Herbert puts his hand up for Mariners job

Former Wellington Phoenix and New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert has thrown his hat into the ring for the Central Coast Mariners job, insisting he can help the club recapture past glories.

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Ricki Herbert wants to coach the Mariners Source: Getty Images

The 55 year-old Kiwi, who led Phoenix to three successive finals during his six-season reign, also masterminded an unbeaten 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign for the All Whites in South Africa, where they bowed out in the group stage after three draws.

He recently parted company with the Maldives after a nine-month spell in charge for family reasons, but Herbert is now eyeing the Mariners post as he seeks to return to the competition after a two-and-half-year absence.

"I've had a lot of experience in coming in to clubs in the sort of circumstances the Mariners are in and doing very well," said Herbert, who quit the All Whites after failure to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

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"I was there at the start with the Phoenix when we were battling and managed to get to them to three finals series in a row and also with the national team we were 156th in the world when we started off and managed to get to a World Cup and remain unbeaten.

"I think these sorts of projects are something that I have done before ... it look like the roster the Mariners have at the moment is all that's going to be there and from my perspective that's fine because I look at that the squad they have assembled and there is plenty of experience there, plus they have a good crop of young players coming through.

"It would be about building the club back and getting some stability and success over a long period of time."

During his stint with the Maldives, Herbert took the tiny Indian Ocean nation up 20 ranking spots and he now is back in New Zealand, having terminated the deal prematurely.

"It was an interesting challenge and I like challenges," added Herbert. "We moved the ranking up quite dramatically and had some good successes. I enjoyed the experience."

But club management beckons again for Herbert, who has joined the likes of former Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey in the hunt for the Gosford gig made available last week by the sacking of Tony Walmsley.

"I think at one time I was probably the longest serving manager in the A-League and it's a competition I know very well and continue to follow closely," he added.

"I was probably one of the longest serving managers at one club on the bounce also with Wellington, with 155-odd games ... so it's a league I understand well and I think I understand the position the Mariners are in at the moment, in terms of what they have done in the past and where they sit currently.

"They are a good club, an exciting club and they have a culture as a community based club ... and that's something I would certainly embrace.

"When we started the Phoenix that was also that philosophy and three or four years later we had 32,000 at the stadium for a finals match."


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3 min read
Published 13 August 2016 at 6:09am
By Dave Lewis
Source: SBS