Former English premier league striker Brett Angell has big plans for the coaches and young players in the Manawatu region.
Angell has arrived from Thornby, Birkdale, to take up a Central Football regional coaching job and has already made contacts with clubs and schools.
During a career that encompassed 17 league clubs, beginning in 1986 with Portsmouth and ending with Queens Park Rangers in 2002, Angell also had spells at Everton, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion.
In 502 league games, he had a solid goal-scoring record with 187 goals.
"I want players to experience what I did playing professionally; there isn't anything better," he said. "And with the Phoenix here, there's the opportunity to play professionally in New Zealand.
"The highlight of my career, though, was making the semifinal of the League Cup with Stockport and knocking out four premier-league clubs along the way."
After beating Blackburn Rovers, West Ham, Southampton and Sheffield United on their way to the semifinals, Angell and his team went desperately close to the final at Wembley. Stockport lost 2-1 on aggregate to Bobby Robson-coached Middlesbrough, which included Ravanelli and Juninho.
"We beat them 1-0 at their Riverside ground then lost 2-0 at home."
Angell enjoyed all the clubs he played at but admitted there was different atmosphere at big clubs like Everton and Sunderland.
"There were a lot more expectations on you at the big clubs, with the big fan base and large crowds following you, expecting you to perform every week."
Since retiring, the 40 year-old Angell has been working for the English Football Association as a coach educator, one of his big passions. He also worked with clubs such as Bolton Wanderers and Portsmouth as well as Wales under-19s.
"I first became interested in moving down here when Bob Patterson, Central Football operations manager, approached me when he was with Sydney FC to start a pilot coaching scheme," Angell said. "When he came back to New Zealand, he asked if I wanted to come here and start the programme."
Angell said he jumped at the chance to develop his skills further in a country without the structures of England. "I'll have the opportunity to develop my ideas and if they don't work, I'll just change them."
Angell said that while he would help clubs with sessions, it would be more so the coaches could see how training sessions could develop players and keep them interested.
His big focus initially will be to make the parent coach an active coach, rather than someone who "babysits" at practice.
He said he'd be aiming to get a few from that group of coaches to move on to the different coaching level badges. "You can't have everyone at the bottom end because as the player moves up, the coaches need to have the skills to improve them."
Don't expect to see him here for a short period, then move on to greener pastures.
"I've already applied for residency and my family, wife Elizabeth and son and daughter, will be out here at the end of July."
Playing career: 1986 Portsmouth. 1987-88: Cheltenham Town 37 appearances (24 goals). 1988: Derby County. 1988-90: Stockport County 70 (28). 1990-93: Southend United 115 (47). 1993-95: Everton 20 (1). 1995-96: Sunderland 10. 1996: Sheffield United 6 (2). 1996: West Bromwich Albion 3. 1996-2000: Stockport County 126 (50). 2000: Notts County 6 (5). Preston North End 15 (8). 2000-02: Walsall 61 (15). 2002: Rushden and Diamonds 5 (2). Port Vale 15 (5). 2002-03: Queens Park Rangers 13.
- The Manawatu Standard
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