Franklin United Football Club has recently appointed its new coaching team for its NRFL Senior Team for 2019.  Heading the team will be Tracy Wrigley.  Tracy, a local to Pukekohe, has been involved in coaching at a Senior Club level since 2015.  Tracy returns to the Franklin area after being involved with Papakura City Women’s NRFL Premier Division Team last season.  Prior to this she was head coach of the Pukekohe AFC Men’s First Team for three seasons.

Tracy attained her NZ Football/Oceania FC B Licence in 2015 and she is aiming for her A Licence now, which is the highest qualification in football.  She is currently the head coach for the Auckland Football Federation’s National Women League team and was in a development coaching role with the NZ U17 Women’s Team that competed in the World Cup two years ago.

When asked about her biggest influence for her coaching career, Tracy said she “has been inspired by many coaches offering new ways of thinking and doing things”; observing from a distance she has admired Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp.  Tracy enjoys following the career progress of Bev Priestman who is now Assistant Coach with the England Women’s National Team.  “At grassroots level I’ve had a lot of support from the likes of Steve Upfold when we were at Pukekohe and this has continued”.

Tracy’s biggest highlight of her coaching career to date would have to be being involved with the NZ Women’s U17s World Cup campaign in Jordan 2 years ago.

There is a lot of publicity around women in sport currently, so an appointment like this is a pivotal point for women and for the Franklin United Football Club and Tracy will most likely be the only female coaching in the Northern Region Football League in 2019.  But there has been a handful of women that have gone before her, including Hayley Stirling who was the first woman to coach at NRFL level with Warkworth and Jenny Bindon who has since coached Takapuna in NRFL before returning to coach in the US.  “Natalie Lawrence is coaching in the National Youth League with Team Wellington and holds an A Licence – she is a trail blazer for women in football showing that good coaching is good coaching.”

With three years’ experience coaching the Pukekohe Men’s First Team, Tracy knows what to expect – and she says ‘I learnt an awful lot about myself and my coaching as the players want to know that you have appropriate knowledge and have the ability to help them win.  Coaching in the women’s game has provided different learning opportunities for me.  I deliberately sought them out as you are never the finished article.  I’ve had to become better at building relationships in order to be more effective with information and teaching.  I am very much looking forward to this new challenge’

Operations Manager Jim Evans says “At Franklin United we want to keep evolving and giving our players in the Franklin area the opportunity to learn new things in their aspirations to becoming better players. Tracy is passionate about Franklin football and she has proven that she is committed to learning and developing herself. I’m really looking forward to working with Tracy and her team next season. ”