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Exclusive: Greenacre confident New Zealand can achieve success

Chris Greenacre suggests that New Zealand have as much possibility to establish themselves in world football as any other nation.

The Wellington Phoenix assistant coach has firmly cemented himself as a stable of coaching in New Zealand, having served the A-League club since 2012 as well as being an assistant for New Zealand's U-20 World Cup campaign next year.

Greenacre says that there's plenty of potential for New Zealand to break barriers and progress further in world football both collectively and individually. With several national players already based in Europe, Greenacre reveals it's a matter of mentality as opposed to talent for the next generation of footballers to break through.

"Honestly there's a huge amount of potential here," Greenacre told "The biggest thing is trying to get their head around the dog eat dog world out there, the process here is not the top level of football out there.

"They have to to perform at their best and they cannot take a day off. With that mentality there's a much better opportunity to succeed, and there's no reason they can't succeed.

"In Europe you're never guaranteed to be first on team sheet, and if you're not at your best there's a conveyor belt of people, anywhere from 50-60 players internally and externally, just ready to take your place."

Despite having played most of his senior football in England, Greenacre is satisfied with his coaching career in New Zealand and says there's a unique element to being a coach in the nation's footballing landscape.

"I'm quite happy developing here as a coach. It's a rather turbulent time in England, opportunities for coaching and development are a lot less. To be learning in a professional environment and being only pro club in this country is really special.

"I've got no plans to return, I'm just trying to help develop the next wave of footballers here and do my part to contribute to New Zealand football."

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Chris Sermeno

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