New Melville coaching line-up announced

Melville have pepped up their coaching ranks in preparation for the 2021 season.

Michael Mayne – senior co-coach from 2017-19 – returns as Head of Youth Development and reserve team coach, while former northern premier league title-winning coach Shane Knowles has been appointed assistant coach to the first team.

Tony Govorko has been promoted to head of Melville academy goalkeeping in what is a conscious effort to do more detailed work with young goalkeepers in the 12-17 year-old range.

Asa result Neil Mouncher, a former Melville first team keeper some may have heard of, will return to assist the goalkeeping coaching at first team level.

Sam Wilkinson has taken on the role as the club’s technical director as well as being first team head coach.

Mayne had previously been Melville first team co-coach with Wilkinson from 2017-19, and is currently also serving as assistant coach to the New Zealand U-20 men’s team and the New Zealand U-17 women’s team.

Mayne said the new coaching configuration would give a better spread of expertise across the whole club.

“The plan is to make sure we have got enough cover for the whole club rather than just the top end,” he said.

“With the roles I have got at New Zealand Football at the moment it makes a bit more sense to work in the youth space and try to grow the academy and the pathway through to the first team.”

Knowles was briefly aligned with Melville as a national league squad player in 1997-98, and for many years was most respected as a formidable coaching rival.

Knowles began his senior coaching career while still playing with Eastern Suburbs in 1998, taking them to promotion from northern league Div 2.

He later won northern league Div 1 with Lynn-Avon in 2007 (pipping also-promoted Melville by 6 points – then twice won the northern premier league with Bay Olympic in 2011 and 2012, while also taking them to the Chatham cup final in 2010. He also served a number of years as director of football for Bay Olympic .

Knowles is currently director of football at St Peter’s School in Cambridge and Wilkinson said it was “a no-brainer” to ask him to come on board.

“He’s been a good informal help to me this year with (son) Joe being in and around the first team,” Wilkinson said.

“Shane’s been around a lot of the trainings so I asked him to come in and help out.

“He knows the players and has been very supportive and brings great pedigree from his northern league title wins. He knows what it takes to win.

Wilkinson said the dynamics were good between the pair.

“Shane will be a good foil, and a calm head and is comfortable dealing with senior players.

“It’s a different set of eyes and a different voice from me, which is always useful.”

Wilkinson acknowledged there could also be contrasts.

“It’s probably a good thing if there is a contrast in style. Also Shane makes me look a little bit younger and a little bit fitter, so….”

Knowles said for him the job was all about “mentoring and putting something back in”.

“I want to be involved in the senior environment,” he said. “School football is all about development, but at senior level it is all about winning, so having a role at Melville makes it a perfect combination.”

# Wayne Bates has been elected Melville’s president for 2021, replacing Wytse Bouma, who remains on the committee.

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