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Importance of qualification enormous - NZ coach Herbert

New Zealand national team coach Ricki Herbert has stressed the importance of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. After a sapping two-legged play-off against Bahrain, the All Whites booked their tickets to South Africa thanks to a Rory Fallon header which sent the 35,000-strong Wellington crowd into raptures.

It was the second time in the nation's history that they had qualified for the World Cup finals (the first time was in 1982) and Herbert felt it was 27 years of hard work that had seen them achieve something that is very important to all New Zealanders.

"We have waited 27 years to resurrect something," Ricki Herbert, the Kiwi coach, told reporters. "It is very important to all of us - the players, the public, the kids."

The win is expected to bring about a financial windfall of about $7.4million (NZ dollars) and Herbert hopes that the money is invested properly to achieve further success.

"They better spend the bloody money right," Herbert said.

"The players gave absolutely everything they had to win this. Now they have to make sure we don't go down that path of squandering it again."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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