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John Adshead (born 27 March 1942) is an Englandmarker-born former head coach of New Zealandmarker's national football team the All Whites, whom he led to their first FIFA World Cup appearance in the 1982 tournament. Most recently he was the coach of the New Zealand Knights in the inaugural season of the A-League.

Life and work

Adshead is one of the most important figures in the history of New Zealandmarker football. The Englishmarker born Adshead first started off as a player with Exeter City before injury ended his career at just 22. Following his retirement as a player, Adshead instantly got into coaching and upon his arrival in Western Australiamarker in 1970 he coached for six years in the Western Australian State League.

It was in New Zealandmarker where Adshead made his mark. With his club Manurewa he won six trophies including Chatham Cup and got the club into the top division in New Zealandmarker. In 1979 Adshead was appointed as the coach of the New Zealand national side and with the World Cup having one half spot for Oceania it was down to the two strongest teams in Oceania to fight for the right to compete in the Asian Football Confederation final qualifying round and ultimate qualification. New Zealand overcame the Rudi Gutendorf led Australians. Adshead led the All Whites through the qualifying round against Kuwaitmarker, Saudi Arabiamarker and Chinamarker to joint top spot with China, and won the playoff 2-0 in Singapore to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in their history, a feat they would repeat 28 years later by qualifying for the 2010 cup in South Africa. A total of 15 qualifying games were required by the All Whites to reach the finals tournament of 1982.New Zealand lost all three finals games, against Scotland (5-2), Soviet Union (3-0) and Brazil (4-0)

After leaving the New Zealandmarker national coaching job in 1983, Adshead spent time in football obscurity again before returning to coach New Zealandmarker again in 1987 to try to get the team to the 1990 World Cup but they failed to get out of the Oceania round by one point. Adshead again coached in Perthmarker and as a youth coach in Omanmarker before returning to New Zealandmarker to coach the New Zealand Knights in the inaugural season of the A-League. A cancer scare just after his appointment and the poor on field performances of the club led to his retirement after the end of the 2005/06 season.

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