Coach switch for Auckland Football

Auckland Football Federation has confirmed a change to the coaching staff of the federation’s National Women’s League side for the coming 2017.

Due to an unforeseen change in personal family circumstances, previously appointed Head Coach Dave Edmondson – based in Auckland since May – is returning the United Kingdom and will not be able to fulfill the role.

Previously named assistant coach Gemma Lewis, who is working within New Zealand Football’s Football Ferns Development Programme and is the assistant for the New Zealand side competing in the Oceania U-19 Championships later this month, will move into the Head Coach role assisted by AFF Head of Women’s Football Steven Upfold and AFF coach education lead Nic Downes.

Upfold said it was unfortunate Edmondson would not be able to continue in the position but the work in putting together a strong programme for the region’s top talent would continue.

“It’s a shame we are losing Dave at this point but obviously family comes first and we wish him and his family the best in their situation,” Upfold said.

“The purpose and delivery of our National Women’s League programme this year has been created by Auckland Football and Dave and Gemma were appointed as the best fit to execute that vision.

“Gemma is ideally placed to continue the work Dave and herself were already doing in laying the ground work for our campaign.”

Lewis says the underlying purpose of the programme is unaffected despite the change.

“I was really looking forward to working with Dave but we’ll press forward with our plans for delivering an environment which engages and challenges our federation’s top players.”

Player nominations for the National Women’s League squad closed on Tuesday and a list of identified and nominated players, along with AFF clubs and coaches, will be sent details and invited to attend an information presentation outlining the programme in full detail.