Hamilton Wanderers’ striker Derek Tieku leaving club for ‘exciting opportunity’

Hamilton Wanderers’ captain and former Golden Boot winner Derek Tieku is leaving the club for an “exciting footballing opportunity”, the club has announced.

As well as being a key player in the Wanderers’ Northern League squad, Tieku (29) has also been the head coach for the women’s first team, who play in the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premiership.

Announcing his departure, Wanderers chair David Douglas said: “Derek is leaving to take up a very exciting footballing opportunity, and as a club, we wish him nothing but success in his new opportunity.

“His legacy during his time at the club will live long in the memories of so many club members/supporters and he will be greatly missed.

Tieku played 159 first team games, most wearing the captain’s armband, and was the club’s leading scorer with 93 goals.

“He has also won National and Northern League Golden Boots and MVP awards, as well as numerous club awards during his time as our #20,” Douglas said.

“Off the pitch, Derek has contributed greatly to the rise of our youth academy playing space and most recently in our women’s premier team initially as assistant coach but this year is stepping up to the head coach’s role.

“On behalf of the club, I would like to thank you, Derek, for your years of commitment and bringing us some incredible moments on the pitch (who could forget the hat trick at home against Waitakere that took us to the brink of our first National League semi-final!) and for always being an approachable person for both young and old supporters/players off the pitch.

“No matter where your football journey takes you, we will follow you with much interest and you will always be a Blue and hold a special place in our club’s history.”

Ghana-born Tieku played for Crystal Palace’s U-21 side in London before joining Wanderers in 2018, after a spell with Eastern Suburbs.

Main photo: Derek Tieku (right) playing against Cambridge in pre-season 2024. 

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