Over 60,000 children take part in football or futsal on a regular basis in this country and helping them enjoy their experience will be Paul Bateson, who has been appointed as Junior Football Development Manager for New Zealand Football.Bateson comes to the national body after serving as Director of Football for Three Kings United, one of the largest clubs in the country, and is relishing the chance to help Kiwi kids fall in love with the beautiful game.“I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to support the junior game in New Zealand and can’t wait to support our federations, clubs and schools in continuing the great work they do,” he says.“I’m looking forward to developing the experiences, support and programmes for our players and coaches and continuing the roll-out, implementation and improvement of the Skills Centre programme.”Bateson will be responsible for the implementation of the wider Junior Framework – catering for those aged four to 12-years-old – throughout the country, which involves working with schools, clubs and federations to support junior players and coaches.Supported by long-term partner McDonald’s NZ, the Junior Framework also includes initiatives such as the popular McDonald’s Junior Coach of the Year competition, McDonald’s Coaching Videos and Games Cards and the Small Whites programme, which rewards children taking part in the game with Player of the Day certificates, posters and coffee vouchers for parents.Bateson is ideally placed to oversee the Junior Framework as he has extensive experience of working in both the community and talent game at junior, youth and senior levels.Prior to joining Auckland club Three Kings United, he worked in Christchurch as Football Development Manager for Coastal Spirit FC after acting as a Football Development Officer for the Mainland Football Federation.A holder of the OFC/NZF A Licence for coaching, he has previous experience of working for New Zealand Football as a Coach Developer and National Talent Centre coach. “We’re delighted to welcome on board someone of Paul’s experience and ability,” says Andy Boyens, New Zealand Football Interim Technical Director.“His knowledge and expertise across all aspects of our game is extensive and he is therefore well placed to continue building on the strong foundations that have been laid in junior football.”Bateson will begin in his new role in late July.Article added: Tuesday 02 July 2019
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