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At Eastern Suburbs AFC, we pride ourselves on conducting training programmes in a safe, secure, and coach/player friendly environment.
Our professional coaches will strive to ensure each player enjoys their football experience. All coaches and players will participate under the premise of respect for others and themselves.
"ESAFC coaches adopt a person first approach and provide challenge and support in equal measure through creating safe, positive, learning environments that enable players to fall and stay in love with the game.
They provide age and stage appropriate holistic development with a focus on creating resilient, self-responsible, curious and creative players.
Our coaches role model the expected behaviours and standards and focus on individual long-term development in order for players to realise their potential both on and off the pitch."
Darren Bazeley is our newly appointed Technical Director, tasked with overseeing both player and staff development across the club. Darren has recently returned to New Zealand following successful stints at both the Colorado Rapids in America, and the A-League club Newcastle Jets. He has now been appointed as both the All Whites Assistant Coach, and NZ U20s Head Coach, working closely with previous DOF Danny Hay. Darren brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the club as we look to continue to develop our player and coach development pathways.
Hoani is our Director of Youth Football at Eastern Suburbs, and newly appointed ISPS Handa National League Head Coach. Hoani has a long domestic playing career in New Zealand with over 500 senior competitive matches (100 of which were for Eastern Suburbs AFC Premier Men’s team). Prior to that, he represented NZ at age group level, playing for both the U17’s and U20’s. Through this experience, he has come to understand the sacrifice, commitment, and hard work that it takes to play football to the highest level. Hoani has since forged a pathway in coaching that has seen him cover all levels of the game, most notably the ESAFC Premier Men’s team and our National Youth League team. He also covers a range of grades within our Youth programme.
Michael Built is our Director of Junior Football, after making the shift to Eastern Suburbs AFC following a respected coach & playing career with the Hamilton Wanderers. As a coach, Michael took over the Head Coach role of the Hamilton Wanderers NRFL side in the late 2017 season, guiding them to safety when they looked destined for relegation. He also led them to a well-fought National Youth League title before relocating to Auckland. Prior to this, Michael gained professional coaching experience from Northampton Town & Bedford Town in England. As a player, Michael has a strong role within our NRFL and Premier League sides, as well as having represented New Zealand in the 2009 U17 World Cup and 2011 U20 World Cup. Michael currently oversees our 17th & 19th grade boys programmes.
Stephen is our Director of Girls & Women's Football, after shifting to Eastern Suburbs for the 2019/20 National League season as a player from rival team Canterbury Dragons. Stephen comes from a strong playing career which started with hometown club Barnsley and led him through several stints in the New Zealand National League and Canadian Premier League. Alongside this he also brings a wealth of coaching knowledge and a passion for community football, having led Nomads United to be the first NZF Skill Centre accredited club in the country. Stephen is currently our club Community Officer and Senior Women’s Programme coach.
Roy joined Eastern Suburbs in 2015 with the bulk of his experience from a player’s perspective, following a professional career spanning 5 years on Indian home soil. Roy is a current member of our NRFL Premier Men’s squad, and began coaching to supplement his career in the strength & conditioning industry. Because of this background, Roy has a strong knowledge of individual player development and is working hard to coach his players at the highest level. Roy currently has the unique opportunity to view players at both ends of our Player Development Programme, taking a lead role in 9th and 15th grade boys.
Christian is new to the club and holds a starting spot in our ISPS National League team, coming to us from Chatham Cup Champions Birkenhead United. As a coach Christian is committed to developing young players and has fit well into the coaching ranks under experienced Hoani Edwards. He is currently in his final year of a degree in Sport and Recreation at university, and aims to make his mark in the player development scene in the coming years.
Michael is a new coach to the club and brings with him a passion and attitude like no other. He is enthusiastic and has a real love for the game - something which is clearly evident in his sessions with the players. Having come to us from Sacred Heart 1st XI as a player, and then the Coerver Academy via Papakura FC as a coach, Michael has a great knowledge on building skill and technical ability in his players. He sees his players not just as athletes, but also as developing young people, and is intent on improving their ability to tackle life both on and off the pitch. Michael is currently working with our 12th grade boys.
Zach is one of our longest standing junior club members and began playing at Eastern Suburbs at the young age of four. Since then his passion for football has grown into an aspiration for career, having played through the grades and begun coaching at age twelve. Following an unfortunate run of injuries Zach was forced to give up his dreams as a player and focus his abilities on becoming the most supportive and knowledgeable coach he can be, with the intentions of growing his players in to strong and successful individuals. Zach has taken on a versatile role within our age groups, working with 9th and 15th grade boys.
