Ricki Herbert

Ricki Lloyd Herbert CNZM (born 10 April 1961) is a New Zealand former footballer and former head coach of the New Zealand national team, stepping down after the side failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup,[1] and former manager of A-League side Wellington Phoenix. Herbert represented his country at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain and coached the New Zealand national team at the 2010 World Cup. His most recent role in international football was as the head coach with Milan Miric of Maldives national football team.[2] He is the current manager of Ba F.C..

Richard Herbert
Herbert as manager of Wellington Phoenix in 2008
Personal information
Full name Richard Herbert
Date of birth (1961-04-10) 10 April 1961 (age 59)
Place of birth Auckland, New Zealand
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Position(s) Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978 Mt Wellington AFC
1979 Nelson United
1980–1982 Mt Wellington AFC
1983 Sydney Olympic FC 23 (0)
1984 Auckland University AFC
1984–1986 Wolverhampton Wanderers 45 (0)
1986–1989 Mt Wellington AFC
National team
New Zealand U-20
1980–1989 New Zealand 61 (7)
Teams managed
1990–1992 Papakura City
1993–1995 Papatoetoe
1996–1999 Central United
1999–2005 New Zealand U-23
2001–2005 New Zealand (assistant)
2003–2005 New Zealand U-17
2005–2013 New Zealand
2006–2007 New Zealand Knights
2007–2013 Wellington Phoenix
2014–2015 NorthEast United
2015 Papua New Guinea U23
2015–2016 Maldives
2017–2019 Hamilton Wanderers
2020 Ba
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing careerEdit

Herbert represented New Zealand at age group level, playing for the New Zealand under-20 side[3] and gained 61 full international caps from 1980–1989, scoring seven goals.[4][5]

Herbert made his full international début in a 4–0 win over Mexico on 20 August 1980 at the age of 18, and featured in all 15 matches of the All Whites' World Cup qualifying campaign for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain. Herbert was a substitute for the loss against Scotland, but was reinstated to the starting eleven for both Soviet Union and Brazil as New Zealand failed to claim any points in their first World Cup finals appearance.[6]

At club level, he represented a number of teams in his homeland and played in the Australian league.[7] He had his greatest success with Mt Wellington AFC where he won three league championships during two spells with the club and two Chatham Cup triumphs.

In 1982 Herbert spent some time in England at Southampton F.C., where he made a few appearances for the reserve team and one disastrous friendly appearance for the first team.[8] He also had a spell in English football with Wolverhampton Wanderers from 1984 to 1986, where he made 49 appearances in total. He was signed by manager Tommy Docherty who had previously coached Herbert while manager of Sydney Olympic. However, his time at the club coincided with them sliding down the leagues; Herbert was part of the team relegated to the third tier in 1985, but left in March 1986 shortly before a successive relegation after falling out with new manager Sammy Chapman.[9]

Coaching careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Herbert began his coaching career at Papakura City AFC in 1990, before taking over at neighbouring Papatoetoe AFC in 1993. From 1996 he took charge of Central United in the National Summer League, finishing mid table in his first season in charge. In both 1997 and 1998, Herbert took Central United to victory in the Chatham Cup and finished a close second in the league. In 1999, New Zealand reverted to separate North Island and South Island leagues, with the winners of each playing off for title of New Zealand Champion. Central United, winners of the North Island Soccer League, defeated the South Island winner, Dunedin Technical, 3–1, after extra time, in the championship final.

New ZealandEdit

Oly-Whites and U17Edit

Herbert's domestic success attracted attention from NZ football association, and in 1999 he was appointed coach of the under-23 Oly-Whites qualifying campaign for the Sydney Olympics. An appointment of assistant national coach followed in 2001. In 2003 Herbert took charge of the New Zealand U-17 team.[10]

As Director of Technical Development, Herbert was again responsible for New Zealand Olympic campaign in 2004, although they failed to qualify for the finals in Athens.[11]

National teamEdit

Herbert was appointed All Whites coach on 25 February 2005, replacing Mick Waitt after being his assistant since 2003, with his first game in charge being scheduled in June that year as a friendly against archrival Australia.[12] As national coach, the All Whites won their first match in Europe when beating Georgia 3–1 in Germany in May 2006.[13] On that tour, which included a 4–0 loss to Brazil, the All Whites drew 1–1 with Estonia in Tallinn.[14] Herbert was honoured New Zealand Coach of the Year for 2007.[15] Herbert led the New Zealand national football team to the victory in the 2008 OFC Nations Cup, qualifying for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. Herbert is the second manager and only New Zealander to take New Zealand to the FIFA World Cup for a second time when his side qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup by winning World Cup qualifying play-off against Bahrain. On 15 June 2010, New Zealand drew 1–1 with Slovakia in their opening match in the World Cup Finals.[16] This was their first ever point at a World Cup Finals and was earned when Winston Reid headed home a dramatic injury-time equaliser. Herbert described the draw as the "best ever result" for the New Zealand national team.[17] In New Zealand's second game in the tournament, they held reigning world champions Italy to a memorable draw.[18] The All Whites' third game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was against Paraguay. The outcome was a nil-all draw, meaning New Zealand did not advance to the second round. New Zealand ended up becoming the only 'undefeated' team in the tournament.

Herbert announced his retirement following the All Whites' 4–2 loss to Mexico in November 2013, failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.[19][20]

New Zealand KnightsEdit

In December 2006, after FFA announced that it had revoked the 2006 season A-League licence held by the Knights' owners, Herbert took over the reins of the now defunct New Zealand Knights under an arrangement between the FFA and NZ Soccer whereby the national body would step in to manage the club to meet their commitments for the remaining five games of the season.[21] In that time the franchise won three matches, drew one and lost to competition winners Melbourne Victory.

Wellington PhoenixEdit

In 2007 the new A-League franchise, Wellington Phoenix was granted a three-year license, and owner Terry Serepisos and Herbert immediately confirmed as head coach.[22][23] On 26 February 2013, Herbert resigned from his role as head coach and will take on an advisory role within the club.

NorthEast United FC (India)Edit

On 19 August 2014, he was named as the manager of NorthEast United FC in the inaugural Indian Super League.[24] On 13 October 2014, the team won their first ISL match at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, Spaniard Koke scoring the only goal of the game to defeat the Kerala Blasters.[25]

2014 FIFA World Cup (Brazil)Edit

Herbert was appointed to FIFA's Technical Study Group to analyse tactical and technical dimensions of play at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.[26]

Papua New GuineaEdit

In July 2015, Herbert coached the Papua New Guinea Under 23 side to a bronze medal at the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.


Herbert was appointed head coach of the Maldives on 9 September 2015.[27] He sought an early termination to his two-year contract in June 2016 after 14 games in charge of the national side.[28]

Waikato, New ZealandEdit

In September 2016, Herbert announced he was taking up a new coaching role as Director of Football for St Peter's, Cambridge,[29] and as Technical Director for Cambridge FC, one of the biggest clubs in the Waikato region.[30] In May 2017, Herbert was announced as the head coach for Hamilton Wanderers AFC in the New Zealand Football Championship, providing him with a summer role that complements his winter coaching commitments.[31]


Herbert holds a UEFA 'A' International Coaching Licence,[12] and UEFA 'Pro' International Coaching Licence course that finished in June 2008.[32][33][34]

Football academyEdit

In 2014, Herbert established the Ricki Herbert Football Academy in New Zealand, providing coaching for boys and girls aged 4–17.[35] By 2016, the academy was operating seven talent centres in New Zealand [36] and had announced a partnership with Fulham, an English professional football club playing in the Championship.[37]

Personal lifeEdit

Herbert comes from a successful sporting family. His mother, Shirley, was a champion sprinter while his father, Clive, was a professional cyclist.[38] His father was also a long-time football administrator,[39] represented New Zealand as an official at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico, and was a professional trainer of standardbred harness racing horses.[40] Herbert's son, Kale, is a professional football coach, working as head coach for the Ricki Herbert Football Academy and as head coach for Hamilton Wanderers who play in the New Zealand Football Championship in New Zealand.[39]

A biography of Herbert's life, A New Fire, written by Russell Gray, was published in New Zealand by Harper Collins in 2009.[32][33][34]

Managerial statisticsEdit

As of 8 June 2016
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
New Zealand   25 February 2005 21 November 2013 60 22 14 24 036.7
New Zealand Knights   14 December 2006 21 January 2007 5 3 1 1 060.00
Wellington Phoenix   19 March 2007 26 February 2013 154 53 36 65 034.42
NorthEast United   13 October 2014 20 December 2014 14 3 6 5 021.43
Maldives   9 September 2015 2 June 2016 14 6 1 7 042.86
Total 247 87 58 102 035.22

New Zealand recordEdit


New Zealand's goal tally first.


