Coach in Hall of Fame

TANYA WOOD
Last updated 17:17 11/04/2011
Football
Top coach: Barrie Truman has made the Wellington Football Hall of Fame.

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Waikanae's Barrie Truman is the second person to be inducted into the Wellington Football Hall of Fame, in recognition of his 40-year coaching career.

Established earlier this year by Team Wellington, to recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the Wellington game, last month's award dinner reunited Truman with a former player he briefly coached 30 years ago, Kiwi legend Wynton Rufer, the first inductee that night.

Chosen from eight finalists out of 29 nominations, by a panel of four judges, 75-year-old Truman said it was a "very special moment".

A wooden plaque will hang permanently on the wall at the Four Kings sports bar in Wellington with his signed disc.

Truman, who has been coaching at Paraparaumu College for the last five years since "retiring", emigrated to Wellington in 1970 from Britain, taking up the role of New Zealand coach and director of New Zealand Football, just as soccer was being introduced into school sports curriculums.

He said his job was to travel around the country in his Rothmans-sponsored estate car, "carrying footballs from town to town", and coaching teachers in the fine art of the "offside rule".

"As a young man, I've probably seen more of New Zealand than most Kiwis."

He said his long-term ambition as a coach, back in the early 80s, was to create a major Wellington team and, although that has now happened, he said it was probably "too forward-thinking at the time".

Truman coached New Zealand 49 times, notching up a record of 20 wins, 13 draws, and 16 losses. He also won two national league titles with Wellington Diamond United and a Chatham Cup with Miramar Rangers.Running every day, and a regular skier, Truman said he still keeps his hand in, practising ball skills.

He also keeps an eye on the English leagues, and records all the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) games to watch.

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- Kapiti Observer

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