Watch England’s games at the FIFA World Cup carefully enough and you might spot a face that’s familiar to many in New Zealand football.
Former New Zealand Knights manager Paul Nevin is a key part of England’s coaching staff and you’ll see him sitting beside manager Gareth Southgate in the dugout.
Main photo: Paul Nevin (left) at the World Cup with England manager Gareth Southgate.
Nevin (53) splits his coaching work between the England national team and as an assistant coach to David Moyes at English Premier League club West Ham United.
English-born Nevin spent almost a year managing the ill-fated New Zealand Knights in the A-League in 2006.
Nevin was the highest-qualified coach in New Zealand when appointed to the Knights role and had moved to Auckland with his wife and two children.
As a player, he had turned out for clubs including Shrewsbury Town, Carlisle United and Yeovil Town as well as four years in the USA.
He began his coaching career with eight years working with junior and youth players at Fulham before he joined the Knights.
After losing the Knights job in November 2006, he joined the Aspire Academy, working with young players and coaches in Qatar.
He returned to England in 2013 for coaching roles with Norwich City, Brighton & Hove Albion and with the EPL.
Nevin joined West Ham in February 2020 as part of Moyes’ backroom staff but has been at the centre of speculation that he might soon leave the club if a better opportunity arose.
He recently told the Evening Standard:
“If the right opportunity came at the right time then I need to give it a go because maybe with that nudge at the door, if I’m successful, it can allow me to bring others in and give others opportunities.”
Nevin is one of two advisors to Southgate with New Zealand connections.
The other is Southlander Owen Eastwood, a lawyer-turned-performance coach, who has worked with the Three Lions ahead of past FIFA World Cup Finals and the European Championships.
Eastwood has consulted to many leading sports teams including the All Blacks and the British Olympic team.