Football: All Whites head coach Danny Hay uncertain of future as contract expiry ticks closer

All Whites coach Danny Hay says he's unsure if he'll continue in his role, with his current contract expiring at the end of next month.

After taking charge of the All Whites in 2019, Hay has overseen a period of growth in the New Zealand men's side.

Under Hay, the Under23 OlyWhites side made history at the Tokyo Olympics by advancing to the knockout stage, while more and more New Zealanders are plying their trade in top leagues across Europe and America.

Danny Hay remonstrates.
Danny Hay remonstrates. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

But with his contract almost up, Hay expresses his uncertainty over whether or not he'll be the man to take New Zealand forward, eyeing places at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, and the 2026 Football World Cup.

Instead, Hay is opting to concentrate all his efforts into the upcoming two matches against Australia, ending the All Whites' wait to turn out at home for the first time since 2017.

"I know this is a bit of a PC answer, but I'm focussing solely on Aussie," Hay said.

"We'll probably have time to sit down, reflect on how everything's gone, particularly over the last year, because it's only been a year since we got the team playing again.

"And then [we'll] make some decisions over what the team looks like."

However, after the two matches against Australia - one in Brisbane and one in Auckland - the All Whites face the prospect of a six-month break at the very least with no international competition. 

Failure to reach this year's World Cup in Qatar, courtesy of losing their intercontinental playoff against Costa Rica, combined with no fixtures in the November international window leaves the All Whites' calendar bare. 

And for Hay, who oversaw a period of more than two years with no All Whites fixtures, the uncertainty is playing a role in his potential exit.

"That's probably a factor," he added. "The fact the team didn't play for two years, and now there's going to be a hiatus.

All Whites striker Chris Wood.
All Whites striker Chris Wood. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

"For me as a football coach, this is a tough role. You're not getting to work with players on a regular basis.

"The reality of the game in Brisbane, with all the squad there, we're going to have 16 to 18 hours prior to that kickoff as an entire group. It just gives a little bit more insight into the challenges we have to face.

"Ideally, I'd love to be working with them regularly on a more regular basis in preparing to play top sides that are really going to challenge us. That's how we're going to evolve.

"It's hard, but I came in with my eyes open knowing that was going to be the case as well."

Regardless of whether he stays or goes though, Hay reflects positively on his time as the All Whites' head coach.

With an impressive core of youngsters playing at an elite level week-in, week-out, the future is bright for the All Whites - evidenced by the progression at Tokyo.

And for Hay, that's only the beginning of what this current generation of All Whites can achieve.

 "I think the progress we've made in that time has been really, really heartening to watch," he said.

"I think the New Zealand public are starting to get a sense of how far this group of players can go if we can keep them together, keep them trying to play a positive brand of football.

"I don't know what the future holds, but I know this group of players - irrespective of who's taking them - are going to do some really good things for the game in this country."