Te Awamutu AFC has snagged the services of experienced football coach Richard "Hudders" Hudson for the 2022 season.
Hudson has returned from Australia after 20 years as a full-time coach on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane.
As well as coaching, he will also be director of coaching for TA AFC.
Hudson says he will help develop junior coaches and help with the junior side of the club as well.
"I do think foremost is the senior setup. It's the flagship of the club and it needs to be doing reasonably well to get everybody's interest. We need to do well and we need to show that we're serious contenders but a lot of work has to go into that with the players."
Hudson first coached Taupō where he had plenty of success over a five-year period.
"We went from the local league right through to Northern One and then I got the job with Manawatū who were in the National League before I left to venture onto Australia," he says.
"I've also coached in America and the UK."
Hudson and his wife decided to move home to New Zealand because of Covid.
It took them a year to get back and they finally got their MIQ spot in December.
"We wanted to settle in this area, we like the Cambridge and Te Awamutu area. It's a lovely place," he says.
"It's also about giving something back because football has been good to me over the years. The club at senior level have been struggling over the past two years. It needed somebody fresh to come in and brighten the place up."
Training starts Sunday, January 30 at 8.30am at Anchor Park and pre-season games have already been pencilled in for March.
"The first team and reserve team will train together as one squad of players. They will be selected from the training of that week. Its good competition at training, it develops culture and togetherness. That's what we're about," says Hudson.
"We're looking for around 32 players but everyone will be part of it and everyone will get looked at each week to make the first team."
Hudson is excited for the club to move forward and do well this year.
"As an older coach, I've got a lot of knowledge and experience to draw from. I want to pass that on as well. In the senior context, I hope that my experience helps the squad develop very quickly. We need to be at the other end of the table come the business end of the season.
"It's looking pretty good so far but there is a lot of work ahead of us."
Hudson invites anyone interested in playing or being part of the management group to get in touch with him on 021 145 3423.