Relegated Rovers name Craig Alexander and Stuart Dove as women’s coaches

Northern Rovers have announced new coaching staff for their women’s first team as the former champions look to recover from last season’s relegation from the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League.

The head coach will be Craig Alexander, who previously coached the Glenfield Rovers women’s team, and his assistant coach will be Stuart Dove.

Dove (39) coached Birkenhead United, last season’s Lotto NRFL Women’s Conference title winners, who will join Rovers in the 2024 Lotto NRFL Women’s Championship.

Main photo: Stuart Dove (left) and Craig Alexander. Photo credit: Northern Rovers.

READ MORE: Birkenhead United to join next season’s Lotto NRFL Women’s Championship >>>>

The duo will replace last season’s coaches, Dene Gilmore and Jill Gilmore, who will coach Rovers’ U-16 girls talent development programme (TDP) in 2024.

Announcing the appointments, Northern Rovers say on their website: “Their combined expertise and leadership will be invaluable assets to our team as we embark on the next chapter of competitive football in New Zealand.

“With solid groundwork now being laid and strategic plans taking shape, both Craig and Stuart are committed to fostering a culture of excellence and achieving notable progress on and off the pitch.”

Alexander (59) has a long coaching pedigree, in men’s and women’s football, having held coaching and team management roles with clubs such as Auckland City, Central United, Glenfield Rovers and with national age group squads.

“Alexander is well-equipped to lead our team with a blend of tactical acumen and a deep understanding of the local football landscape,” Rovers said.

“His passion for the game and commitment to player development is set to infuse our club with a renewed spirit as we embark on the journey towards success in the upcoming season.”

Dove’s coaching record includes four years at Forrest Hill Milford, where he coached U-14 and U-16 girls, and three seasons coaching the Junior A team at Westlake Girls High School.

He coached Birkenhead United’s first team for the past two seasons.

Northern Rovers, formed from the merger of Glenfield Rovers and Forrest Hill Milford, says it will continue to get behind its women’s teams next season.

“Our investment into the female game continues as evidenced by our substantial investments that ensure our female athletes can play without financial barriers,” the club says.

Examples of the club’s support include:

  • In 2024, all new junior and youth female players to the club get a 50% discount off their annual subs.
  • Female TPD programmes will be 50% funded by the club.
  • Annual subscriptions of $260 are waived for the premier team “so our players can focus purely on their performance and love for the sport.”

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