Cresswell proud of Football Southland progress
Being part of modernising Football Southland's headquarters and grounds in Invercargill was an important time for outgoing administrator Ken Cresswell.
The Invercargill Licensing Trust, Community Trust of Southland and Invercargill City Council helped with funding to change the main playing field from grass to artificial turf four years ago and the construction of a new administration building a year later.
Cresswell, 55, steps down from his role as Southland football manager on May 2 and 10 days later will be Waikato-Bay of Plenty Football Federation's development manager, possibly based in Hamilton.
Being closer to his two daughters and two granddaughters in the North Island and wife Julie having family in Wellington are among reasons for the shift.
"It's also a challenge going to a bigger federation with more responsibility," Cresswell said.
"Everyone goes through a review process in life . . . and we've been looking [to move] for a while. It wasn't an easy decision. My wife and I are happy here."
Football Southland appointed Cresswell its development officer in 2005, but the role quickly grew and his title changed to football manager. He has enjoyed the variety of work at Football Southland.
"From marking out fields to attending board meetings," he said.
About 2000 people play football in Southland during the winter and 1000 take part in the summer competition. Football Southland's modern facilities helped increase the number of children playing the sport, Cresswell said.
"In 2005-06, we struggled to get kids to train. Now there are 50 to 60 training on a regular basis."
Cresswell is impressed with the 11 to 13-year-olds playing football in Southland, predicting bright futures for some. Clubs also drew praise from Cresswell.
"Southland football is in good shape. I'm really happy with the state of the clubs. People involved in clubs do a fantastic job."
Cresswell's replacement at Football Southland, John McLelland, is expected to arrive from Florida next week. He is Scottish and has coached in the United States for six or seven years.
A football enthusiast for 43 years, Cresswell played 68 games for the All Whites from 1978 to 1988.
He played in all three of the All Whites' games at the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
The All Whites lost to Scotland, USSR and Brazil.
- The Southland Times