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Greytown FC aiming high

New Greytown coach Nikali Finlay, left, and club president Tim Stevenson. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

FOOTBALL

Greytown Football Club are setting lofty goals with the appointment of promising young new coach Nikali Finlay.

After a 2020 season where the club’s top men’s team ran away with the Wairarapa local league first division, Greytown are stepping up to Capital division four to provide better development opportunities for their players.

Former Northern League player Finlay will coach the team, replacing Phil Keinzley, who has returned to Wairarapa United to coach the club’s Central League team. He will also assist with the club’s reserve team in his role as club coach.

Greytown FC president Tim Stevenson said Finlay’s appointment was the first step in aiming for more competition.

“Nik has been a long-term prospect for the club. After learning that he was moving to Wairarapa, we quickly moved to secure him as a player with a view to signing him on as a coach.

“ Now that he is settled into the area, we are thrilled to have him on board leading the club,” he said.

Although only 27 years old, Finlay has a wealth of playing experience with Hamilton clubs – Melville United and Claudelands Rovers in the Northern League.

He also represented his school, St Peters College, in Argentina against some of that country’s top sides before stints with local league clubs West Hamilton United and Unicol.

Despite his young age Finlay, who holds a NZ Football level one coaching licence, has always been interested in coaching and developing young players.

“When Tim asked me the questions about coaching, I believed it was the right time for me to step back from playing and put the coaching boots on,” he said.

“I believe taking that plunge in the Wellington’s capital leagues is a massive step for the club in every way.

“It creates more opportunities for the community to play football in competitive leagues, and it gives the ability to grow as a club and strive to become a dominant club within Wairarapa.”

Finlay will still play for Greytown in addition to his coaching.

Finlay and Stevenson have big goals for Greytown, with both wanting the club to progress quickly through the grades.

“Within five years, I see the club playing in Capital Premier with the potential of having our reserves in one of the other capital leagues,” Finlay said.

“A strong development structure within the club also helps, having Under-17s and 19s competing over the hill.”

The immediate priority for Greytown is the addition of a women’s team, for the first time, to play in Wairarapa’s women’s league.

Finlay would also like to have the men’s first team get to the last 32 of the country’s biggest and oldest competitions, the Chatham Cup.

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