The Blues Announce Federation Coaching Team Ahead of 2023 Campaign

The Thirsty Whale Napier City Rovers is delighted to announce that Shane McKenzie and Stu Wilson will remain at the helm of the Federation side for 2023.

The coaching duo between them have a wealth of knowledge of the game, both at playing and coaching level. McKenzie is a qualified C-licensed coach who has trained male and female senior teams within the region for over a decade, while Wilson, a highly experienced player at Central and National League level, is close to gaining the C-license accreditation.

As the club head into their second year fielding a Federation side as part of the NCR Development Pathway, McKenzie says they are better prepared to support the players to meet the challenges faced at this level. He added as a coaching team the duo combined have the skills and attributes to lead and develop the squad.

“The club is heading into their second campaign with a Federation team. There was a lot learnt in 2022 in terms of how best to support the side and what additional resources the team may need as a group and individually to be successful," says McKenzie.

“Not only were Stu and I involved with the Federation group last year, but we have been on opposite sides many times as coaches and players in previous years. We always hold a healthy respect for each other. Stu brings with him experience playing at the highest level - Central League, National League, Chatham Cup - gathering a number of titles along the way. Having that knowledge from a player point of view is a massive plus for our coaching team”.

Wilson added that the club has the benefit of a robust development pathway, from the Under 15s youth team through to National League, with the benefit of highly qualified and experienced coaches through to the top level . He also stated the club has a proud record of producing players who have gone on to gain full international honours, representing NZ in the All Whites, and at national age group levels.

One such player is Rovers defender Jonathon Taylor, a former All White, who has also played in the Australian National Football League, and represented the former Hawke's Bay United in the New Zealand Football Championship. Taylor will again lead and mentor the Federation players on the park in 2023.

“JT’s international and professional experience will be a huge benefit to the players and there is a lot they will learn from him," says Wilson.

McKenzie also has experience as a former National League General Manager and knows how football environments should be set up at the highest level, and players can expect a highly professional environment again next year. The coaching team have already secured the services of Chris Treacher from CT Performance, a skilled strength and conditioning coach with more than 20 years’ experience Treacher commences pre-season with the players in February, when the former military physical training instructor will start to prepare the team mentally and physically for the season ahead. 

“I’ve worked with Chris in a number of environments, and he always delivers.” Says McKenzie.

“Chris has worked with the Hawk’s Basketball, Hawke’s Bay United, and Hawke’s Bay Cricket which gives you an idea of his level. He’s a great voice, knows his craft well, and his personality will be another plus for our team culture. Chris is highly regarded, and we are very lucky to have secured his services for the upcoming campaign."

“It will be great to get the group together and build the right foundations during our pre-season in terms of effort, culture, style of play etc. If we get this right, then from there we’ll put ourselves into a position to be successful. There’s no doubting we will have a young squad. The majority have had a year at Federation level now and they will know what is expected. We’re out there to play to win, represent the club to the required standard, assist players with their development, and enjoy ourselves along the way. 2023 will be a great year to be involved with Napier City Rovers. It’s the 50th year for the club and there will be plenty of support and celebration throughout the season”. 

McKenzie emphasised that the Federation side doesn’t exist in isolation but is a major hub of the development pathway at the club, from Prems to National League Level, and the coaching team are having regular dialogue with Central League | National League coach Bill Robertson.

“There has been a number of communications and meetings already as we look to prepare for 2023. The Central League and Fed League sides working together is key for the club to support all our players. Moving into the season, when players are performing regularly, we will be relaying that information to Bill so that they have opportunities with the Central League group. This will also be a high priority. 

Head Coach Bill Robertson said: “It’s pleasing and exciting to confirm our Federation coaches for the 2023 season. 

“It’s key we identify the needs of our players and programmes and, in turn, place our coaching staff in the most appropriate positions to support the various journeys within the Napier City Rovers Pathway.

“Next season, as well as regional league and cup campaigns, we have national U17 and U19 tournaments that we will be aiming for players who are eligible to have the opportunity to play in. These competitions are also high on our agenda and provide valuable opportunities for our players to pitch themselves against the best other clubs have to offer.

“As always, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the excellent work that is taking place across our pathway, and thank Shane and Stu for their support and collaboration which maximises our interactions with the players across all the teams within the development pathway at Rovers.”

Federation training kicks off Thursday 2nd February 2023, 6pm at Park Island (Training grounds behind Bluewater Stadium). Come along and meet the coaching team.

Player registrations will open soon. Keep an eye on the website and social media pages for details.



Article added: Wednesday 21 December 2022


Latest News