Long-time coach and referee Mark Ball appointed as Rovers’ U-23 coach

Claudelands Rovers have appointed experienced coach and referee Mark Ball as coach for their Lotto NRFL Southern Conference U-23s team.

Ball (61) has coached senior and youth players at all levels in the Waikato for more than 25 years, and at clubs and schools. When not coaching, he’s also been a referee in the region for more than 15 years.

Ball has replaced Hayden Miller at Rovers, with Miller moving up the road to join Cambridge as their U-23s coach.

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Ball is currently completing his NZF/OFC C licence and will also coach Rovers’ U-16 youth squad.

Announcing Ball’s appointment, Rovers said: “As a part of the senior coaching group, we feel Mark has the ability to deliver our playing philosophy and standards to both the youth and U-23’s groups, thus providing a safe, fun and technically progressive player pathway into senior men’s football.”

Training sessions for the U-23s are held at Galloway Park, Hamilton, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6.30pm.

Meanwhile, Rovers’ youth co-ordiantor Russell Finlay will also join the NRFL senior coaching group for the season.

He is currently completing his NZF/ OFC C licence and will work with the first team and U-23 group, assisting player pathways from youth to senior football.

“Russell has extensive coaching experience at many levels and (has) a passion for player welfare and recruitment,” the club said.

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Clubs in the Southern Conference are: Cambridge, Claudelands Rovers, Taupo, Papamoa, Te Awamutu, Otumoetai, Waikato Unicol and Ngongotaha Lakes (a joint venture by Ngongotaha AFC and Lakes FC).

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