Melville United will be guided by a new first-team coach and academy manager in 2023, with the appointment of Jarrod Young (pictured) to both posts from January 1.
Sam Wilkinson, who first took up the reins with Melville in 2017, is stepping down at the conclusion of the national league section of the 2022 season, while current academy manager Harry Trethowan is due to move to Christchurch at the end of the year.
Young (28) joins Melville after two seasons as director of football at Papamoa, having first begun his coaching career as an assistant to both Danny Rattray and Brian Murphy at Fencibles United as a player, and then taking over as head coach in 2020, after concussion issues curtailed his playing career.
Young is on the cusp of attaining his B licence, and has a Junior level 3 badge. He has also just completed the first module towards being a level 1 coach educator.
His playing career included youth team appearances at Melville back in about 2010, northern league appearances with Hamilton Wanderers and national league appearances with Waitakere United.
Young described his coaching approach as being “very player-based” and saw his appointment as Melville coach as a major step up.
Wilkinson helped facilitate Young’s appointment, having known him as both a coach and a player, and will help his transition into his new roles at Gower Park.
Wilkinson led Melville to the Division 1 title in 2018, the Chatham Cup final in 2019 and this season has guided Melville back to national league ranks for the first time since 1998.
“After seven years I am ready for a break and to recharge the batteries,” Wilkinson said.
“The only way I know how to do things is to throw all my energy into them and I feel like I have been running on empty for the past six months.
“I am mindful from the club’s perspective that they need someone with the energy and the time to get things done.”
He saw Young as being a great fit.
“He is in a similar spot to where I was seven years ago and is hungry for success.
“Jarrod is a bright young coach with a strong work ethic and for a club which is not as well resourced as many of the teams it competes against, that is very important.”
However, Wilkinson will not be totally lost to Melville. He hopes to do more work at academy level next year and assist with club projects at a strategic level, and play for the club’s Melville Nobs side.
‘Sam’s been a really important figure for the club …’
Melville chairman Wayne Bates paid tribute to Wilkinson.
“Sam’s been a really important figure for the club and is actually the second longest-serving coach in the club’s history behind Steve Williams,” Bates said.
“And beyond that, he has been a major influence in setting the direction and agenda for the club at youth level with his work in founding the Melville academy.
“That is a major legacy and I am glad we are not completely losing him.”
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Thanks to Melville United for providing this story.
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