Vale: Title-winning school and club coach helped develop many young players

posted in: Coaching News, News, Obituary

Football has lost one of its quiet achievers in Shane Davis who helped develop many young footballers through their progression from school to club in the Rotorua area.

Davis, a Life Member at Ngongotaha Football Club, died on January 11, 2022, aged 59.

A fine athlete in his youth – teammates describe a naturally-gifted footballer who also played tennis – Davis made his biggest impact in football when turning his hand to coaching.

He combined coaching at Western Heights High School with taking the first team at Ngongotaha FC, recognising the importance of providing support for young players as they made the transition from youth to senior football.

In 2016, Davis led the Ngongotaha team to the WaiBOP Premiership title and subsequently gained entry to the Lotto NRFL via the play-offs. Many acknowledged the degree of difficulty in this achievement, given the relatively small catchment area from which the club could draw players.

His low-key, unassuming approach often belied the football brain within.

Cambridge FC Life Member Josh Easby recalls many a conversation with Davis that revealed his ability to plan a title-winning campaign.

“In 2016, he brought a Ngongotaha squad to compete in our club’s pre-season sevens tournament – it’s generally a fun tournament to let teams of different levels blow out their summer cobwebs.

“At the end of the tournament, which Ngongotaha easily won, I asked him why his team had done so well.

“He said he had told them he wasn’t worried whether they won the tournament – he just wanted to see evidence that they were fit enough to face the winter season, and they used each 7-a-side game as a challenge to put their fitness on the line.

“Sure enough, they won the WaiBOP title that year. They clinched it at our grounds and our team showed respect by forming a guard of honour as they came off the park.

“I looked for Shane and he was nowhere to be seen. When I found him, and congratulated him, he was humble and wanted his players to take the glory, not him. That was typical Shane.”

Robert Shane Davis ( 1 July 1962 — 11 January 2022)

Death notice from the Rotorua Daily Post:

DAVIS, Robert “Shane”. Passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday 11th Jan 2022 aged 59 years. Cherished loving son of Dulcie and the late Bob. Treasured dad of Krystal, Moses and Mary. A beautiful golden heart stopped beating, hard-working hands at rest. God broke our hearts to tell us he only takes the best. You have fought courageously, for so long, to stay with us and never once complained. You are a true gentleman and thanks for the beautiful memories, Shane. Everloving mum Dulcie “God bless” The service to celebrate Shane’s life was held at the Rotorua Crematorium Chapel January 13.


Through the publication of obituaries, Friends of Football tries to recognise the loss of those who have significantly contributed to our game.

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