AUCKLAND: Danny Hay has been named New Zealand coach ahead of the All Whites’ 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ campaign.

The former national team central defender assumes the reins following the sudden resignation of Fritz Schmid in June.

Hay coached New Zealand to the Round of 16 at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 and also led the team at the 2017 edition in India. More recently, he coached local side Eastern Suburbs to their maiden national league title.

The Auckland-raised 44-year-old represented New Zealand 31 times, including at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup. After Ricki Herbert, he is just the second person to captain and coach the national team.

Hay is one of just a handful of New Zealanders to have played in the English Premier League, having done so with Leeds United.

He said: “It’s an exciting time for the game as I firmly believe we have a balance of experience, youthful vitality and real quality.

“The mix of players who have been at big clubs in Europe for a number of years, those operating consistently at MLS and A-League level, combined with some emerging talent, has to excite any football fan looking to the future.

“Ultimately, the next few years is about bringing these players together on a regular basis so that we have a genuine chance of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.”

Hay’s national team coaching career will commence in November with matches against Republic of Ireland and Lithuania.