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Jose Figueira named new coach of Auckland City FC

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Auckland City FC is delighted to announce the appointment of Jose Figueira as the club's new head coach.

The All Whites assistant coach will commence his tenure in control of the Auckland City FC first team together with the role of Director of Methodology for the Auckland City FC Academy in late August. He shares this role alongside Academy directors Nic Downes and Ivan Vicelich following the departure of former project lead Camilo Speranza who took up a head coach role in the Ecuadorian premier league.

Figueira beat a quality field of applicants from New Zealand and abroad to lead Auckland City FC into an exciting phase of its future where he previously spent two spells as head coach of the club's youth team, winning the title in 2008-09.

The 37-year-old is no stranger to Kiwitea Street having led the Navy Blues sister club Central United to the Lotto NRFL Premier Division title in 2016 and a runners-up finish in the ISPS Handa Chatham Cup in 2014.

Figueira is currently the New Zealand U-17 head coach and will lead his charges into the FIFA U-17 World Cup in October. He has also been nominated for the New Zealand Football Coach of the Year award for the second year running after winning the title in 2017.

Figueira’s education as a coach began with The FA where he completed his UEFA B award. He holds completed his OFC/NZF 'A' Licence in December 2017.

He spent almost two years working as Regional Training Program coach with Major League Soccer franchise New York Red Bulls where he implemented the club's player development programme and provided education to local community coaches in New York and Jersey.

Most recently, Figueira guided Team Wellington to both the OFC Champions League and ISPS Handa Premiership titles culminating in qualification for the FIFA Club World Cup in UAE last year.

Auckland City FC chairman Ivan Vuksich said the club was delighted to secure Figueira’s services.

"We are very happy to welcome Jose back to Kiwitea Street. What we looked for in a coach was the ability to generate excitement and passion with a clear vision of where he wanted to take not only our first team but also our youth and grassroots programme.

"The by-products of this vision need to produce a style that is entertaining and relevant to the modern game - a style that the players will understand and embrace as theirs.

"Jose has a wealth of experience within the domestic and regional game and he has worked with Auckland City FC and Central United before which was another quality we saw as important.

"Jose successfully implemented his own football philosophy, methodology and developmental pathways at work at his previous club and has a proven track record of success," Vuksich said.

"He’s young in terms of his age but experienced in terms of his coaching development. Jose also has the experience to implement the changes needed throughout the club in the future including the youth team and player development.

"He’s a young and ambitious coach and has agreed to take the next step with us and we’re confident he is the right person to return us to the top of both the ISPS Handa Premiership and OFC Champions League."

Figueira was delighted to put pen to paper and rekindle his relationship with a club he holds dear. He’s also ready for the challenge of continuing the club’s tradition of success at home and abroad.

"It is a great feeling to be coming back to a club that holds a special place in my heart and somewhere that really does feel like home. I have many positive memories from my time at the club, a strong connection with Kiwitea Street and I’m excited to both reconnect with those as well as create new memories in the exciting years at Auckland City FC.

"When people think of Auckland City FC they are immediately drawn to the success the club has had over many years. The club has a big reputation and is associated with winning titles.

"I'm comfortable with the expectations that come with Auckland City FC as a club and I’m confident I can help the club grow further and deliver here as a coach. Pressure is something that I thrive on but for me the most important thing is the opportunity and the challenge.

"I’m really excited by the challenge to lead the club as head coach, but also the opportunity to help define and implement this methodology through the Academy and club as a whole really excites me.

"I would like to thank the board, club members, our supporters and Ivan Vuksich for showing faith in me as the person they see leading the club into an exciting new era. Their backing is vital and I’m looking forward to getting started," he said.

Figueira officially commences his roles on September 1.

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