Football: Former All Whites coach Danny Hay returns to New Zealand as assistant at Auckland FC

Danny Hay with the All Whites.
Danny Hay with the All Whites. Photo credit: Photosport

Former All Whites coach Danny Hay will return to coaching in New Zealand nearly two years after walking away from the top job with the national men's side.

Hay has been appointed assistant coach of the new A-League club Auckland FC, which will join the competition next season.

Hay has spent the past year and a half coaching in Perth having opted not to reapply for the All Whites role after an independent review identified a need for greater collaboration between New Zealand Football and the All Whites side.

Hay will reunite with former team-mate Steve Corica with the pair having played together at English club Walsall over 20 years ago.

"I've known Steve Corica for over two decades and I have always been impressed by his level of professionalism and passion for the game. That has really shone through at Auckland FC with the level of expertise that is already around the club," said Hay.

"Personally it's a huge opportunity to continue to develop as a coach and to be part of something that could truly change the landscape of football in Auckland."

Hay will be responsible for assisting in the selection and development of the playing squad, as well as their tactical and technical preparation.

Auckland FC chief executive Nick Becker said Hay "was easily the best candidate for the role. He brings a shared philosophy and desire to play high tempo, attacking football."

Auckland will become the second New Zealand side in the A-League competition when it kicks off in October, joining the Wellington Phoenix who have been part of the competition since 2007 and currently sit at the top of the competition ladder.