Returning from the USA mid-way through 2019, Mark re-joined our Academy to work alongside Ben Fletcher and Christian Dawson. Having decided not to return to his overseas coaching position for 2020, Franklin United were able to acquire Mark as part of the Senior Club.
Operations Manager Jim Evans say “over the last year we have recognised the need to keep aligning our senior team activities, philosophies, culture with our academy operations and when he has been in NZ, Mark has contributed heavily to the academy. We see the appointment of Mark to our senior team as a great fit and an opportunity to progress forward with the culture change and development work started with Tracy. Mark has the necessary skills and structure to keep developing our local talent and we have some good young players looking to come of age whom are really looking forward to working with Mark.”
Mark comes to us with a wealth of experience in coaching football academies and developing pathways. He has had success as Director of Football at One Tree Hill College establishing an academy and winning back to back promotions at the school. He was Head Coach of Waitakere United in the National Youth League coming runners upon both his two seasons at the helm. Mark was also Assistant Coach at Mount Albert Grammar whilst winning the NZ Schoolboys Championship and Auckland Knockout Cup in 2012.
Putting his Bachelor of Sport degree majoring in Coaching into practice, Mark has also made his mark as a Head Coach at senior level having guided Eastern Suburbs 1st Team into the NRFL Premier League in 2014 and rebuilding Papatoetoe AFC 1st Team retaining their NRFL Division 2 status in 2015 and 2016.
Most recently Mark is coming off three successful seasons as an Assistant Coach at USA Division 1 college side Purdue Fort Wayne University. Whilst at the Indiana based school, the team created history for the most wins in an individual season in 2016 and then improving that record in 2018.
Having played and coached at a high-performance level within clubs, Mark has experience and knowledge of what is required to develop quality players and a true passion for developing Youth players. Mark will be a great asset to Franklin United as we strive to take local football to the highest level possible and bring Youth players via FUYA through the ranks into Senior NRFL teams.
The Club would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Tracy Wrigley who ably lead the First Team this season and is currently working with Waikato Bay of Plenty as the Women’s Development Officer. We wish Tracy well in her role and know that Franklin will also be a part of her as she crafted her skill in Pukekohe throughout the years.