Vale: Juan Schwanner – national coach who gave teens their chance

posted in: News, Obituary

Former New Zealand national coach Juan Schwanner wasn’t afraid to give young players their chance to compete at the highest levels.

In 1968, he gave international debuts to schoolboys Brian Turner and Dave Taylor, both of whom went on to long careers with the national team.

Schwanner died in Auckland in mid-2015 after a long illness, aged 94.

The Hungary-born coach emigrated to New Zealand in 1966 and soon became the Auckland coach.

He took charge of the national team in 1967 for the visits of Manchester United and the Scotland U23 teams, and took the team to a tournament in Vietnam, giving debuts to a number of young players including Turner and Taylor.

After two years coaching New Zealand, he left for Europe but returned to coach Auckland club Courier Rangers (1979) and Blockhouse Bay (1984).

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said: “On behalf of the international football community, I should be extremely grateful if you could extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Juan Schwanner (1920-2015)