Danny Hay appointed coach of New Zealand men’s team
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Former international defender Danny Hay has been appointed as New Zealand’s head coach, becoming only the second man to play for and coach the national team.
The 44-year-old Hay, who played briefly for Leeds United and made 31 appearances for New Zealand, replaces Fritz Schmid, who quit in June after 16 months in charge.
“I’ve been heavily invested in the game in this country for a very long time now and the All Whites in particular is something that is very close to my heart having played for and captained the side,” Hay said. “As a proud New Zealander, and proud football person, this is a huge opportunity on a personal level but also comes with massive responsibility to ensure I do the best job I can.”
Hay’s first matches in charge will be international friendlies against Ireland and Lithuania in November.
His appointment comes at a turbulent time for New Zealand football after the departures of the national men’s and women’s coaches. Schmid was also due to coach the New Zealand under-23 men’s team in its effort to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports