Academy technical director to pursue new opportunity

The Wellington Phoenix are looking for a new technical director to head the club’s academy, with Steve Coleman announcing he’s leaving to take up a new opportunity overseas.

Coleman has only been technical director since June last year, but together with his predecessor Paul Temple has played a major role in the growth of the academy since joining the club in 2017.

“I am grateful to have witnessed a seismic shift in the academy,” he said. “From its early days with a couple of teams and a handful of staff to the current state of eight teams, 150+ players, and a full staff working tirelessly for the futures of the players they care for.

“The academy has left a lasting impact on the local football landscape and is establishing a growing global footprint.

“While the journey hasn’t always been easy, the progress made over the past six months may not be apparent publicly but builds upon the significant work put in place by Paul, and I am confident that I leave the academy in a better place.”

Steve Coleman coached a number of sides during his time at the academy and served as the reserves assistant coach under both Paul Temple and Chris Greenacre. Photo: Cam McIntosh/Photomac.

Coleman will finish up with the Phoenix at the start of next month and he is looking forward to joining another professional club overseas.

“While leaving Wellington and the Phoenix is undoubtedly a difficult decision, it is equally about the opportunities this move provides for my family’s growth and wellbeing.

“Family is at the heart of this decision, and I am grateful for the understanding and support of those who have been part of my journey.

“As I embark on a new chapter, I will watch with great interest the journey of the academy, and the wonderful people within it, from my new corner of the world.

“Although saying goodbye is never easy, I hope that one day I can bring my family back to Wellington to continue our story with the club.”

Steve Coleman in discussion with Phoenix reserves head coach Chris Greenacre during a Central League match in 2022. Photo: Cam McIntosh/Photomac.

Phoenix director of football Shaun Gill has thanked Coleman for his “enormous” contribution to the club.

“Steve has worn a number of hats during his time at the academy and has excelled in each of them,” Gill said.

“On top of playing a major role in developing the next generation of Phoenix footballers he also built the AUT Diploma in Sport and Recreation, which has been run out the academy since 2021.

“While Steve will be missed, football never stops and we have quickly turned our attentions to finding his replacement.

“We hope to be in a position to appoint a new technical director before the commencement of the new academy year.”

Main image: Cam McIntosh/Photomac.