Our Coaches

Pieter in ‘t Groen

Pieter In ‘t Groen is Christchurch United’s Technical Director and Head Coach. He has a Uefa A coaching licence and a distinguished track record, developing club structures and youth academies in the Netherlands, Africa and the Middle East. He also had a successful playing career, including three seasons in the Dutch Eredivisie with RKC Waalwijk, the former club of All Whites great Ivan Vicelich. Pieter  moved to New Zealand from his last role with the Al Arabi club in Qatar where he worked as the Technical Director.  He also managed the renowned Red Bull Academy in Ghana and worked as a coach at the youth academies of Eredivisie clubs Willem II and RKC Waalwijk, as well as coaching development officer for the Dutch Football Association.


Fernando Lambert

Fernando is our latest high-profile recruit and has come up through the Brazilian and Australian coaching programmes, including stints with acclaimed clubs like Corinthians, Sao Paulo and Gremio. In recent years, the internationally licenced coach has been based in Sydney, running his own academy and was part of the Youth and Senior development at Manly United FC.  In 2017 Fernando will run part of the Christchurch United Academy and will also be responsible for the club’s first team.

Cvetan Ivanov

Cvetan, or Tsetso as he is better known, is the foundation head coach of the Christchurch Football Academy since 2014 and has played a vital role in getting the club to where is it today. He completed his UEFA A-Licence in his native Bulgaria in 2008 and has recently completed the Oceania A-Licence with New Zealand Football. Tsetso is well-known in Christchurch footballing circles since his arrival in 2006, including coaching roles with Avon United, Canterbury United, FC Twenty11, Mainland Pride and most recently with Christchurch United.

Ricardo Felitti

Ricardo is not only a terrific coach for the younger age-groups but also a qualified pre-school teacher and swimming coach, which gives him great insights on how to get the best out of our youngest talents. Ricardo grew up in Uruguay and brings his boundless Latin passion for the beautiful game to every training session. Aside from his daily coaching duties, Ricardo also runs our special events including the Christchurch International Cup.

Tony Harvey

Tony the well-respected doyen of the Christchurch United coaching staff, and our link the great past of this club. A slightly younger Tony was part of the coaching staff back when United won its first two national league titles and three Chatham Cups in the early 1970s and is back at the club after numerous management, coaching, refereeing and administrative roles around Canterbury sport.  This Leicester born man holds an Oceania B-licence and there is not much in football he hasn’t seen or done.

Mat Boon

Mat’s motto, Eat, Sleep, Football, says it all.  The South African born breathes football 24 hours a day and loves sharing that passion with his young charges. He has been coaching for the past eight seasons, initially at Nomads United, but soon joined the Christchurch Football Academy, where he has coached two very successful sides in the Mainland leagues. If Mat is not coaching, you can probably find him on the sideline anywhere a few people are kicking a ball.

Lew Gordon

Lew is one of the younger coaches on our team, and because of his tender years has a natural affinity with our young talents. In 2017, Lew will be completing his third year of a sports coaching degree at the University of Canterbury to further his coaching qualifications. He is also one of the better goalkeepers in the Mainland Premier League so provides invaluable insights for the club’s goalkeepers and runs regular clinics for budding goalkeeping starts