Experienced coach Maia Vink will join Western Springs as their Head of Women’s Football in August.
Vink (31) holds a UEFA B Licence and is due to complete her OFC / NZF A Licence assessment.
She is currently the assistant coach for the New Zealand team competing at the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship in Fiji, and will join Springs when she completes some commitments at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Vink is moving north from the capital where she was the performance analyst for the Wellington Phoenix’s women’s A-League team, and was the head coach for Capital Football.
Main photo: Maia Vink … has been successful as a player and coach. Photo credit: Capital Football.
Vink: ‘A club with endless potential’
“Western Springs is ambitious across all aspects of the club and wants to provide the best possible environment for female players across the entire pathway, including engaging with professional support.
“Along with my experiences at professional youth academies, international programming and professional senior football, I’m confident that together we can build a thriving, sustainable club with enduring success.
“Western Springs is a club with endless potential, and there is a powerful foundation to work from. I can’t wait to get underway.”
‘The perfect person to take us to next level’
Western Springs’ Executive Chair, Grant Ramsay, said:
“I’m so thrilled to have someone of Maia’s calibre joining us. She brings so much experience across all levels of the women’s game and is the perfect person to take our girls’ and women’s programme to the next level”.
Vink replaces Ryan Faithfull (31) who parted company with Western Springs in May, triggering a series of actions between the club’s women’s players and their committee.
The parties have since said they have resolved their differences, following independent mediation.
Faithfull has now joined Hibiscus Coast as head coach of their Lotto NRFL Men’s Championship team.
Maia Vink’s football journey
Vink’s journey to Springs has seen her work in the Netherlands, Canada and Wellington.
She coached Capital Football to two second-place finishes in the National Women’s League and South Central Series in 2020 and 2021.
She was responsible for the women’s and girls and talent portfolios at Capital Football where she was instrumental in establishing the partnership with the Wellington Phoenix for the first professional girls’ academy programme in 2021 as well as delivering the first federation-led women in leadership programme.
Vink was part of the first cohort of Te Hāpaitanga, a high-performance Sport New Zealand programme designed to elevate high-performing female coaches which has recently provided her access to top academy and women’s environments in the UK and the Netherlands, senior coaching mentors, as well as spending a week with the Football Ferns as they prepare for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Te Hāpaitanga programme and her work with Christian Penny has helped develop her understanding of and application of Te Ao Māori frames through coaching.
As a player, she won the Kate Sheppard Cup with Coastal Spirit and the National League with Mainland Pride, as well as representing New Zealand at U-17 level.