New Tasman United football coach Richard Anderson is aware of how lucky he is to be in a coaching role with a clean slate.
The 29-year-old, who will coach Tasman United in its inaugural National League season, caught his first glimpse of the talent in the region on Saturday when he saw Nelson Suburbs 2-1 Mainland Premier League win over Halswell at Saxton Field.
Richard says, while the region is looking to enhance its own football identity he is looking to do the same. “This is one of those rare times as a coach that you have a clean slate,” he says.
“Usually, when a team hires a new coach, the club is doing poorly, a manager or coach has been fired or moved on to other things.”
He says the role is an opportunity for him to transition into a head coaching position.
“I’ve had the opportunity to do player development roles in England and then went over and did a similar thing with the Cook Islands while being an assistant to the national side.
“When this role came up I thought it was time to step up out of that shadow.”
Richard says the idea of being part of so many club firsts is exciting.
“The key thing is player recruitment now and getting the players in who can play an entertaining style of football that draws people to supporting us and a style the players enjoy playing.”
Richard says he is also on the lookout for a goal keeping coach and is keen to utilise sports science and match analysis in his back-room staff.
Richard’s contract with Cook Islands Football ends in early July which is when his focus will become solely Tasman United. “We will play a style of football that will excite our fans and play with pride for the shirt, and hopefully that will lead to good performances and success.”
The National League competition is due to kick off in November.