Phoenix and NZF further closer alignment with national team appointments

Wellington Phoenix are delighted at New Zealand Football’s appointment of Academy coaches Chris Greenacre and Paul Temple to roles within the national team coaching ranks – appointments that only further the positive alignment between the national governing body and New Zealand’s only professional football club.

After extensive consultation with leading youth football development experts across the country, new NZF Technical Director Andreas Heraf has today announced significant new coaching appointments that NZF believe will provide the best possible coaching environments for the next generation of All Whites and Junior All Whites.

Former Phoenix co-coaches Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre have been announced as New Zealand Men’s U-20 head coach and assistant coach, with Paul Temple also taking up the role of Men’s U-17 assistant coach, supporting Team Wellington’s José Figueira.

Greenacre and Temple will continue their roles inside the Phoenix Academy as ISPS Handa Premiership head coach and U-17 head coach respectively and will closely liaise with Heraf and NZ Football to perform both roles.

For Wellington Phoenix General Manager David Dome the appointments further demonstrate the long-term ambitions of the club to work more collaboratively with the governing body in the area of youth development.

“It’s terrific news,” said Dome. “We’ve invested heavily in the youth development space over the past four years and with our broader Phoenix Academy set up – with the Wellington Phoenix Soccer Schools in Auckland through to our winter and summer programmes in Wellington – we strongly believe our Academy to be the best developmental environment for tomorrow’s All Whites and Junior All Whites.”

It’s a happy return for former U-17 assistant Temple, who sees the challenge of juggling both roles going forward as mutually beneficial.

“A lot of time was taken to ensure Greenie and I could fulfil our Phoenix duties first and foremost before accepting these roles,” said Temple, “and we’re happy with the balance that has been struck with the club and NZF.

“With Steve Coleman also taking the NZ Schoolboys in 2018 we’ve got a really strong coaching team at the Academy and all our experiences internationally will only benefit the players within our Academy.”

For Greenacre it’s not just a new challenge but also a welcome reunion.

“Personally, I’m delighted to be part of the national organisation,” said Greenacre, “and hopefully we can build on the foundation and fantastic work that has been done previously.

“It’s also going to be great to have Des back in New Zealand, we had a very good working relationship last season, we chat regularly and I’ve kept a close eye on his development at Stoke City, so I can’t wait to get started.”