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Our Coaching Team
Our coaches are the foundation of clubs success. Attracting great coaches is part of Christchurch United's tradition.
To provide high quality coaching, all of our coaches are required to commit to continuous personal development by learning from our local and international partners, which include:

TOVO Academy Barcelona (educated both locally and in Barcelona) | MBP school of coaches (Barcelona) | Mainland Football (Junior, Youth Courses) | New Zealand Football (Advanced Courses) | Internal courses | Experts from around the world | Fit4Football | Double Pass (Belgium)
Michiel Buursma
Head of Coaching and Methodology
  • Bachelor in Sports, Health and Management
  • UEFA B, MBP Master in high performance coaching
  • 15 years coach experience.
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 for 6 month assignment. He then moved to Christchurch and joined Christchurch United as Head of Coaching and Methodology.

Michiel
For me football is more then just a game, it is a shared passion which I share with many people and through that connection I am giving my utmost best to help myself and others get closer to achieving goals.

When I was younger my father asked me if I wanted to help him coach and after I decided that I wanted that I have done a lot.
March 2021 NEWS

Michiel Buursma, Christchurch United
Head of Coaching and Methodology
is taking Double Pass Masterclass.
Double Pass is a Belgian company with worldwide football experts in talent development with 15-years of experience. This Master Class is designed to help gain insights into the challenges and opportunities of running an elite football academy and optimising its football technical management. Learn More
Danny Halligan
First Team Coach
  • NZF Senior C License.
  • 27 years coaching experience at senior, junior and youth levels - National League and Club.
  • Danny became our First Team 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 played as Central Midfield.
  • Hobby: watching and learning from all sports played at a high level.
Danny
I began my coaching career as a player/coach as I enjoyed the extra responsibility and the impact I could have on the team. Now that I no longer play, coaching was the natural fit for me to continue to be involved and to help players learn and develop.
Rob Sherman
Consultant
  • UEFA-Pro Coach and Consultant.
  • Prior Technical Director of both the New Zealand Football Federation and the Australian Football Federation.
  • Rob has extensive experience in Coaching at all levels allied to an in-depth understanding and proven background in Player and Coach Development, Strategic planning and Football Development within a National Association.

“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.

Joe Cole
Coach
Joe has been in many roles in sport from coach, strength and conditioning, performance analyst, data scientist and sports scientist.

He wrote the software now known as Smartabase which is the worlds leading athlete management system now used globally by professional and Olympic teams to track, manage and analyse the performance of world class athletes.

Along this journey he has worked with some of the best in the game, and uses information from best practice to help enhance the structure and delivery of the CUFC program.

Joe also coaches one of the academy teams.
Danny Halligan
First team coach
  • NZF Senior C License.
  • 27 years coaching experience at senior, junior and youth levels - National League and Club.
  • Danny became our First Team 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 played as Central Midfield.
  • Hobby: watching and learning from all sports played at a high level.

Danny:"I began my coaching career as a player/coach as I enjoyed the extra responsibility and the impact I could have on the team. Now that I no longer play, coaching was the natural fit for me to continue to be involved and to help players learn and develop."

Rob Sherman
Consultant
  • UEFA-Pro Coach and Consultant.
  • Prior Technical Director of both the New Zealand Football Federation and the Australian Football Federation.
  • Rob has extensive experience in Coaching at all levels allied to an in-depth understanding and proven background in Player and Coach Development, Strategic planning and Football Development within a National Association.

“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.

Joe Cole
Coach

Joe has been in many roles in sport from coach, strength and conditioning, performance analyst, data scientist and sports scientist.


He wrote the software now known as Smartabase which is the worlds leading athlete management system now used globally by professional and olympic teams to track, manage and analyse the performance of world class athletes.


Along this journey he has worked with some of the best in the game, and uses information from best practice to help enhance the structure and delivery of the CUFC program. Joe also coaches one of the academy teams.

