Lotto NRFL second division provides young coaches with chance to shine

With few exceptions, the 2022 intake of new coaches at Lotto NRFL second division clubs are young and keen to forge reputations.

New faces will be in the second tier dugouts, some a result of new appointments and others will be there through promotion or relegation.

Here’s Friends of Football’s guide to the 2022 Lotto NRFL second division:

Buckland Beach (last season: relegated)

Bucklands Beach have appointed Juan Roman (47) as the club’s new Technical Director and head coach of their Lotto NRFL second division side.

Roman has more than 23 years’ coaching experience, in New Zealand and overseas, and holds a UEFA Pro License. He also has an MBA in Sports Organisation.

Supporters will be keen for him to reverse the fortunes of a side that won only once last year and conceded 70 goals in 18 outings.

Beachlands Maraetai (last season: 3rd)

Rising coach Munith Naidu (29) has been appointed Beachlands Maraetai’s full-time Director of Football for 2022 and will also serve as head coach of the club’s Lotto NRFL second division side.

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Franklin United (last season: 4th)

Returning head coach Mark Holt (36) was appointed by Franklin United in late 2019 after his return from a coaching role in the United States.

His coaching career includes roles with One Tree Hill College, Waitakere United, Mt Albert Grammar, Eastern Suburbs, Papatoetoe and three seasons with USA Division 1 college side Purdue Fort Wayne University, in Indiana.

Full story: click here >>>>

Hibiscus Coast (last season: 5th)

Adam Dickinson … in the dug out at Hibiscus Coast.


Adam Dickinson (35) joins Coast as its Technical Director of Football, replacing Mauricio Rojas who steps down after six years in the role.

Since moving to New Zealand from England, where he played for clubs including Tranmere Rovers, Dickinson excelled as a player winning five FIFA OFC Champions medals with Auckland City.

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Cambridge (last season: 6th)

The Reds will have two up-and-coming coaches in charge for their 2022 Lotto NRFL second division campaign. They are co-coaches Bradley Rea and Antony Meiklejohn.

Rea (23) has been a full-time coach with the Ricki Herbert Football Academy for five years while Meiklejohn (30) was head coach last year for WaiBOP Premiership side Papamoa.

Northland (last season: 7th)

Director of Football and first-team head coach Michal Walęsiak has recommitted to the club for 2022 and will continue in both roles as well as working as the head coach for the club’s 17th-grade talent development programme (TDP).

Walęsiak played professionally in Poland and coached youth teams for AP Mazovia Tomaszow Mazowiecki.

Oratia United (last season: 8th)

The Tia are headed by Director of Football Steve Cain who has been with the club since 2010.

Cain captained Waitakere City to national league success during the club’s golden run in the 1990s and his focus has been trying to develop players from west Auckland.

Past coaching roles have included working with young players at Three Kings United, Bay Olympic and Waitakere United.

He’s also coached the national U-17 team.

Claudelands Rovers (last season: 9th)

Former All White Mark Cossey (56) continues as head coach at Galloway Park but has brought in the experienced Paul Richardson (54) as his assistant for the coming season.

Richardson coached Matamata Swifts in the WaiBOP Premiership before joining Cambridge FC as their head coach three years ago.

Greenhithe Catimba (last season: 10th)

Last year’s coach Mingi So left Catimba in November to join West Coast Rangers as an assistant coach to that club’s incoming head coach, Chad Coombes.

It’s not yet clear who will coach Catimba in their 2022 Lotto NRFL campaign.

West Auckland (promoted)

Head coach Scott Mackay leads the newly-promoted team after their promotion as winners of the NRF Conference.

Final place to be decided

The last spot in the Lotto NRFL second division will go to either Papakura City (runners-up in the NRF Conference) or Ngaruawahia United (winners of the WaiBOP Premiership).

The two clubs — both former NRFL participants — go head-to-head in a two-match play off series in March.

Click here for play-off details >>>>

Northern League round-up

Click here for Friends of Football’s guide to coaching changes in the Northern League >>>>

More Lotto NRFL news