A genuine legend as a player in New Zealand football circles, Ricki Herbert has taken his standing to a new level in recent years due to his work as coach of the New Zealand national team, combined with his concurrent status as Wellington Phoenix boss in the Australian A-League.
As a player, Herbert was a mobile defender with aerial prowess and the ability to get down the flanks. Although one of the youngest members of the squad, Herbert was an integral part of the team which won their way through to the 1982 FIFA World Cup™ in Spain against all odds. The 21-year-old Herbert played in all 15 of New Zealand's qualification matches - a then record to reach a FIFA World Cup. The young defender also scored a dramatic late equaliser against Saudi Arabia to keep the qualification campaign alive.
At club level he had two seasons with Wolves in England totalling 49 appearances while on the home front he won three league championships and two Chatham Cup titles.
After holding various coaching positions on the domestic front and with the national governing body, Herbert was appointed to New Zealand's top job in February 2005. He then was also handed the reins of New Zealand's sole professional club, New Zealand Knights, whose spot in the Australian A-League was later taken by Wellington Phoenix. Herbert brought the Phoenix to just one win short of the play-offs last season, as the team narrowly failed to become the first Kiwi side to make the Australian post-season.
Herbert holds a prestigious UEFA 'A' International Coaching Licence and a UEFA 'Pro' International Coaching Licence.