Melville Women 2019: A clearer direction and a new coach

Statement from Melville United chairman Wytse Bouma.

Late last year as chairman of Melville I attended a WaiBOP Board meeting where women’s football and the long term development and retention of players was a key focus.

As clubs it was acknowledged that we have a big part to play in the growth and success of the women’s game in our region – and that not all of us were doing that as well as others.
The message is clear: talking about change is one thing, putting meaningful actions in place is another but without them there will be no progress.

Our club has seen the phenomenal success of the Melville Academy in the last two years, with clear pathways for male youth players to become first team players.

Now the time is right to walk the talk and ensure the same clear pathways exist for our female academy youth to progress through to a first team environment.

Men’s northern league co-coaches and academy directors of Michael Mayne and Sam Wilkinson are passionate about all their players.

Mayne, who also held the head coach role for WaiBOP in the National Women’s League says “there is an opportunity to mirror some of the structures and work we have done in the male space in the past couple years”.

While this will take time to build, it does mean that the level of competition in the female space in the Waikato will hopefully improve.

Our club not only has an opportunity to grow, but also to assist the region’s greater goal of being more competitive at a national league level by focusing on providing a professionally set-up environment that allows players to prepare for higher honours.

With that in mind, Melville are excited to announce that Liam Martin will be joining the team and taking on a co-coaching role for the Melville federation team alongside Laichyn Parkinson, the incumbent coach for the past two seasons.

Liam Martin originally hails from the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto Canada. His love for coaching has seen him coach at various clubs and academies in Canada, Australia and New Zealand
Liam has a proven pedigree and involvement with players who have moved onto scholarships, pro contracts and national team appearances.

With the USSF C licence and recently completed OFC/NZF B licence, Liam says he is “excited to be working with a team of coaches who are passionate, committed and willing to challenge and bounce ideas of each other.

“The resources and facilities at Melville are fantastic and the support system will allow me to do a good job and further my development as a coach”.

Liam won the AFF/NFF conference and NRFL promotion playoff with Papakura in 2017 and was part of the Auckland Football Federation national women’s league team in both the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

He will also coach the U16 girls team within the Melville Academy set-up and work closely to bridge gaps and build pathways from academy football to first team opportunities on the female side of the club.

Last year a number of talented young footballers join the first team. While the results in the federation league did not always show what these young women were capable of, for many this was their first taste of senior football.

While a couple more experienced players would really have helped the squad, they acquitted themselves very well. Laichyn Parkinson has worked hard to help encourage a successful programme at Melville United and through his involvement in secondary schools football has created a link to encourage young talent to the Melville set up.

The overall programme will be overseen by Michael Mayne as part of his coaching portfolio with the club.

Michael’s recent experiences with the Fifa World Cup bronze medal-winning U17 team, as well as having now been part of three separate World Cup campaigns, makes him one of the most experienced coaches in the region for female footballers.

Also at Melville is goalkeeping coach Max Tommy, who worked with Halberg Awards nominee Anna Leat and WaiBOP’s Georgia Candy as part of the Uruguay U17 campaign.

With this type of coaching experience and the direction Parkinson and Martin can give the programme over the next 2-3 seasons in conjunction with Mayne, I believe we can play an important role in improving the overall experience and quality for female footballers in the WaiBOP region.

Laichyn is excited by the new challenges and looking forward to working along-side Liam to grow the women’s game at Melville and forge another successful season with the women’s first team.
At Melville we are passionate about developing all of our players and as such we encourage all women’s players to come and have a look at what is in place, starting on February 13 (Wednesday) and February 15 (Friday), 6.30pm at Gower Park.

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