29 Aug 2017

England football to adopt some All Blacks policies

10:57 am on 29 August 2017

The England football boss Gareth Southgate is planning on adopting some of the policies used by the All Blacks as they prepare for their next World Cup qualifying games.

The England football team gets together this week to prepare for games against Malta and Slovakia.

England football coach Gareth Southgate

England football coach Gareth Southgate Photo: Photosport

Southgate met with All Blacks mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka earlier this year to find out what made New Zealand the best rugby team in the world.

The All Blacks influence was behind the team-bonding trip England took to the Royal Marines training centre in June and the cap ceremonies each new player gets when they join the squad now.

Already influenced by former England rugby union coach Sir Clive Woodward, Southgate has also introduced "teamship" rules for correct dress, positive behaviour and good time-keeping, with the players themselves taking the lead in policing these rules.

The All Blacks have boiled this philosophy down to what they call, with familiar directness, a "no dick heads" policy and Southgate is understood to be a strong believer in the importance of character in elite sport.

Southgate also has a connection with German Football as a result of the memorandum of understanding the Football Association signed with their German counterparts, the DFB, in March.

That two-year agreement will see the footballing rivals share ideas on coaching, governance and youth development, but Southgate has also been speaking to the world champions about how they deal with the media, particularly during tournaments.

Since replacing Sam Allardyce last September, at first on a caretaker basis, Southgate has presided over three wins, three draws and two defeats.