The Wellington Phoenix have promoted from within their academy to replace Paul Temple as technical director.
Reserves assistant coach Steve Coleman has been appointed to the role after six years with the club, most recently as the academy’s head of performance.
Coleman succeeds Temple, who has stood down as technical director to take charge of the Phoenix women’s side.
Together they have played a major role in the growth of the academy. There were 40 young men in the fledgling two team programme when they arrived and now the academy has more than 140 young men and women playing for eight age-group sides in Capital Football competitions.
As well as helping grow the academy, Coleman built the AUT Diploma in Sport and Recreation which has operated out of Fraser Park since 2021 and is taught in and around training sessions.
“I’m excited for the journey we’re going to go on,” he said. “We’ve got the academy to the point where it’s massive compared to what it used to be and now the next period is making it better and streamlining what we do.
“I’m very privileged to head the biggest department at New Zealand’s only professional football club and to work with a great group of staff, who are committed to developing the next generation of talent.
“And I’m very proud that I’ve got an opportunity to make a change in the game in this country.”
It is not the first time he has been put in charge of the academy. Coleman was thrust into the role early in 2018 when Temple was elevated to the men’s first team staff following Darije Kalezic’s departure as head coach.
“It was such a difficult time to step in, but now I’m much more experienced and wiser and I’ll be able to navigate things a lot easier.
“Every time Temps has been away with New Zealand, or whatever he’s been doing, I’ve been in charge so I know what the role requires.
“In a roundabout way it was probably the job I was always destined to do without realising it.”
Phoenix director of football Shaun Gill has congratulated Steve Coleman on his appointment.
“We believe Steve is the best person to lead the next evolution of the academy,” Gill said. “He will help more young men and women graduate to the Phoenix first teams and other levels of professional football.
“I look forward to working with Steve and ensuring there is synergy between all levels of the club.”
Coleman studied sport management and coaching at Southampton Solent University and is now doing a Masters in sport performance.
He has an A coaching licence and is currently on the OFC pro diploma course with Paul Temple.
Coleman has coached a number of teams at the academy and is in his sixth season assisting the reserves. He is also the assistant coach of the New Zealand U-17 men’s team, which has qualified for this year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Steve Coleman’s promotion is effective immediately.