Football fans can meet legendary All White player and coach Ricki Herbert when he visits Cambridge this month.
Herbert will be special guest at a lunch at Cambridge Football Club on Saturday January 31, before WaiBOP United’s game against Team Wellington.
He’ll speak at the lunch about his experiences coaching internationally, having just returned from a season coaching in the Indian Premier League and been to the World Cup Finals in Brazil as a coaching advisor to world football body FIFA.
Last January, the club hosted a similar event when the guest speaker was Brian Turner, who played 105 games for the All Whites and was Herbert’s assistant coach for two World Cup campaigns.
The functions are joint ventures between Cambridge FC and the independent supporter group Friends of Football, in association with WaiBOP United.
“Our intention is to host a high profile event every January where supporters can enjoy a game of top level football, meet one of the greats of our game and hear what they have to say,” event organiser Josh Easby said.
Awarded a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to football, Herbert is one of football’s greats, having appeared 61 times for the All Whites and been coach of the national side for eight years. He was also coach of professional side Wellington Phoenix for six seasons.
In 2010, Herbert was coach of the All Whites team that was undefeated at the FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa.
Last year’s Cambridge lunch attracted other high profile guests, including the coach of the 1982 All Whites, John Adshead, and the first ever captain of the women’s national side, Barbara Cox.
Event organisers are confident this year’s lunch will attract a number of former All Whites, including some of Herbert’s former team mates from the 1982 team that played at the World Cup Finals in Spain.
Supporters can book tickets ($45pp) by contacting Josh Easby at email@example.com. The price includes meal and ticket to the WaiBOP United game.
Friends of Football launched last year with the aim of recognising achievement in the game and staging events to celebrate football’s heritage. The group has hosted functions to pay tribute to Adshead and retiring All White Ivan Vicelich (who is expected to play in Cambridge on February 11 when Auckland City play WaiBOP United).
The January 31 match against Team Wellington is the second of Cambridge’s five WaiBOP United fixtures.