Jaiden van der Heijden
Recently back from Scholarship in the United States, Jaiden has returned to Suburbs as he looks to start his career in the football industry. Jaiden is another prominent men’s player, having competed in both our National League and NRFL Premier Men’s teams in previous years. Paired with his role as an elite sports consultant for university scholarships and overseas contracts, Jaiden is a real asset to our coaching ranks. He has a strong passion for all things football and is committed to doing everything he can to help players achieve the level they aspire to. Jaiden is currently working with our 10th and 13th grade boys.
Tayla has a true passion for football and has played since age 5. This journey has taken her to two U20 World Cups where she represented New Zealand with distinction. Taking a break from our NRFL Women’s Premier side and her FFDP commitments, Tayla has dedicated the past season to furthering her aspirations as a coach – aiming to pass on her knowledge and experience to young female players looking to follow in her footsteps. Tayla is another one of our inspirational young role models, looking to develop her abilities as a coach and impart her wisdom on the future generation of Lilywhites. She is currently working with our 11th and 16th Grade Girls.
Darcey began as a development coach in 2015 under the mentorship of Juan Roman, and has an obvious passion and ability as a coach. Darcey has played at Eastern Suburbs right from age 6, where she has made the top team in each age group and is now firmly fixed in our Senior Women’s Development squad. Darcey also has a role in the Epsom Girls Grammar A team, taking out Golden Boot in 2017 and the ESAFC Golden Boot in 2018. Darcey enjoys spending time out on the pitch, be it playing, coaching, or even grabbing a whistle, and her passion is evident in the way that she interacts with her players. This season Darcey is working with a range of age groups, including 10th and 16th Grade Girls.
Tyler is new to the Eastern Suburbs coaching ranks having recently joined us as a player during the 2019/20 National League season. As an Ole Academy graduate and ex-professional player, Tyler brings to us a wealth of knowledge and experience in the game. He has a passion for all things football and is excited to be able to share his passion with the next generation of young Lilywhites. Tyler is currently working with our 12th and 17th grade boys groups, and is looking to increase his formal coaching education to supplement his firm position our starting XI.
Olivia started her coaching journey last year after playing with Suburbs for 7 years. As she is still young, Olivia has big playing dreams as she looks to train hard and play at the highest level available to her. Since starting her coaching however, she is keen to develop a balance of her own football and her time developing new players coming through. Olivia has already had a number of exciting football achievements, including playing for the AFF Weir Rose Bowl winning team, being named as Captain and MVP for her AFF futsal age group team, and competing in year 9 for the Baradene Premier Futsal team. This season Olivia will be working with 9th and 12th grade girls programmes.
As one of our younger player-coaches, Jake came to Suburbs in 2017 following an upbringing at rival club Onehunga Sports. Jake made the move to Suburbs to play Senior level football, and quickly became a regular starter in teams such as our National Youth League squad and NRFL Premier Men’s. Jake is working hard to balance his commitments as a player and coach, whilst being a senior at Sacred Heart College, and is determined to contribute to the development of our junior players. Jake is currently coaching our 10th grade boys and 13th grade girls groups.
Julia is another long-standing Lilywhite who has been playing with Eastern Suburbs since the age of 8. Julia has been playing AFF football for the club since 12th grade and is now a strong member of our U16 Girls Premier squad. She also plays for Baradene College, living and breathing her favourite sport. Having recently completed her Junior Level 1 coaching course, Julia has found a new passion in her coaching. She is currently working with our 7th-9th grade Skill Builders programme, as well as our 11th grade girls, and is keen to share her passion with the next generation of Lilywhites.
As an up-and-coming and long-standing Lilywhite, this is Arya’s first season in the coaching ranks. Currently working with our aged 4-6 Kick Starters, Arya is looking to give back to the Eastern Suburbs community by encouraging our next generation of young players to fall in love with Football. Arya currently holds a starting role in our U16 Girls Premier team, as well as the Diocesan first XI team. She has also represented AFF twice at the National Age Group tournament – winning the 2019 competition and being named in the tournament team. Arya has a real passion for football and is keen to pass on the knowledge and experience she is developing on to her young players. Arya is working with our 9th grade girls this season.
Sunz is our resident Strength & Conditioning (S&C) coach, working with players from 7th grade right up to our National League and NRFL Premier squads. Sunz is a well-recognised name in his field, and has come to contribute to many high-achievers in a number of sports. His passion for football sees him work with a number of New Zealand All Whites and Ferns, as well as international players who have sought him out specifically. Sunz has a clear passion for knowledge and is always seeking to increase his understanding of the way the human body can be developed. This is clear in his sessions, especially when dedicated to individual players and the ways that they can reach their sporting dreams through his programmes.