Cook Islands name Jess Ibrom as new national team head coach

posted in: Coaching News, News, OFC news

New Zealand-based Jess Ibrom has been appointed the new head coach for the Cook Islands men’s national team.

Ibrom (46) will lead the side till 2026, to align with the next FIFA World Cup cycle, and his first games in charge will be in March when the Cook Islands face Tonga and Samoa in qualifiers for the OFC Nations Cup.

Ibrom has held professional and international coaching roles in six countries, including New Zealand where he was the director of the Wellington Phoenix academy and head coach of national league side Tasman United. He’s also had roles with Oceania Football Confederation and NZ Football.

Main photo: Jess Ibrom … national coach for Cook Islands. Photo credit: Jess Ibrom.

After a spell as the Cook Islands technical director, England-born Ibrom has already started a selection process for the national team, which is currently 185th of the 211 countries in the official FIFA world rankings.

He has already called some of the nation’s U-19 players into the national squad that will begin training three days a week from January 15.

As for finding players eligible for the side, Ibrom said: “We have been actively implementing a robust international scouting strategy since July of this year. I am already in talks with potential players identified through this strategy and anticipate more as we progress.”

The Cook Islands has a population of only 17,000 but Ibrom says he can turn this into an advantage.

“We need to be better prepared to perform at the international level and bridge the gap with other neighbouring countries,” he said.

“One of our biggest advantages is how small we are as a nation, and we can use this to maximise the potential here in the Cook Islands.”

Ibrom has three A-level coaching licences, having UEFA, OFC and USSF qualifications.

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