Coach Ben Fletcher has returned to Ellerslie AFC in a bid to replicate the type of success he achieved with the club’s youth team four years ago.
Fletcher (32) heads up the club’s coaching staff in 2022 after his dual appointment as Ellerslie’s Football Development Manager and coach of The Ponies squad in Lotto NRFL division one.
He rejoins the club after a spell as Director of Football at Franklin United where he oversaw the implementation of a programme to meet New Zealand Football’s Talent Development Programme requirements.
Fletcher’s first team role re-unites him with players who were part of the U-19 squad he coached to tournament victory at the 2017 Napier youth championships.
Ellerslie’s Director of Football Fred de Jong told the club’s website:
‘We are very pleased to welcome Ben back to the club to strengthen our football department.
“Ben’s role as Football Development Manager will focus on developing the football programmes at the club, mentoring our coaches as they seek to gain their coaching qualifications and strengthening our relationships with local schools.
“We know he will bring an infectious energy to the role.”
Between 2015 and 2017, he was assistant first team coach, head coach of the men’s reserves (winning two titles) as well as coaching the youth team.
In his last season at Franklin, he coached their women’s first team to the last 16 in the Kate Sheppard Cup, and won two league promotions in the same season.
Fletcher: ‘I am excited for the future Ellerslie’
“It’s amazing to be rejoining Ellerslie after a period away from the club and I am grateful for the opportunity to be working with an awesome team.
“With the development of infrastructure, I am excited for the future Ellerslie, with both the ambition and values of striving to be one of New Zealand’s top clubs.
“What has impressed me the most is the club has a vast knowledge of football and a clear direction on pathways for the members. I am honoured to be part of Ellerslie in a development role and leading the NRFL Men’s team for 2022.”
Coaching staff in place for new season
Fletcher has been quick to bring together a coaching team for 2022, blending up-and-comers with returnees with plenty of experience.
The coaching staff includes:
Dylan Moxon – Strength and Conditioning Coach
New to Ellerslie, Moxon operates a strength and conditioning gym in Pukekohe is experienced at working with athletes from many sports.
Aaron Collin – Physiotherapist
Collin returns for his sixth year, having spent three years as head physiotherapist. He is currently the head physio for Auckland City Futsal Navy Blues.
Masillan Veejian – First Team Assistant Coach
The experienced Veejian returns for another season at Michael’s Ave, having started work towards his NZF B Coaching Licence. A trialist with English clubs Brentford and Aston Villa, Veejian has turned out locally for Three Kings United, Waitakere United, Takapuna, Mt Albert Ponsonby and Ellerslie.
Sebastian Bouvier – U-23s Head Coach
Bouvier returns for his fourth year of coaching as the U-23’s Head Coach for 2022. He’s responsible for helping build relationships between youth players and the senior teams and will be looking to continue last year’s successful transition of several U-17 players to the U-23s.
Tony Jenkins – Goalkeeper Coach
Jenkins goes into his second season as goalkeeper coach for the NRFL senior men’s squad. He’s been building his coaching expertise, working under the guidance of
Tony has been building his coaching expertise, being under the guidance of specialist Kris Pinnock and now on a mentorship programme with former All Whites ‘keeper James Bannatyne.
Tim Adams – NRFL Squad Manager
Veteran Adams returns for his 13th season as manager for Ellerslie. He also doubles up as the official statistician for the team.
Main photo: The Ellerslie coaching staff – from left: Ben Fletcher (coach), Masillan Veejian (assistant coach), Dylan Moxon (strength & conditioning coach), Tony Jenkins (goalkeeper coach), Sebastian Bouvier (U-23s head coach), Tim Adams (NRFL squad manager). Image: Ellerslie AFC.