Three New Zealanders have been selected to take part in a global FIFA scheme to boost the ranks of women coaches.
They are Football Fern Annalie Longo, former national U-20 goalkeeper Tessa Nicol and Canterbury coach Alana Gunn.
They will join 44 others selected from 27 countries to participate in FIFA’s coach education scholarship programme.
Each will be partnered by a world-class coaching mentor who will help them through the year.
Dunedin-based Nicol (26) told the Otago Daily Times she was keen to focus on goalkeeper training.
“It’s something I’ve been really passionate about for a really long time, but I haven’t had the time to invest in it,” she says.
“So I’ll be specifically focusing on goalkeeper coaching this year, which is exciting.
“I’m hoping, fingers crossed, I’ll get paired with someone who knows a bit about goalkeeping coaching.”
Nicol was the women’s development officer for Football South before leaving in 2020 to study, and to focus on playing and coaching.
Gunn (39), who has coached Canterbury United Pride to three successive national league titles, became the women’s development officer for Mainland Football last year.
Last year, Gunn was also selected for High Performance Sport New Zealand’s second intake to Te Hāpaitanga, a women’s coach development initiative. She was one of 16 women coaches from 15 sports selected for the programme.
Canterbury-based Longo (30) has played 124 games for the Football Ferns and was appointed NZ Football’s women’s development manager late last year.
“I know this role will involve a lot more strategic planning than I’ve done previously, but at the same time I want to be really visible out in the communities, in our federations and out on the grass,” she said when taking on the national role.
Main photo: Annalie Longo (left) and Alana Gunn … a chance to work with world-class mentors. Photo: Phototek.
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