Jude Fitzpatrick
Coach of U13 team
  • Bachelor of science in sport and exercise science
  • Graduate diploma in teaching and education
  • NZF Senior C license
  • NZF Youth level 2 license
  • TOVO 7 A-Side Online Coaching Course
  • TOVO T1 and T2 coaching course in Barcelona
  • 10 years coach experience
  • Played as a center back

Jude:"I decided to become a coach because I didn't have a coach giving me the environment that I enjoyed anymore. Becoming a coach allowed me to create an environment that I felt was better for both player development and fun."

Danil Kornilov
U4-U8 Head of Program & Coach of U14 team
  • Degree in Physical Education and Sports Teacher
  • NZF Junior level 3 license
  • NZF Youth level 2 license
  • TOVO 7 A-Side Online Coaching Course
  • TOVO V1 Course: TOVO Methodology
  • MBP Scouting and Game Analysis Specialist
  • Johan Cruyff Institute - Football Business Fundamentals
  • 6 years coach experience
  • Played as a center-back
  • Apart from watching football, Danil enjoys watching ice-hockey. He supports Tampa Bay Lightning who won Stanley Cup last year.

Danil:"I started coaching when I was 17. I was playing and helping the head coach as his assistant. I enjoyed it. I learnt new things and could share my knowledge with others, so it was an easy decision to get a coaching degree at university."

James McClay
U9-U12 Head of Program; U11 coach
  • TOVO V1 Course: TOVO Methodology
  • TOVO 7 A-Side Online Coaching Course
  • Central Attacking Midfielder
  • First Team player
  • James came from the North of Ireland. In New Zealand he has been lived and worked in Nelson. He played for Nelson Suburbs and Tasman United while also working in the Academy space with players from 8 - 16 years old. James also worked with the Nelson Suburbs U16 team and coached the first division team.
  • Hobbies include playing golf, darts and watching live sport

James:"Football has always been a huge part of my life and as a coach helping players to improve in a football environment is very satisfying."

Davend Henry
Coach

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.

Tony Harvey
Coach

Also known as “coach Tony" to the playing staff, Tony Harvey has been coaching since 1971 after suffering from his own footballing injuries. He gained his senior New Zealand coaching badge in 1975. He started coaching with Christchurch City in 1971 and moved from there to Christchurch United. Tony coached at a high senior level with greats of the game Terry Conley & Terry Mann from 1972/73. He moved to Western AFC in 1977 and coached them to a Southern League Championship.


He was also a Canterbury Regional coach in the 80's where he worked alongside junior talent. He also coached at St Andrews College for 23 years and worked 25 years with Sport Canterbury until retirement.


He re-joined the Christchurch Football Centre and Christchurch United in 2014 — coaching at ALL junior levels for the club.

Lew Gordon
Coach of U12 team & goalkeeper program

  • Degree in Sports Coaching of Canterbury University
  • NZF Junior Level 3 License
  • Youth Level 2 License
  • TOVO T1 & T2 coaching course
  • 6 years coach experience
  • Played as a goalkeeper
  • His hobbies are board games

Lew: "I am just happy that I'm able to have a positive impact on kids live and keep there passion for football going and growing while developing other areas and becoming a better person".

Elijah Capill
Coach

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.

Omar Ali
U10 coach
  • Studying Teaching and Sport coaching the University of Canterbury
  • NZF Junior level 1&2 licenses
  • NZF Youth level 2 license
  • TOVO 7 A-Side Online Coaching Course
  • 4 years coaching experience with CUFC
  • His position is winger / full back
  • His hobbies are football, futsal, car work

Omar: "I always wanted to give kids the best chance to achieve their footballing dreams, while also helping to keep their love for football alive. I wanted to be able to pass on my knowledge and experience to the younger player to help them become the best version of themselves".

In April'21 our coaches start
TOVO V1 Methodology Online Course
TOVO Academy from Barcelona inspires Christchurch United methodology.

The TOVO V1: Methodology course is an introduction to TOVO Training Methodology through online coursework, videos, and interactive webcasts. Following a process developed in TOVO for some of the world’s most prominent clubs, it offers the knowledge and insight critical to developing players of great vision and precision.
Learn More