Co-founder Ramu Prasad returns as coach for resurgent Mangere United

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Auckland’s Mangere United have turned to one of the club’s most revered members to lead a resurgence of their men’s first team.

After more than a decade in northern football’s wilderness, the club will compete in the 2024 NRF Men’s League One competition, the fourth tier of the sport in Northern Region Football’s territory.

United’s coach will be Ramu Prasad (65), one of the club’s co-founders in 2000 and head coach of the team that won the Northern League third division in 2001 and the division two title in 2002.

Main photo: Ramu Prasad … returns to coaching to help the club he co-founded.

Mangere United played three seasons in the Northern Premier League (2004-2006).

However, the destruction of United’s clubrooms in a 2005 fire and struggle to provide player facilities led to the club’s fall through the divisions and into the community leagues.

Club chairman James Kado announced Prasad’s return to coaching, saying: “Ramu has agreed to return one more time to help rebuild a club he founded. We are grateful for him to step up at short notice.

“We are now working on a structure for the season based on our club’s coaching philosophy.”

Jordan Peter Von Heiderbrandt.

United have appointed Samoan international Jordan Peter Von Heiderbrandt to their coaching team,

He is a former goalkeeper coach for the Samoa U-20 team, and has played as a goalkeeper with the Samoa national team, and clubs including Adidas FC and Oratia United.

The club has also confirmed  Mohammed Shafeem will be the League One team’s co-ordinator.

“Shafeem is a loyal club member that joined us a few years ago playing in the community grades. As a club, we hope to create such opportunities for all our members to pursue their football dreams.” Kado said.

Mohammed Shafeem.

Kado said the club would also make an announcement soon about its reserve team.

Of the club’s return to the competitive leagues, Kado said: “We thank Northern Region Football for allowing us to join this competition as we work our way with them on a long term goal to establishing a sustainable model for football at such levels.

“We have learned a lot over the many years. We have a great history of playing at these levels and we wish to use this knowledge to rebuild ourselves again based on the Mangere United values we hold so dear.

“However, we know this is a challenging task, given the short turnaround we have before the first game on April 6.”

Pre-season plans

Training for the Mangere United squad starts on Tuesday February 20, 2024.

Co-ordinator Mohammed Shafeem can be reached on 0211656334.

Who’ll compete in NRF League One

The competition will increase from six teams to eight for 2024. Participating clubs are:

  • Central United
  • Uni-Mount Bohemian
  • West Auckland
  • Papatoetoe
  • South Auckland Rangers
  • Papakura City
  • Waiuku
  • Mangere United

Last season’s champions, Te Atutu, won promotion to the Lotto NRFL Men’s Northern Conference.

West Auckland were relegated from the Northern Conference.

Mangere United and Waiuku are newcomers to League One for 2024.

How they finished last season

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