Piper to take over as men’s football operations manager

The Wellington Phoenix have moved quickly to appoint a new men’s football operations manager to replace Shaun Gill.

Gill, who has been in the role for the past nine years, is transitioning into a new director of football position at the Phoenix.

Jake Piper will succeed Gill as the men’s football operations manager in early 2023, after three years at New Zealand Football.

Piper has been NZF’s national competitions manager since March 2020 and led the implementation of the new men’s National League system.

He previously held roles with Oceania Football and Capital Football and also worked as a goalkeeper coach at the Wellington Phoenix academy.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to get someone with Jake’s experience into the club,” Gill said.

“He understands our challenges, he understands our club and how it works with the New Zealand Football and Capital Football landscape, so we believe he’s the best candidate in the country for the role.”

Piper will join the Phoenix at the start of February, with Gill to continue looking after the men’s football operations in the meantime.

“The planning has been done for the season to a large extent, so I can do the football operations role with the men’s side, whilst still being able to turn my attention to work required with the director of football role.”

Piper is excited about the new challenge.

“The club’s played a big part in my life to date so coming on board in a fulltime role with the A-League men’s team is something I really look forward to,” he said.

“I think it’s a massive opportunity to continue the good work that’s been done.

“I’ll be picking up the reins from Gilly, who’s been in the role for a number of years, is well respected as an operator with what he’s done in that environment, so first and foremost I’ll be learning off him and doing my part to contribute towards the team.”

He is also looking forward to returning to the capital.

“Wellington’s home. It’s where I grew up, so it’ll be nice to re-connect with family and friends.

“I’ve enjoyed my time in Auckland but I’m very much looking forward to coming back to the capital and working at the new NZCIS facility.”