Former All Whites striker Kris Bright has been appointed to the newly-created Sporting Director role, working with Auckland City FC and Metro FC.
He’ll report to the boards of both clubs and has been given responsibility for overseeing “an aligned playing style and philosophy” across the two clubs, and will work closely with both sets of first-team coaching staff.
“We see both clubs sharing a linked training and playing environment at senior level,” he told Auckland City FC’s website.
“For example, a Metro FC player may train part of the week with Auckland City FC then part with Metro FC.
“Taking this approach places the emphasis very much on the needs of the individual player experience and provides the coaches with a wider catchment of players to work with,” he said.
The Sporting Director role follows the desire by both clubs to build on a partnership formed in 2019 to provide Skills Centres for junior players and to focus on a talent development programme for youth players.
Bright (35) is an experienced former professional who has played for clubs in the United Kingdom, Holland, Norway, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Finland, India and South Africa. He was a New Zealand age group international at U-17 and U-20 level before earning five caps for the All Whites.
Main photo: Kris Bright … will report to both clubs’ boards. Image: Phototek.
Explaining the Bright’s role and the dual club partnership, Auckland City chair Ivan Vuksich said:
“Co-operation is essential. People will naturally wonder whether this means one club taking over another, or one being subservient to the other, but this isn’t the case.
“We each have strong identities, rich cultures and histories and we can work together but still maintain who we are and what we stand for.”
Metro FC: ‘A logical step’ for both clubs
Metro FC chair Ants Owens said:
“The existing junior and youth relationship has gone well and with the senior space added to this we are optimistic for the future.
“Auckland City FC has achieved a lot of success locally and internationally and this next step in our partnership is a logical one.
“Smaller clubs must not be swept aside by much bigger clubs or be undervalued as pillars of the local community or historical assets.
“Our partnership allows both clubs to tackle that challenge head on while at the same time retaining our unique identities,” he said.
Auckland City also working with Mt Albert Ponsonby
Kiwitea St-based Auckland City also have a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in place with neighbours Mount Albert Ponsonby.
The arrangement provides junior and youth players from MAP access to Auckland City’s academy.
City’s Vuksich and MAP president Jason Conquer have allayed misconceptions about the relationship, saying it’s not an amalgamation.