Former All Whites assistant coach Darren Bazeley will join Anthony Hudson as an assistant coach at the Colorado Rapids.
Bazeley, who was also the New Zealand U-20 coach for the past three FIFA U-20 World Cups, has resigned from his role with the Northern Football Federation as Football Development Manager to work in Major League Soccer (MLS).
The 45-year-old said he would look back on his time in New Zealand with fond memories after being a regular part of the national High Performance pathway since 2011.
“I have enjoyed every moment of my nine years that I have been involved within the New Zealand Football international programme,” said Bazeley.
“I take with me some great memories of competing at five Age Group FIFA World Cups from Nigeria with the U-17s back in 2009 to this year’s U-20 World Cup in South Korea, my involvement within the All Whites has also provided some lasting memories including this year’s Confederations Cup in Russia and the recent Intercontinental Playoff final against Peru.”
The English-born Bazeley said after living in New Zealand with his family for the past 13 years, and having gained their NZ Citizenship a few years ago, they now regard this country as their home.
“I am so proud to have stood for the National Anthem for over 70 international matches across the various Men’s New Zealand teams,” he said.
“It has not always been easy trying to compete on the world stage against some of the best teams, players and coaches in the world, but it is and has been possible to achieve successes with qualifying out of the group stage consecutively at the previous two FIFA U-20 World Cups being the highlight.”
Bazeley said he has been lucky enough to work with some very talented players, coaches and staff members here in New Zealand over the years to which he is truly grateful.
“The opportunity to continue to work alongside Anthony and to challenge for success over in the MLS with the Colorado Rapids is an exciting challenge that I am really looking forward to,” he said.
“I would like to thank New Zealand Football for all of the support and opportunities that they have given me and I will continue to follow all New Zealand teams with great interest to watch the continued development and progression moving forward.”
New Zealand Football Chief Executive Andy Martin said Bazeley had played a significant role in guiding both the age group teams and latterly the national side during his time with the organisation.
“Darren has been a well-respected and well-liked member of our international coaching team for a sometime for which we thank him and we wish him all the very best in his future endeavours,” said Martin.
“He can look back on his time at New Zealand Football with real pride. He was first involved with the New Zealand U-17 in the FIFA U-17 World Cup and did a fine job getting the New Zealand U-20sout of their group at both the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand and this year for the first time away from home in South Korea.
“For New Zealand Football, we are already in the process of recruiting a Head Coach for the All Whites and thereafter finding the right support staff will become a priority.”
Former All Whites technical analyst Jase Kim will also leave the national team to join Bazeley and Hudson at the Colorado Rapids on expiry of his contract.