26 Jan 2018

NZF confirms age-group coaching teams

7:03 pm on 26 January 2018
Des Buckingham (L) and Chris Greenacre

Des Buckingham (L) and Chris Greenacre Photo: Photosport

Former Wellington Phoenix co-coach Des Buckingham is the new head coach of the New Zealand under-20 men's football team.

New Zealand Football announced on Friday that Buckingham would led the team and be assistant by the man who was his co-coach at the Phoenix, Chris Greenacre.

The national body also confirmed Team Wellington coach Jose Figueira had been appointed as the New Zealand under-17 boys head coaches, with Phoenix Academy head Paul Temple as his assistant.

Both Buckingham and Figueria will also be assistant Coaches for the All Whites.

NZF said they were forming a short-list for the All Whites head coach role and their intention was for the senior national team to play in the March international window.

After unsuccessfully applying to be th new head coach of the Phoenix, Buckingham took up the role of reserve team coach at English premier League outfit Stoke City.

Buckingham replaces Darren Bazeley, who has become an assistant to former All Whites coach Anthony Hudson at Major League Soccer side the Colorado Rapids.

Figueira has won the New Zealand national premiership title in back-to-back seasons with Team Wellington and was the New Zealand Football coach of the year in 2017.

He takes over the under-17 role from Danny Hay, who is now in charge of national premiership outfit Eastern Suburbs.

NZF technical director Andreas Heraf said the appointments of Buckingham and Figueira was great news for the age group teams and also the All Whites.

"We are really excited to have Des and José as our U-20 and U-17 coaches for the next World Cup cycle.

"They both bring a huge amount of high level coaching experience and the challenge for them is simple to get our age group teams winning on the world stage, and get our best young players ready for the national team.

"They are important additions to our High Performance team as they will also be the Assistant Coaches for our new All Whites Head Coach and support the national team in the next cycle in their efforts to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 2022."

In other High Performance news, Juan Roman had been appointed as the new head of strength and conditioning and Gary Connell is the new head of performance analysis.

Gemma Lewis has been appointed as the assistant manager of the Future Ferns Development Programme (FFDP).

Lewis, the coach of the Auckland Football Federation team who claimed the National Women's League title in 2017, comes on board to support FFDP manager Gareth Turnbull.