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The Premiers and Development team have finished their season.
After beginning in his new role as New Zealand Football CEO in mid-February, Andy Martin has penned an open letter to the game.
Well, after December’s announcement regarding my appointment as CEO, I am pleased to be finally onboard and immersing myself in the role. It is a privilege to be given an opportunity to work with the many thousands of people in this country who dedicate a huge amount of their time to the sport to make a difference and help drive the game forward.
Since being announced into the role, it’s clear from the many messages of support I’ve received, and from the first few stakeholder meetings that I’ve had, there is a huge amount of love for the game in New Zealand. As we all know, it has the highest number of participants of all sports, this - together with the considerable backing of Sport New Zealand and our many other funding partners and sponsors - gives me considerable comfort that we can make a huge difference.
A lot of great work has taken place over the past few years and indeed I believe we already have a good strategy in place to align, organise, develop, succeed and expand the game. You only need to look at the early successes around the highly acclaimed Whole of Football Plan and the Football Ferns to confirm this. We do however recognise that there is more to do in executing on this plan with pace. We need to reset and renew our ambitions for the game over the coming years to reflect the progress made to date and the opportunities available to us. This is something that we will be working on, over the coming months, with our Federations, Clubs and other key stakeholders.
Naturally, a lot of attention will be given to the outputs of the independent All Whites review that is currently underway. As mentioned in December, I expect this to very much inform our High Performance strategy and, in turn, our approach to finding a new coach for the All Whites. We are at the start of a new four-year campaign and we need to set ourselves up for success as I’m sure we all want to see New Zealand in Russia in 2018!
The FIFA U-20 World Cup takes place in New Zealand next year. As one of the most watched sporting events in the world, we are provided with an excellent platform to promote our sport globally and nationally. This presents us with an excellent opportunity to boost the profile and participation levels of the game and, working in partnership with the Local Organising Committee, Federations, Clubs and other key stakeholders, we look forward to playing a role in putting on a great event which showcases all that is good about our game.
In the meantime, we have our senior teams representing New Zealand on the world stage in the coming weeks in Japan and Cyprus while our Young Football Ferns side heads to Costa Rica in mid-March for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. I know you will all join me in wishing our players and teams well for these matches. Our athletes show remarkable levels of commitment and dedication to their chosen career and your support of them, and our national sides, is very much appreciated by everyone connected with New Zealand Football.
Finally, I would like to wish Wellington Phoenix well in their quest for the A-League playoffs and beyond and I also extend best wishes to the four teams left in the ASB Premiership competition as they chase glory at the highest domestic level of the game.
Chief Executive Officer
New Zealand Football