Meet The Team

We dressed up nice and reflected on some long lost childhood memories so that you can learn a bit more about who we are and what we're about!

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RYAN EDWARDS

Football Director and Head Coach

About Ryan

"I'm originally from Tauranga but moved down to Wellington in 2007 for university (and the weather). I’m no longer at Uni and I’ve learnt the weather is only good on those few 'good days' each year. However, I am still here 14 years later because I love the City, I love the people and I love the local sporting landscape that I now work in. I love a wide range of sports and am an avid reader."

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Arts

  • Oceania B licence

  • New Zealand Football Youth level 3 and Senior level 2

  • FIFA coach educators certificate


Experience

Ryan has been coaching football for over 15 years. He's coached ages 5 through 35 of a wide range of backgrounds and abilities. Most recently he has been the Director of Coaching at Waterside Karori for 5 years, where he led the development of the Swifts Talent Centre. His experience includes:

  • Wellington Phoenix u15 head coach (current)

  • Waterside Karori AFC (2015 - 2020)

  • Wellington Phoenix National Youth League assistant coach

  • New Zealand Football National Talent Centre coach

  • Capital Football Age Group coach (2009 - 2017)

Coaching style

I am a huge believer in developing the person first, and the athlete second. I want the young players I work with to learn transferrable life skills that set them up well for their life outside of football as much as their life in football. I believe in player-centred learning with a needs-based coaching style: players need to understand that they are ultimately the ones responsible for their development, the coach is merely an influencer. 

Playing background

I've played for a number of clubs: Tauranga City United, NRFL 2005 - 2006; Wellington Olympic, Central League 2007 - 2014; Waterside Karori - Capital Premier 2015 - 2018.

Favourite sporting memory 

Scoring a goal from half-way as a 7-year old in the final of a tournament; walking out of the tunnel as a 16 year old to play for my boyhood club (Tauranga City United); and winning the Chatham cup with Wellington Olympic a few years later. 

Lessons from sport for life

Identify what success is for you, set a goal, create a plan, and then go on your own journey to achieve it. Don’t compare yourself to others, work hard at it, be resilient to setbacks, always believe in your capacity to improve, but always make sure to have fun along the way - it is enjoyment that fuels your desire to achieve. 

Favourite quote

"You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” Will Durant.

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CRAWFORD PLENDERLEITH

Goalkeeping Guru

About Crawford

"I was born in Singapore but grew up and lived in the UK from the age of 6. I moved to NZ in 2016 with my Kiwi wife so our kids could grow up here. I quickly found KCU and have played for all but one of the teams. I have also run regular coaching for the youth and ladies 'keepers through the club since I arrived and also coached and trained with several of the senior 'keepers as well.
Between coaching, playing and my own training I don't seem to have a lot of spare time but I do love movies, music and reading."

 

Qualifications

  • NZF Goalkeeper Level 1

  • Goalkeeper Level 1, Outfield Level 1, Youth Level 1+2 (United Kingdom)


Experience

Crawford has been coaching goalkeepers since 2012 and in that time has coached 'keepers from 6 years to adults, male and female, as part of academies, semi-professional clubs and through 1on1 sessions. Several of the youth keepers he's coached have gone on to play at semi-pro clubs and two at professional clubs.

Current / former day jobs

I have been the stay at home parent to my 2 boys since they were born in 2012 and 2014. Prior to that I was in IT working as a PC engineer, Helpdesk Support and then a Sun Systems engineer at Goldman Sachs in London.

Playing background

I've played at many clubs, often having to move for work, but some of my favourites were Dereham Town, Maldon and Tiptree Athletic, Hullbridge and currently at Wellington United. I've won quite a few trophies and individual awards but the ones that stand out would have to be the Essex Senior Cup, my final season in the UK where we won the League and Cup double. Then last year winning the first ever Golden Glove and POTY at Wellington United.

Favourite sporting memory 

Seeing Kluivert score against Fulham in a 2-0 win at Craven Cottage.

Favourite sports teams

I'm a Newcastle United Fan!

Lessons from sport for life

Always try your hardest and stay positive. Try and get the most out of every situation. It doesn't guarantee you'll succeed, but it'll give you a much better chance.

Favourite quote

"You only fail when you stop trying."

"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" - Vince Lombardi

The suspense is building...  more bios are coming soon!