Opinion: Hay cancellation the last straw for All Whites fans

Danny Hay. Photo: Getty Images
Danny Hay. Photo: Getty Images
Forget the current Black Caps and Gary Stead saga, the team in absolute disarray at the moment are the All Whites.

On Monday, current All Whites coach and former player Danny Hay was due to speak to football supporters at English Park.

However, the event was cancelled due a lack of interest. To make matters more embarrassing, the event was free.

It’s not like people don’t know where English Park is.

Over the summer hundreds have regularly gathered there to watch the Canterbury United Dragons.

The Dragons might have just two wins from 12 matches and occupy last position in the national league, but it appears enough to warrant more interest than an evening with the national team coach.

Football is the biggest game in the world and it’s not like it’s irrelevant in New Zealand. It’s still the fourth most participated sport at secondary school behind netball, basketball and rugby.

Most young people in New Zealand interested in football could easily name the biggest Premier League club managers, but would they know who Danny Hay is?

Last year, I wrote about the All Whites having not played a match in more than 12 months and how the effects of not regularly being able to watch our national side are leading to a disconnect between the team and supporters.

It appears Monday’s cancellation due to a lack of interest is a prime example of people not feeling a connection to the All Whites.

The All Whites broke their more than 12-month spell without playing in November when they lost away to the Republic of Ireland and Lithuania. They play another two games in the Middle East next month against Oman and Bahrain.

However, fans still haven’t had a chance to watch the All Whites on home soil since the first leg of their World Cup qualifier against Peru in November 2017.

Gary Stead might not be seen in the greatest light by much of the public at the moment, but at least he’d fill a room.

 

 

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