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Feb 15, 2012

Herbert signs New Zealand extension

New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert has signed a new contract extension which will ensure he will continue in the job until after the 2014 World Cup.

Herbert, who almost led the All Whites to the knockout stages in South Africa as the side did not lose a group game, is to become the country's longest serving coach having taken over the top job in 2005.

''We believe Ricki is the man to see us through the qualifiers and, if things go to plan, on to another Confederations Cup and World Cup,'' said New Zealand Football chief executive Grant McKavanagh.

If New Zealand come through the Oceania qualifiers as expected, their path to the 2014 World Cup will culminate in a home-and-away play-off against a CONCACAF nation in November 2013. Herbert will by then have easily surpassed John Adshead's total of 55 matches, and Ken Armstrong's seven year tenure - the current records.

''Obviously the numbers are nice to reflect on - but at the end of your career,'' said Herbert. ''We have a job to do. The focus is reaching Brazil twice and to do that we have to keep winning games on the longest qualification path we've had since 1982.

''We start from a better base this year than we did in 2005 and with a full strength side against Jamaica on the 29th of February, I'm sure the public and the teams keeping tabs on us in the CONCACAF region will be keen to see what sort of marker we lay down.''

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