Matamata Swifts name Bradley Rea as head coach for next season

posted in: Coaching News, News

Matamata Swifts have appointed Bradley Rea as their head coach for the 2023 season.

Rea (24), who was first-team co-coach at Cambridge in last season’s Lotto NRFL second division, takes up the role after spending four years coaching junior and youth players in Matamata as part of his coaching job with the Ricki Herbert Football Academy.

Main photo: Bradley Rea … joins the Swifts ahead of next season. Photo: Matamata Swifts AFC.

Announcing Rea’s appointment, Matamata president Dwayne Barlow said:

“Brad is a strong, popular and confident young coach who will bring enthusiasm and freshness to a job that, if we’re honest, has been pretty tough over the last few seasons

“We were looking for someone who could come in, build a solid culture, and help improve the quality of the Swifts playing group. We think Brad will deliver that for the club, our players, and our supporters.”

Rea said: “I’ve been coaching in Matamata for a while now and really enjoy my time there. When the opportunity came up to take over as first-team coach, I was initially very interested.

“The more we talked the more excited I became. The club and team have real potential. I think the Swifts will be a great fit for me and I’m looking forward to working with people I already have a great deal of time and respect for.”

Appointment supports growing relationship between club and academy

The appointment of Rea comes as part of a growing relationship between Matamata Swifts AFC and the Ricki Herbert Football Academy.

“With Brad, we’re not only getting a first-team coach,” says Barlow. “The plan is he’ll be in town several days a week as we look to expand our community and talent development programmes. This is something I’ve been working towards for a while now.”

Ricki Herbert Football Academy director Ricki Herbert was keen to grow his relationship with the Swifts and sees Rea’s increased involvement with the club as a natural progression.

“As an academy, we’re looking for new opportunities and Matamata was always on our radar,” explained Herbert.

“We already have a great relationship with the Swifts, and I’m pleased we’ve been able to find a way to offer a greater level of opportunity for local footballers.”

Coaching changes in the Waikato

Rea’s appointment is the latest in a reshuffle of coaches in the Waikato.

These include:

  • Former Papamoa director of football Jarrod Young takes over from Sam Wilkinson at Melville United in January.
  • Claudelands Rovers have named former Cambridge and Matamata Swifts coach Paul Richardson as their head coach for next year’s NRFL Southern Conference campaign.
  • Cambridge have appointed former Hamilton Wanderers player Jordan Shaw as their head coach for next year’s NRFL Southern Conference.
  • Te Awamutu have appointed former Papamoa and Cambridge coach Anthony Meiklejohn as the coach of their Lotto NRFL Southern Conference side for 2023, with former Cambridge and Claudelands Rovers coach Joe Gifford joining as his assistant.

Waikato coaching changes

READ MORE: Melville United to change head coach at end of National League season >>>>

READ MORE: Paul Richardson to take head coach’s role at Claudelands Rovers >>>>

READ MORE: Cambridge appoint Jordan Shaw as head coach for 75th anniversary season >>>>

READ MORE: Te Awamutu appoint new coaching due ahead of NRFL Southern Conference >>>>

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