Wollongong Wolves Football Club, have continued their aggressive off season build up, announcing the addition of former Hull City professional, player and coach, Neil Mann to their coaching team.
Neil played 209 games for the famous black and whites in a remarkable career spanning almost 10 years, and transitioned into the coaching ranks at Hull on his retirement for a further 10 years, holding the roles of Youth Recruitment Officer, Centre of Excellence Manager, Professional Development Phase Coach and Head of Academy Coaching.
“Football has been a huge part of my life and I was fortunate once my career on the field ended I was able to continue and stay involved through the coaching ranks. Guiding the next generation of players and being able to pass on some of my experience and knowledge has been thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding.” Neil said.
In 2013, Neil, wife Lucy and children Callum and Maisie, emigrated to Australia where he continued his coaching career as the Program Manager/Development Manager at Bossley Park High School. With Neil’s expertise and experience coupled with his qualification as UEFA class A coaching licence, Sydney FC swooped and appointed him head coach for their under 18s for the 2015/2016 season.
“Coming to Australia and being able to continue coaching and remain heavily involved in football has worked out really well. Australia is now home for me and my family and I’m very excited about assisting wherever I can in the development and growth of football here”
Wolves First Grade Coach, Jacob Timpano, approached Neil about the possibility of adding him to the coaching team “I contacted Neil as someone of his pedigree and quality adds significant value wherever he coaches. We talked about quite a few things and he was very keen to become part of our coaching team, pass on his guidance to our senior squad and also mentor myself individually and assist all our other coaches in their growth and development. We couldn’t have asked for a more well credentialed or passionate appointment than Neil. On the field we have already strengthened our squad considerably. Off the field, with Neil’s appointment, we now have a new set of ideas and structures, developed from one of the strongest leagues in the world, which we can integrate into our systems and philosophies.”
While a significant part of Neil’s initial engagement will be focused around providing Jacob with advice and support, and overseeing the roll out of the football program for all senior coaches, Neil will also be involved in the entire football coaching operations of the Wollongong Wolves with his role expanding over time to take in the juniors and junior coaches and also assist in best practice and development programs for SAP players and SAP coaches.
Neil has been heavily involved in coaching across all age groups and levels and offers an insight into his philosophies with the observation
“Players, regardless of age or standard must never forget they play the game because they love the game. This is the cornerstone of any program or initiative you roll out. The more you love the game, the more you will improve and progress. Football provides many valuable life lessons and if you play the game for any reasons other than love and passion, then you are missing out on the most important aspects of a long and successful career.
I was really excited about the opportunities here at the Wolves as the new management has a clear vision of building better footballers through building better people, and that resonates with me greatly. It was easy to jump on board and continue my career here at a club which is no doubt on the way up and going places.”
Wollongong Wolves Director of Football, Dean Merola, part of the new management structure at the club noted,
“Neil was our number one target off the field and adding him to our team is one of the most important signings we have made in a long, long time. He will be able to be the perfect sounding board for Jacob and mentor him and challenge him to assist in turning our squad into a serious threat to whoever we come up against. The ability of us to attract someone like Neil into our fold shows great promise for not only the upcoming season but for some major achievements and highlights beyond.”
-Wollongong Wolves Press Release