A message from New Zealand Football

NZF boss Michael Glading calls for ongoing support of the Phoenix and football.

THANKS for being part of something truly special - New Zealand-s stunning victory against Bahrain at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

To see almost 36,000 people cheering the All Whites on to a famous win shows that these are incredible times for football in New Zealand.

For the first time in 28 years the All Whites will again grace the stage at the world-s biggest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa next year. It-s the culmination of several years of hard work put in the dedicated people at New Zealand Football and the support of the fans throughout the country.

The game in this country is on a significant upward swing and New Zealand Football is already working to ensure growth and development occurs across all levels.

An important aspect of the game-s unprecedented growth and popularity in New Zealand is the continuing rise of the country-s only fully professional club, Wellington Phoenix.

Although the national team now looks forward to South Africa, the Phoenix-s campaign continues in earnest, starting with Friday night-s huge game against Melbourne Victory at Westpac Stadium. The Phoenix are well and truly in the hunt for the historic achievement of securing a spot in the Hyundai A-League playoffs, which would be another huge shot in the arm for football in New Zealand. The Phoenix and, indeed, football needs your ongoing support.

The Phoenix has played an integral role in re-establishing the credibility of football in New Zealand and New Zealand Football has been privileged to enjoy a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with the club.

The club has played a pivotal role in the success of the World Cup campaign, with six players in the current national senior squad turning out each week for the Phoenix in the Hyundai A-League and clearly benefitting from the regular top-flight football and professional environment. Added to this is the involvement of All Whites coach Ricki Herbert as head coach at the Phoenix. Herbert has quickly gained a reputation as an extremely savvy coach and his role with the Phoenix has been crucial in his professional career development.

We urge football fans throughout New Zealand, and those living overseas, to throw their support behind the Phoenix. We are extremely fortunate to have a fully professional club in this country and the Phoenix occupies an important place in the national footballing landscape in terms of developing our current elite players, generating media and fan interest and creating a pathway for the talented players of the future.

Football looks forward to a bright future with great optimism and New Zealand Football is thankful that the Phoenix will be there growing the game with us.

Get to the game on Friday night, support the Phoenix and help take football in New Zealand to a whole new level.

Yours truly,

Michael Glading Chief executive officer New Zealand Football