New Zealand's goal tally first.

International career statisticsEdit


New Zealand national team
Year Apps Goals
1980 3 0
1981 14 2
1982 4 0
1983 10 2
1984 9 1
1985 1 0
1986 4 2
1987 1 0
1988 11 0
1989 4 0
Total 61 7




Mt Wellington AFC

Sydney Olympic FC

  • Australian National Soccer League Cup: 1983

As managerEdit

Central United

New Zealand


  1. ^ Herbert: All Whites should look to Asia. 3 News NZ. 21 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Maldives New Coach". Haveeru News Online. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  3. ^ "New Zealand – U-20 International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  4. ^ "A-International Appearances – Overall". The Ultimate New Zealand Soccer Website. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  5. ^ "A-International Scorers – Overall". The Ultimate New Zealand Soccer Website. Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  6. ^ "NZ 1982 World Cup". New Zealand Football. Archived from the original on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  7. ^ "Australian Player Database". OzFootball. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  8. ^ http://www.saintsfc.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10280~2071046,00.html
  9. ^ "Ricki's Wolves". Wellington Phoenix Official Site. 27 June 2008. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  10. ^ "New Zealand – U-17 International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  11. ^ Head Coach Ricki Herbert Comments Archived 22 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b Herbert Takes the Reins Archived 5 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Ecstasy for All Whites as Coveny Double Sinks Georgia Archived 4 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 July 2006. Retrieved 29 August 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) All Whites Making Hay in Europe
  15. ^ "Honours Lists". The Ultimate New Zealand Soccer Website. Retrieved 6 August 2008.
  16. ^ Cheese, Caroline (15 June 2010). "New Zealand 1–1 Slovakia". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  17. ^ "World Cup 2010: New Zealand hail 'best ever result'". BBC Sport. BBC. 15 June 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  18. ^ Whyatt, Chris (20 June 2010). "Italy 1–1 New Zealand". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
  19. ^ Fans bid farewell to World Cup dream. 3 News NZ. 21 November 2013.
  20. ^ Herbert to step down after campaign Archived 26 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine. NZ Football. 20 November 2013.
  21. ^ "Knights have licence revoked by soccer body". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 14 December 2006. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  22. ^ White Knight to Wellington's Rescue
  23. ^ Wellington Phoenix Coaching Staff
  24. ^ "Herbert 'looking forward' to Indian Super League". 3news. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  25. ^ Ganguily, Abhishek (13 October 2014). "ISL: NorthEast United ride high on Koke, beat Kerala Blasters 1-0". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  26. ^ "Herbert's expert take on World Cup trends". FIFA. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  27. ^ "Ricki Herbert new Maldives coach". NZ Herald. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  28. ^ "Herbert ready for next coaching challenge". RHFA. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  29. ^ "Former All Whites coach Ricki Herbert resurfaces at Waikato high school". Stuff. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  30. ^ "Ricki Herbert moves to Cambridge in new role". Cambridge FC Official site. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  31. ^ "Herbert to coach in next summer's national league". Ricki Herbert Football Academy official site. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  32. ^ a b Roy Keane to study the All Blacks
  33. ^ a b A New Fire, written by Russell Gray, was published in New Zealand by Harper Collins in 2009
  34. ^ "Ricki Herbert Football Academy: About us". Ricki Herbert Football Academy. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  35. ^ "Ricki Herbert Football Academy: Talent centres". Ricki Herbert Football Academy. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  36. ^ "Academy announces partnership with English club Fulham". Ricki Herbert Football Academy. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  37. ^ "My life in sport: Ricki Herbert". NZ Herald. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  38. ^ a b "Ricki Herbert Football Academy: Our people". Ricki Herbert Football Academy. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  39. ^ "Top sporting coach backs harness racing". Harness Link. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  40. ^ a b c d e f g as 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification
  41. ^ a b c as 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
  42. ^ "Ricki Herbert". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
  43. ^ "Football heroes congratulated on honours – tvnz.co.nz". Television New Zealand. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
  44. ^ "New Years Honours: Full 2011 list – nzherald.co.nz". The New Zealand Herald. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2010.

External linksEdit