Tom Sermanni has begun work as the Football Ferns coach, ahead of this month’s World Cup qualifiers.
And 1 NEWS can reveal it was Football Ferns captain Ali Riley who encouraged him to apply for the position.
"Yeah, I did have to email Tom, just to make sure he was considering applying," Riley told 1 NEWS.
"I don’t think he needed that big of a push."
Sermanni has a close working relationship with a number of the Ferns, thanks partly to his former role as the Australian Matildas coach.
Chelsea star Riley says she has played against Sermanni’s teams "for over a decade".
"And recently I had been considering going to play in the American League and had been in communication with Tom the last two, three seasons about playing for him in Orlando."
"We've been in touch back and forth over the years, it was more kind of 'what are your plans, have you seen this?' and he's like 'I'm a free bird, so yeah I might as well throw my hat into the ring!'"
Sermanni admits he was looking forward to some time off, before Riley contacted him.
"I said, yeah that sounds good. [I] put in an application, went through the interview process and fortunately enough got offered the position," he says.
The Ferns players arrive in Auckland for camp early next week, with the first qualifier against Tonga on November 19.