Coaching Team

Meet the coaches nurturing and developing our Academy players throughout 2019, whilst Danny Halligan pilots the First Team’s promotion push…

Head of Coaching and Methodology: Michiel Buursma

Michiel Buursma

Christchurch United welcomed Michiel to the football club in August 2019. Michiel’s vast football experience made him the ideal fit to become the club’s Head of Coaching and Methodology which perfectly aligns with TOVO. Michiel has 13 years of coaching experience and a degree in Sports, Health and Management. He started coaching in the Netherlands, where he also coordinated the youth scouting department and the development program of a professional club. After many years coaching in the Netherlands, he started his international adventure moving to the US to coach at Houston Dutch Lions F.C. in Texas. He then studied High Performance Coaching and worked with the TOVO Academy in Barcelona before moving to the Cayman Islands.


U4-U8: Lew Gordon

Lew Gordon

Lew is one of our younger coaches at the club, aged 22, and is the Coordinator of the U10 programme. Lew has recently completed a degree in Sports Coaching at Canterbury University, in addition to gaining his NZF Junior & Youth Level 2 Licenses. Lew is now working towards achieving his Oceania C License. Alongside coaching, Lew also represents the club’s First Team as a Goalkeeper and played for Canterbury Dragons in the 2018/19 season. Graduate of the TOVO T1 & T2 coaching course in Barcelona.


U9: Elijah Capill

Elijah Capill

Elijah has been with Christchurch United for several years now and came across from Spreydon to the Christchurch Football Centre at Yaldhurst after the club’s merger. In addition to being our U9 Head Coach, Elijah also coaches the young U4-U8 players, and plays for Christchurch United Reserves. Elijah is a football fanatic and can be regularly found at the training ground developing his skills.


U10: Lew Gordon

Lew Gordon

Lew is one of our younger coaches at the club, aged 22, and is the Coordinator of the U10 programme. Lew has recently completed a degree in Sports Coaching at Canterbury University, in addition to gaining his NZF Junior & Youth Level 2 Licenses. Lew is now working towards achieving his Oceania C License. Alongside coaching, Lew also represents the club’s First Team as a Goalkeeper and played for Canterbury Dragons in the 2018/19 season. Graduate of the TOVO T1 & T2 coaching course in Barcelona.


U11: Jude Fitzpatrick

Jude Fitzpatrick

Jude has recently finished his degree in Exercise Sports Science and is now continuing his study with a teaching diploma. Jude’s footballing experience includes 5 seasons of National League with Southern United as well as various coaching roles, most recently being Head Coach of John McGlashan College’s 1st XI in Dunedin. Graduate of the TOVO T1 & T2 coaching course in Barcelona.


U12: Davend Henry

Davend Henry

Davend is without question one of the most dedicated individuals within Christchurch United Football Club. From coaching our young Academy players, to volunteering on the weekends with the club BBQ and helping on Senior match days – Davend is a massive part of CUFC running smoothly. You’ll often find Davend doing extra work with his talented sons once other training sessions have finished. Graduate of the TOVO T1 & T2 coaching course in Barcelona.


U13: Mat Boon

Mat Boon

Mat has been at CUFC for several years now and has a burning desire to continue his coaching education and experience. Like Lew, Mat is also working towards achieving his Oceania B License. Mat says “Football is a staple in our household. From the commentary of a game echoing through the house via the TV – to learning, playing, and coaching the game. Every member of the family is involved in one way or another.” Graduate of the TOVO T1 & T2 coaching course in Barcelona.


U14: Michiel Buursma

Michiel Buursma

Christchurch United welcomed Michiel to the football club in August 2019. Michiel’s vast football experience made him the ideal fit to become the club’s Head of Coaching and Methodology which perfectly aligns with TOVO. Michiel has 13 years of coaching experience and a degree in Sports, Health and Management. He started coaching in the Netherlands, where he also coordinated the youth scouting department and the development program of a professional club. After many years coaching in the Netherlands, he started his international adventure moving to the US to coach at Houston Dutch Lions F.C. in Texas. He then studied High Performance Coaching and worked with the TOVO Academy in Barcelona before moving to the Cayman Islands.


U15: Jude Fitzpatrick

Jude Fitzpatrick

Jude has recently finished his degree in Exercise Sports Science and is now continuing his study with a teaching diploma. Jude’s footballing experience includes 5 seasons of National League with Southern United as well as various coaching roles, most recently being Head Coach of John McGlashan College’s 1st XI in Dunedin. Graduate of the TOVO T1 & T2 coaching course in Barcelona.


U17: Matt Carruthers

Matt Carruthers

Matt has been a familiar face at Christchurch United over the past few years through his football boot testing days and is also regularly recognised when travelling across NZ for tournaments. Matt is now our full-time Marketing Manager, a coach for our Academy, and Danny’s right-hand-man for the First Team. Matt has incredible energy and passion for life – especially for football where he played in England’s Non-League and coached for Brighton & Hove Albion FC, now he is completing his Oceania C Licence. Graduate of the TOVO T1 & T2 coaching course in Barcelona.


First Team: Danny Halligan

Danny Halligan

Danny became our First Team Head Coach after completing five successful seasons coaching Ferrymead Bays, winning the title in 2017, as well as the English Cup in 2016. Danny initially joined the star-studded, all-conquering Christchurch United team in 1987 to win three National League titles and two Chatham Cups, before embarking on a professional career with Brisbane United in the Australian League. He returned to Christchurch United in 1993 and unexpectedly found himself in his first coaching role, while still a key player, at a tender age of 28 when legendary coach Terry Conley retired. The first two players he recruited were two school boys called Ryan Nelsen and Ben Sigmund.