Summer Update - Waikato Unicol AFC

After a lacklustre performance in 2015, the new committee is looking to introduce initiatives that will drive the club forward in addition building on some the thoughts and intentions of the previous year.  As a result of the first meeting in November, there has been a re-alignment of the 2016 Strategy to better drive actions rather than just having words on paper.  The new strategy has 3 areas of development, under which the committee will create business plans (A3, Balanced Scorecard and 90 day plans):

  1. Creating Development Pathways

  2. Player Engagement and Retention

  3. Club Quality Mark

Creating Development Pathways

We will look to engage with Hillcrest High School and St Johns to create development pathways.  While these relationships are part of the clubs’ objectives overall, it will also become an opportunity to encourage junior girls, in particular, into a Development B Division side.  Having players with this sort of potential will allow the club to build quickly to regain a place in the Northern League, while also bridging the gap between High School football and senior level football.

Player Engagement and Retention

We are looking to offer more support to Coaches, Managers and team Captains.  We have already engaged in the action of writing a club code of conduct, which covers players, coaches and supporters, as well as defining the club protocols.  These set out clearly the expectations of the club to and for club members, providing a sounder and more professional base with which to run the club.  If we are to attract and retain quality players, we must offer them a more engaging platform.

Club Quality Mark

The Quality Club Mark is a New Zealand Football wide initiative aimed at promoting continuous improvement in the way football is delivered and supporting clubs as they adopt standards of best practice.  In 2016, Unicol will work towards the 1 Star Developing club criteria as follows:

  • Club administration and leadership,

  • Planning and finance,

  • Compliance,

  • Volunteers and

  • Equal opportunities, which encompasses the following Whole of Football areas;

    • Player development,

    • Coach development,

    • Girl’s and women’s development,

    • Referee development and

    • Community programmes.

Prior to Christmas our Director of Coaching Hayden Jones was busy recruiting for this year.  Currently we have signed up a new coach for the Women’s premier squad as well as what will be our Development/Reserve team, we have also lined up Men’s Premier and Premier Reserve coaches and once contracts are signed we will co-ordinate some pre-season training. 

A new coaching set up, coupled with the Player Code of Conduct, and Club Protocols is the strongest indication the club can give that it is stepping up to the challenge of providing a higher level of football for Waikato Unicol players. 

Of particular concern has been the lack of depth on the women’s side of the club, especially with having players able and willing to step up to the rigours of Premier team football.  Working to a similar plan that Hamilton Wanderers initiated to gain entry into the Women’s Northern League, we will be investing the time and effort into those players who understand what the club is trying to achieve, who have the obvious skills and temperament, or the potential to improve, to play at the highest level.

Robin Slade

Waikato Unicol AFC President

Posted on January 7, 2016 .