June 7, 2012
AUCKLAND – Chris Milicich has been reappointed as head coach of the New Zealand U-20 men’s football team while Darren Bazeley has been promoted to the role of New Zealand U-17 head coach after serving as the assistant for the past two world cup cycles.
Milicich will guide the Junior All Whites as they build towards the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, having coached the team to its best ever performance at an U-20 men’s event just missing out on the knockout stages after draws against Cameroon and Uruguay, and a 1-0 loss to eventual finalists Portugal.
New Zealand will host the 2015 edition of the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Bazeley has been involved as assistant coach with two New Zealand sides that reached the knockout stages of FIFA U-17 World Cups in 2009 and 2011 – the only Kiwi teams yet to do so at a FIFA event.
He takes the reins from Aaron McFarland who is currently coaching the New Zealand U-20 women’s team as they prepare for their own world cup in Japan later this year.
Andy Hedge will continue as U-20s assistant coach while Willy Gerdsen steps up into his first national teams role as U-17s assistant.
New Zealand Football Chief Executive Grant McKavanagh said the continuity would allow the good work done by the two environments to continue.
“The current All Whites squad in the Solomons has 14 players who have played at either an U-17 or U-20 World Cup since 2007, and three who only did so only last year,” said McKavanagh.
“The role of these teams is to develop players capable of representing, and winning games for the All Whites and we think the coaching teams we’ve selected can continue that progress.
“The coaches are also aware that the standards set in the previous campaign must be maintained or bettered.
“It’s also part of the process of developing elite coaches who can bring the best out of New Zealand Teams.”
The OFC qualification tournaments for both World Cups are scheduled for early in 2013.
Summary of coaching appointments
Junior All Whites (U-20)
Head Coach: Chris Milicich
Assistant coach: Andy Hedge
Young All Whites (U-17)
Head Coach: Darren Bazelely
Assistant coach: Willy Gerdsen