Paul Holocher joins Christchurch United FC as Head of Coaches and Methodology

Club Academy
Christchurch United FC is excited to announce Paul Holocher as our new Head of Coaches and Methodology. Paul has an extensive background dedicated to player and coach development, which includes both youth, collegiate and professional clubs.

An avid student of the game, Paul has traveled extensively around the world visiting various clubs to learn different approaches to player development. Paul holds a U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) Academy Director’s and ‘A’ Coaching licenses, as well as the prestigious French Football Federation’s (FFF) Elite Coaches Formation License.

As Head of Coaches and Methodology, Paul will oversee the developmental programming and methodology throughout the club, along with Head Coaching the U20’s, working closely with all phases of development and our developmental partner TOVO academy in Barcelona, Spain.

We sat down with Paul to ask him about his new role here at the club:

On joining Christchurch United FC:
“I am incredibly honored to be joining Christchurch United as Head of Coaches and Methodology. It is a club with a strong history and an ambitious vision for the future, which I was very much drawn to and aligned with.”

On Coaching Background:
“My background is as a coach, but my passion is for youth player and coach development. The club is committed to these as priorities, and with our very special developmental partnership with TOVO Academy in Barcelona, we will be keen to develop a game model that stimulates players and coaches along the path towards the high international standards. The methodology, inspired by the legendary Johann Cruyff aims to develops players with high cognition, competence, and character, while promoting the joy of learning.”

“I enjoy development of players of all ages, from the U4-U8’s up to the U20’s. There is no greater feeling to me than to see young players grow in their insights, skills, passion, and enjoyment of the game.”

On Christchurch City and the Canterbury Region:
“Christchurch is a truly beautiful to live, and the city Centre is vibrant and alive with activity. On top of that the people have all been incredibly kind and welcoming and I appreciate it greatly. The backdrop of the hills, the beaches are near, and it is truly an outdoorsy person’s dream. My head is spinning with how gorgeous New Zealand is. I’m excited to venture out to the many beautiful places in the South Island when time allows.”

On Football in the Canterbury Region:
“There are many excellent football clubs in the region that are doing good work with the kids. Mainland Football as well has done an outstanding job in engaging the clubs and providing many resources and educational opportunities to keep developing. It is an excellent football community, and the game is growing in popularity every year. I hope to add positively to this already healthy football community.”

“The Canterbury region is not the same size as an Auckland or Wellington as for population, but there are many good examples of regions or countries without the large populations that become hotbeds for player development. Iceland is one such example. With a population of under 400,000 they have worked diligently and intelligently over the years to build their own excellent facilities, supporting coach development, and positively focus on development at the younger ages. There is no reason why the Canterbury region and the South Island cannot become a steady developer of player for the All-Whites youth national teams. All players can learn and enjoy the game at the higher levels. Our role as coaches and developers it to create an environment in which they can thrive and develop.”

On Future Developments:
“We hope to continue to build our own unique culture of development here at Christchurch United. We have a full and exciting pathway to develop and promote young players to the next levels, be it grassroots, pre-academy, youth academy, U20 and to our excellent First team. We are keen to develop future players for youth national teams, college, our first team, and beyond.”

“We have a healthy vision for the future, focused on development. This vision includes a player residency program for young and ambitious players from throughout the South Island, New Zealand, and the Oceania region. Our hope is to help many young players onto the next levels of their game. We have an excellent and caring staff and excellent club leadership that is committed to develop the game within New Zealand. I couldn’t be more excited to join the club at these special times to continue the good work that has already started.”