Chris Zoricich to leave Western Springs after five years as head coach

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Northern League club Western Springs have announced that Chris Zoricich has decided to leave the club after five years.

Former All Whites defender Zoricich (53) has been the Head of Men’s Football and the Premier Men’s Head Coach.

In a statement on the club’s website, club chairman Warwick Hooper thanked Zoricich for “his outstanding contribution and professionalism to Western Springs AFC where he helped many Springs youth players obtain overseas football scholarships and successfully led the Men’s Premier team, finishing in the top half of the table in all five seasons.”

Hooper said this was an exceptional performance given the number of young Western Springs youth he developed and brought into the first-team environment.

Western Springs’ coach Chris Zoricich. Photo: Dave MacKay / Phototek.

Hooper: ‘Time to freshen up and establish a new direction’

“Chris’s professional, standards and training focus has been the driving force behind our success with both our first team performance and our youth players for the past five years, bringing a number of youth players through the ranks into the first team environment and for many onto US football scholarships,” Hooper said.

“At the end of the Northern League competition, both Chris and the club reviewed our goals, and it became apparent that both parties were looking to freshen up and establish a new direction, especially after three difficult seasons with significant disruption, through COVID and the turf-resurfacing project.

“Unfortunately, those directions and goals did not quite align, and it became clear the time was right for both parties to part ways to pursue their goals.”

“I want to thank Chris for his outstanding service and professionalism over the past five years and have no doubt there will be demand for his expertise and experience,” he said.

Zoricich: ‘A rewarding and challenging journey’

Zoricich said: “I’ve had five years with the club, and it’s been a rewarding and challenging journey at the same time.

“Having to manage two of those years with COVID and recently a turf replacement, it certainly has presented unprecedented challenges.

“I would like to thank Western Springs for enabling me to be part of their set up leading the club’s premier team and academy.

Western Springs … given opportunities to young players. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

“A lot of unseen hours and hard work has gone into building on the club’s academy environment, and I believe we have been successful in nurturing and developing a large group of young Springs players who have started to break into the U-23/first team environments.

“Success may not have come in the way of trophies, but it has come in the way of providing an environment conducive to giving young players a chance averaging seven U-20 players every matchday squad in the 2022 season.”

Zoricich thanked his coaching staff, especially Maurie Wasi and Justin Lopes who had been part of his support team throughout his time at the club.

Zoricich will remain at Springs till the end of the year, continuing his work with the Springs Academy, Under 19’s and U-23’s.

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