Interim coach Darren Bazeley keen to get Neil Emblen beside him in All Whites dugout

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The All Whites’ interim coach, Darren Bazeley, says he’s trying to get former teammate and fellow coach Neil Emblen into the New Zealand training camp for the two-game series against China in March.

Bazeley says he’s been in touch with Emblen and his United States club, the Colorado Rapids, to see if he can get back to New Zealand for the China games.

Main photo: Neil Emblen … former teammate of Bazeley at Wolverhampton Wanderers and at the New Zealand Knights.

Speaking on this week’s Sky Sport show The Kiwi Football Fix, Bazeley said:

“I’m in discussion with him and his club to try and get (his) release, so that would be awesome if we can get him in.”

Emblen (51) was an assistant coach with the All Whites in 2012-13, working with Ricki Herbert.

When Herbert left the role, Emblen took the All Whites into their next game, against South Africa, as the interim coach.

Bazely said: “Funnily enough, the last game at Mt Smart was that South Africa game, and he was interim coach, and I was assistant on the day. So, the last time we played there, we were together.

“It would be great if we can get him back.”

Bazeley said he had spoken to the current staff and had their full backing.

He said they knew each other, the players and the environment and he wanted to avoid disrupting the preparation.

Overall, the All Whites camp were excited about the chance to play back-to-back games in New Zealand, especially as they would be working in concert with the U-23 team who will play curtain-raisers, Bazeley said.

The Kiwi Football Fix


Game to be played on Thursday March 23, 2023

All Whites v China PR
Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, 7pm (NZT)

Game to be played on Sunday March 26, 2023

All Whites v China PR
Sky Stadium, Wellington, 4pm (NZT)

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