Christchurch United players exposed to international coaching icon

Player Pathway
Christchurch United Academy players are currently enjoying the luxury of soaking up the expertise of one football’s most influential player development brains
Rob Sherman recently returned to Christchurch after stepping down as Technical Director at Football Federation Australia (FFA), and as his travel options are limited by Covid-19, he has agreed to run an eight-week programme with the Christchurch United Academy.
“We are incredibly honoured that Rob has agreed to join our Academy trainings for the coming weeks,” says Christchurch United Head of Coaching Michiel Buursma.
“You cannot underestimate the value of our coaches and players being able to learn from one of the few coaches in this part of the world with a Pro Licence.”
Sherman says he greatly admires Christchurch United’s commitment to the development of future players and people. “So having the opportunity to contribute in some small way to their Academy programme whilst back in Christchurch is something I relish,” says Sherman, who enjoyed a professional playing career in the UK, before devoting the next 20 years developing players.
He started his coaching journey at the Welsh Football Association, where he helped to mould superstars like Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale and Juventus player Aaron Ramsey.
In 2007, Sherman joined New Zealand Football as High Performance Manager and since then has held a variety of roles on both sides of the Tasman, as well as helping to guide the Canadian Women’s team as assistant coach to a bronze medal at the London Olympics.
Sherman introduced the new coaching education system to New Zealand football and worked closely with the senior men’s and women’s teams.
Club president Slava Meyn says that Sherman has been a terrific supporter of the Christchurch United vision to create the best youth development programme in the country.
“We have really appreciated his advice over the years, but now being able to host Rob at our trainings is pretty special,” says Meyn.
Sherman says that during his tenure with NZF, he got to know the work being undertaken at Christchurch United. “Their philosophy and approach was hugely in line with the club-based vision I had for the game, in particular the focus on youth development,” says Sherman.
“By creating the right environment supported by excellent pathways, Christchurch United will make a huge contribution to football in New Zealand and the lives of their young players.” Meyn hopes that Sherman will be able to continue as an advisor for the club and that his networks will help create pathways to Europe and the United States for the club’s biggest talents.