Waikato club Te Awamutu have appointed new coaches to lead them into next season’s NRFL Southern Conference, the competition which part-replaces the Lotto NRFL second division.
Anthony Meiklejohn joins as head coach, and Joe Gifford will be assistant first-team coach and coach of the club’s U-23 side.
Main photo: Meiklejohn (left) and Gifford … appointed to lead Te Awamutu in 2023.
Both were at local rivals Cambridge FC last season, with Meiklejohn previously at Papamoa FC and Gifford having coaching experience with Te Awamutu and at Claudelands Rovers.
Meiklejohn says he was attracted to the role by the chance to return to his hometown club.
“Our hope is to help grow and take the football club to new heights and create sustainable pathways for our club to flourish through the promotion of youth talent,” he says.
“Everything about the future at Te Awamutu excites me; the foundations for something special are already there.”
Meiklejohn says recent coaches and club volunteers had done a great job in building up the club.
Outgoing coach Sean Stringfellow, a committee member, is “a once-in-a-lifetime club member who just makes things happen and drives your club forward,” Meiklejohn says.
“We can’t wait to crack into the new season in the new Southern Conference League. The players here are an exceptional bunch of lads with a warrior-like mentality which is rare to find in football these days.”
Gifford previously spent four seasons at Te Awamutu, with two seasons as a coach.
“Seeing just how far the club has moved forward, coming back was a no-brainer and an easy call to make,” he says.
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