Rathkeale College first XI coach, Steve Coleman. PHOTO/JAKE BELESKI

By Jake Beleski

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Rathkeale College sports coordinator and first XI football coach, Steve Coleman, will be representing the school on an international stage in his new role.

Coleman found out last week he had been appointed head coach of the New Zealand secondary schools boys’ football team, after a long process.

But he nearly missed out on the opportunity altogether.

“I nearly missed the cut-off date but a friend of mine rang and said they were looking for somebody, and that I might fit the build.

“I went through the process and was told I would hear back at the end of April.”

Last Thursday he met with two New Zealand Football representatives in Wellington, before being offered the position the following day.

Coleman was already coaching Lower Hutt City AFC in the Central League, but was happy to add yet another role to his growing resume.

“I actually applied for the girls’ role last year, to throw my name in the hat,” he said.

“I think the important thing for me is that currently in the age group set-up with the national stuff, all the coaches have been through this pathway.”

The secondary schools side goes on tour every second year, and Coleman will be in charge when they head to the USA about this time next year.

Before then, he will be busy collating applications, as well as viewing as much footage of potential recruits as possible.

“With the Under-20 World Cup and Under-17 World Cup both being held this year, we’re probably looking at the next level down from that.

“Whether they come from Invercargill, Auckland or wherever else they might be from.”

Coleman, originally from Hertfordshire in England but now in his 10th year in New Zealand and sixth year at Rathkeale College, was quick to praise the school’s first XI for helping him get to this point.

“Without them getting to where they’ve got to, people wouldn’t know where I’m from.

“They deserve as much credit as me for their role in the whole thing.”

With wife Melinda Coleman currently training for the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge, he said it was a busy time in the Coleman household.



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