22 Oct 2014

Hedge to coach Phoenix reserve team

11:42 am on 22 October 2014

New Zealand Football's talent development manager Andy Hedge has been appointed headcoach of the Wellington Phoenix's new reserve team.

Andy Hedge

Andy Hedge Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The side will compete in the New Zealand premiership this summer with players sourced from the Phoenix A-League side (up to four), its football academy and the Football School of Excellence.

Hedge describes his new role as "a dream job" and says a reserve team is vital for the future success of the Phoenix.

"Clubs need a second team to help bring on young players, but just as important is keeping the pros fresh when they aren't in the first team for whatever reason.

From the London suburb of Harrow, Hedge has been in New Zealand for 13 years after playing for Miramar from 2002 to 2004.

He went on to play for Team Wellington and became assistant player-coach.

Hedge will have an on-going role at New Zealand Football as part of the increasing relationship between the Wellington Phoenix and the national body.

He'll be assisted by Head Coach of the Wellington Phoenix Football Academy Jess Ibrom and the Academy assistant coach Valerio Raccuglia.

The Phoenix coach Andy Merrick will oversee the programme and Phoenix assistant coach Chris Greenacre will assist Hedge in setting the team up and putting Merrick's programme in place.

The team's first game will be against Team Wellington on Sunday November 2nd at Dave Farrington Park.