Phoenix sign Australia U-17s and U-20s goalkeeping coach

Goalkeeping coach Fernando vaz Alves with Oliver Sail (left) and Lewis Italiano (right).
-
Wellington Phoenix have added another A-League championship and premiership winner to their backroom, with the announcement of their new goalkeeping coach on a two-year contract.

Wellington Phoenix are delighted to announce that former Centre of Excellence, Australia U-20s, U-17s and Brisbane Roar goalkeeping coach Fernando vaz Alves has joined the club.

During his time with Australian age-group national teams vaz Alves has worked with many of the region’s most talented goalkeepers, helping players such as Mat Ryan, Mitchell Langerak, Mark Birighitti develop into national team players and earn overseas contracts.

For Phoenix General Manager David Dome vaz Alves’ proven track record developing young talent was a key feature.

“Once we had drawn up a shortlist, Fernando was the standout candidate” said Dome, “especially with his record, not just for eight years in the A-League, but also for over a decade in two spells with the CoE and AIS bringing through Australasia’s best young ‘keepers.”

“His passion, hunger for success, and clear footballing vision resonated well with Darije and Rado, so it was a no-brainer in the end.”

For the Angolan-born, Portugal-raised vaz Alves, it’s a welcome opportunity to get back to coaching week-in, week-out at club level.

“I’m very happy to arrive in Wellington, it’s been a very easy transition with Shaun [Gill, Football Operations Manager] welcoming me perfectly” said vaz Alves.

“When Rado spoke to me about the vision of the club, the potential of the team this year, and the possibility of putting in place a long-term development program, I was very excited.”

“I am passionate about developing young goalkeepers and I’ve already started talking to Paul Gothard [All Whites Goalkeeping Coach] about long-term possibilities in New Zealand.”

“We have two promising ‘keepers at the club, and I look forward to bringing in a third good young player. It’s exciting to work with players that aren’t yet established or closed in their thinking. From my sessions so far with Lewis [Italiano] and Oli [Sail] they are very receptive – I can see clearly [they have] good potential.”

Vaz Alves commenced work this week with discussions to sign the third goalkeeper in process.