Hawke's Bay United franchise has confirmed Christ Greatholder and Bill Robertson as co-coaches for the 2019-20 premiership campaign.
"From their credentials, when it comes to their coaching and football on the park, I think they were as good as anyone currently on the park," board deputy chairman Andrew Huxford said last night before releasing the names to the focus group of stalwarts in a meeting at 6pm at the Havelock North FC clubrooms at Guthrie Park.
Greatholder is a former Bay United coach and Wanderers' incumbent player/coach in the Federation League and Robertson, who was a captain under the co-coach, is player/coach of defending champions Napier City Rovers in the top-tier Central League competition.
"One of the things we really focused on was the cultural aspect of the philosophy they bring and, effectively, their commitment to the region was outstanding in what they wanted to achieve as a regional entity," Huxford told the focus group.
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Greatholder and Robertson had lodged a joint application which had found traction with board chairwoman Paula Walker, former All White striker Marty Akers and Havelock North FC president Bruce Barclay on the selection panel.
The pair were among seven applicants, including seven who had thrown their hats into the ring for the Premiership job, after controversial mentor Brett Angell declined a franchise offer to reapply for the position late last month.
"To enter the national league is a significant investment, as far as, going to the community to raise sponsorship to carry out a successful campaign is concerned," Huxford said.
Walker, Napier Marist stalwart Carl Hunt and Port Hill Club counterpart Kim Matthews will conduct interviews with three applicants vying for the position of general manager next. Huxford is among the hopefuls.