his two-year contract in June 2016 after 14 games in charge of the national side.

Waikato, New Zealand

In September 2016, Herbert announced he was taking up a new coaching role as Director of Football for St Peter's, Cambridge, and as Technical Director for Cambridge FC, one of the biggest clubs in the Waikato region. In May 2017, Herbert was announced as the head coach for Hamilton Wanderers AFC in the New Zealand Football Championship, providing him with a summer role that complements his winter coaching commitments.


Herbert holds a UEFA 'A' International Coaching Licence, and UEFA 'Pro' International Coaching Licence course that finished in June 2008.

Football academy

In 2014, Herbert established the Ricki Herbert Football Academy in New Zealand, providing coaching for boys and girls aged 4–17. By 2016, the academy was operating seven talent centres in New Zealand and had announced a partnership with Fulham F.C., a professional football club playing in the Football League Championship.

Personal life

Herbert comes from a successful sporting family. His mother, Shirley, was a champion sprinter while his father, Clive, was a professional cyclist. His father was also a long-time football administrator, represented New Zealand as an official at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico, and was a professional trainer of standardbred harness racing horses. Herbert's son, Kale, is a professional football coach, working as head coach for the Ricki Herbert Football Academy and as head coach for Taupo FC who play in the WaiBOP Championship in New Zealand.

A biography of Herbert's life, A New Fire, written by Russell Gray, was published in New Zealand by Harper Collins in 2009.

Managerial statistics

As of 8 June 2016


New Zealand's goal tally first.


New Zealand's goal tally first.


  • New Zealand Young Player of the Year: 1980
  • New Zealand coach of the year: 2007, 2010
  • Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit: 31 December 2010 (2011 New Years Honours)
  • Club

    Mt Wellington AFC

  • Chatham Cup: 1980, 1982
  • New Zealand Champions: 1980, 1982, 1986
  • Sydney Olympic FC

  • Australian National Soccer League Cup: 1983
  • As manager

    Central United

  • Chatham Cup: 1997, 1998
  • New Zealand Champions: 1999
  • New Zealand

  • OFC Nations Cup: 2008
  • References

    Ricki Herbert Wikipedia