Women’s National League side Southern United have appointed a new head coach ahead of the 2022 season, due to start in October.
He is Kris Ridley who joins Football South on September 6 as the federation’s Football Development Officer.
A former student at Invercargill’s Verdon College, Ridley returns to New Zealand after working in Australia for 16 years.
His last football role was Director of Women’s Football at Broadbeach United Soccer Club, Queensland.
Ridley replaces Dunedin City Royals’ coach Graeme Smaill who has stepped away from coaching to focus on health issues after being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition that affects his muscles.
READ MORE: Smaill to step down from Southern United role >>>>
Of his appointment, Ridley told Football South’s website:
“I’m excited to get the amazing opportunity to work with a very talented group of women at Southern United FC which I’m keen to meet and go to work with.
“Graeme, the staff and playing group have done an unbelievable job in 2021, to see a team from the Southern area where I’m from, achieve what they did last season is a massive positive for all women and girls that play football from throughout the whole region.
“I am also very excited with the introduction of the National Youth U-18 competition. This is a great step forward and will see young ladies from the region get the exposure they need to be seen and continue to progress to the highest level.
“Women’s football all over the globe is progressing at an amazing rate, so to now have a role where I can focus everything towards football in the Southern region is a great opportunity for me, and one I’m definitely not taking for granted.”
2022 Women’s National League
The eight participating teams will be:
- Northern Rovers, Eastern Suburbs, Auckland United and Western Springs (who all qualify via the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League).
- Capital Football and Central Football (representing the Capital/Central regions).
- Canterbury United Pride and Southern United (representing the South Island).