Northland FC names 12-person coaching staff for next year

Northland FC have announced their coaching staff for 2024 with a mix of returning coaches and new faces in the 12-person team.

Here’s the roster:

Senior

Michal Walesiak has been retained as head coach for the men’s first team who will compete in the Lotto NRFL Northern Conference. Walesiak will aim to gain his NZF/OFC A Licence next season.

Caleb Russ becomes the new coach of the U-23 team, having progressed from team captain in 2022 and becoming the side’s assistant coach last season when he was sidelined through injury.

Girls and women

Liam Martin returns for his third season with the club and continues his role as women’s development manager. He is in charge of the 13th NRF Grade Whangarei team and will be the head coach for the Northland senior women’s team.

Jamie Smith will spend his sixth year at the club coaching the 15th grade NRF squad. He also steps into a new role as the club’s technical director, which entails representing the club’s interests, club direction and overall facilitating of the club.

Kezia Holmes joins the club as the head coach for the Far North 13th Grade NRF squad.

Juniors

Ben Whatmore returns to the club after previously having a short stint in 2018 as a player and coach before he returned back to Exeter City in England. He returns as the junior programme lead, and has a UEFA B Licence and FA Advanced Youth award.

Caleb Russ enters his third season with the club and takes charge of the U-14 NRF team. As well as coaching the U-23 men (see above), he continues in his role of social media and marketing and as a football development officer.

Jackson West is preparing for his first season as a head coach as he leads the U-13 NRF team. He represents the club as a player for the men’s first team and has played at an international level for NZ Maori. He also has the role of community development coach.

Cole Harley enters his third season of coaching for the club as he steps into the role of community development officer. He also plays for the men’s first team. He leads the junior goalkeeping programme.

Jake Haggerty joins the coaching staff in 2024 as an assistant coaching in the junior development programme, and is also a community development coach. He also plays for the men’s first team.

TDP programme

English import Will Allen, who has been at Exeter City with Ben Whatmore for the past two years, recently completed his BA in Football Development and Coaching at Plymouth Marjon University. He also holds a UEFA B Licence. He will have the role of youth programme lead with our club.

Michal Walesiak returns for his fourth year with the club. He continues in his role of U-17 NRFL TDP head coach, helping to bridge the transition from the youth to the senior space. He holds a UEFA B Licence and is head coach of the men’s first team (see above).

Steven Paul will start his fourth year with the club as U-15 NRFL TDP head coach and as a football development officer. He has an OFC/NZF C Licence.

Deon Hales, in his second year with the club, will retain his role of U-13 NRFL TDP head coach. He played for the men’s first team and U-23 team last season. He has an OFC/NZF C Licence.

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