Olympic to lose coach Rupert Kemeys and top goalscorer Gianni Bouzoukis

Wellington Olympic — the new national men’s champions — will need a new head coach and replacement for their top scorer before February’s OFC Champions League play-offs.

Head coach Rupert Kemeys (35) has confirmed Sunday’s Grand Final against Auckland City was his last game in the role, and the club will soon announce his replacement.

“I told the club about six months ago that once the National League season was over, I would be leaving,” Kemeys told Friends of Football.

He said the demands of playing Central League, National League and then the OFC Champions League meant coaching was an 11-month-a-year commitment, and he needed a break.

“I’ve got a little one now, and I haven’t had a proper break for four years,” he said. He said he would take the opportunity to focus on completing his OFC/NZF A Licence.

Kemeys acknowledged that he had become a victim of his own success.

“The more games you win, the more football you end up playing,” he said.

Kemeys confirmed his assistant coach, Scoota Roche (35), would also be leaving his role.

Bouzoukis to head for Australia

Wellington Olympic’s Gianni Bouzoukis receives another Golden Boot from NZ Football’s General Manager of High Performance, Keir Hansen. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Top goalscorer Giannia Bouzoukis (25) will also leave Wellington Olympic, heading to Australia for a crack at playing National Premier League level, the second tier of competition.

Bouzoukis, who shared the National League Golden Boot last season and this season, headed overseas in 2022, trying to play in the Finnish professional league.

However, it didn’t work out and he returned to New Zealand with an injury.

The striker featured in all Olympic’s National League fixtures this season, scoring 11 goals, and sharing the Golden Boot with Cashmere Technical’s Garbhan Coughlan.

READ MORE: Coughlan and Bouzouki end up level in Golden Boot again >>>>

Kemeys, Roche and Bouzoukis leave the club as national champions, having won the Central League and National League titles.

“We’re proud of what we’ve achieved,” Kemeys said.

“It’s a really good club and we’re so pleased for what the team’s done for the club and the community.”

What success looks like … Players, family members and supporters celebrate winning the Grand Final. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Meanwhile, the rivalry between Olympic and Auckland City will now focus on their upcoming play-offs for the OFC Champions League.

Kemeys said there was strong mutual respect between Olympic and outgoing champions Auckland City.

“Everyone knows they’ve been the best club in the country for nearly two decades and if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.”

He said his Auckland City counterpart, Albert Riera, was “a gentleman” on the sideline, and he respected all he and his team had achieved.

Main photo: Rupert Kemeys (right) with Auckland City’s Albert Riera at the Grand Final. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

What lies ahead

Wellington Olympic and Auckland City will continue their rivalry with a two-legged play-off series in February/March to decide which club will represent New Zealand at next year’s OFC Champions League tournament.

READ MORE: Wellington Olympic and Auckland City to meet in OFC qualifiers in early 2024 >>>>


Game played on Sunday November 26, 2023

Men’s National League

Grand Final

Game played on Sunday November 26, 2023

Men’s National League Grand Final

Wellington Olympic 2 (Kailan Gould 58′, Jack-Henry Sinclair 90+5′)
Auckland City 0

READ MORE: Wellington Olympic are the new national men’s champions >>>>

READ MORE: Olympic’s Joel Stevens wins Steve Sumner Trophy for Grand Final performance >>>>

More football stories