Petone’s Ryan Edwards to replace Paul Ifill as Christchurch United head coach

Christchurch United have replaced outgoing head coach Paul Ifill with Ryan Edwards, formerly Director of Football at Central League club Petone.

Acknowledging Ifill’s contribution to Christchurch United, the club said on its website:

“Under Paul’s leadership, the Christchurch United men’s first team achieved remarkable success, securing an historic Chatham Cup, Southern League title for the second consecutive year, and the prestigious English Cup.

“We thank Paul for his outstanding service and wish him every success in the future.”

Christchurch United celebrate winning the Chatham Cup trophy in September. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Edwards will be Christchurch United’s new first-team head coach and the club’s general manager.

Main photo: Ryan Edwards … ‘incredibly grateful for the opportunity.’

“Ryan comes to us with a wealth of experience and an impressive track record in New Zealand football,” Christchurch United said in its announcement.

During his tenure as Director of Football, Petone’s first team earned its first-ever qualification to the Men’s National League. Petone’s reserve team achieved back-to-back promotions and its women’s team finished in the top three of the Central League.

Petone’s U-19 men’s side reached the semi-finals and finals in successive years at the national tournament in Napier.

“Fittingly for our club’s mission, Ryan has a strong reputation for excellence and a keen eye for youth talent development.

“His Petone side are currently the youngest club side in Central League and National League. And he has previous experience as a professional Academy Head Coach at Wellington Phoenix.”

Edwards (34) has been replaced as Petone’s first-team coach by Jamie O’Connor(44) and as Director of Football by Sam Morrissey (33).

READ MORE: Waterside Karori’s Sam Morrissey moves to Central League rivals Petone >>>>

Edwards told club supporters: “It’s great to be coming into this proud football club. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work at a club with such a strong history and reputation in the game.

“I am excited by the club’s vision to lead football development in the region as well as create pathways for young players to achieve their dreams.

“I look forward to playing my part in supporting the brilliant work already happening at the club and in the Academy.

“I wish Paul all the best for his next journey in football, and I congratulate him and his coaching staff for all their successes over the past two years; the team have been outstanding and a real credit to the club. I look forward to meeting everyone!”

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