Son of World Cup football coach named to play for New Zealand

The son of a World Cup football coach is in line to represent New Zealand at the upcoming OFC Under-19 Championship in Tahiti.

Jay Herdman, whose father John Herdman led Canada’s national men’s team to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 36 years this yearhas been listed in the 26-man New Zealand squad on the OFC website.

The squad published on the website also includes Wellington Phoenix duo Finn Surman and Jackson Manuel, but it will be trimmed to 23 before it is announced by New Zealand Football later this week.

Jay Herdman is an 18-year-old midfielder who plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps’ reserve team in the MLS Next Pro league. He has already been involved with Canada’s under-20 set-up after being selected for a pair of friendlies against Costa Rica earlier this year.

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Herdman was born in Invercargill in 2004 when his father worked as a development officer at Football South.

John Herdman went on to coach the Football Ferns at the 2007 and 2011 World Cup tournaments during a six-year stint with the national women’s team before he moved to North America to take up a job with Canada in 2011.

Canada men's coach John Herdman.

Fernando Llano / AP

Canada men’s coach John Herdman.

After helping Canada’s women’s team claim bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, he then moved across to the men’s program.

Under Herdman’s guidance, Canada topped Concacaf World Cup qualification, finishing ahead of traditional powerhouses Mexico and the United States, to book the country’s place at Qatar 2022.

The OFC Under-19 Championship runs from September 8-25. The top two teams will qualify for next year’s Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia.