New development officer for Northern soccer region

NORTHERN NSW Football has appointed Rod Clarke as Football Development Officer to service the Northern Region.

Clarke spent his first week at the Northern NSW Football Head Office at Hexham and moves into a centralised location in Coffs Harbour today, from where he will service the Far North Coast, North Coast, Mid North Coast and Inland regions.

This complements support provided by Peter Haynes, servicing the Newcastle, Hunter, Lake Macquarie and Taree/Forster areas.

Clarke has been involved in coaching and development for over 20 years, covering both junior and senior football, as well as youth development and representative programs including National Championships.

Most recently he coached Tasmania's Under 15 and 17 Girls at the 2007-08 FFA Championships.

“This is a very proactive region and I couldn't have asked for a better area,” Clarke said.

“My aim will be to be as supportive as possible to all the associations to assist them in facilitating the continued growth of the game.”

Football Manager for Northern NSW Football David Smith said the position will enhance the servicing of club coaches and players in the Northern NSW area through the provision of a 'hands on' role on the ground delivering immediate access to coaching and development resources.

“Both will work co-operatively with the FFA's newly appointed Regional Participation Manager for Northern NSW, Keen Marshall, to provide resources for coaches, support staff and players,” Smith said.

  • GOLD Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg is confident of signing Socceroos midfielder Jason Culina as the A-League expansion club's inaugural marquee player but says any deal is still a long way off.

Culina, 28, is off contract with Dutch club PSV Eindhoven next June and is considering returning to Australia.

Bleiberg is taking a cautious approach to the situation but admitted he had been excited by the comment from the midfielder's father, former Sydney FC coach Branko Culina, stating that his son was serious about the potential move.

“We have to approach his club, we have to finalise a deal with him you know ... but it's good, any deal where both sides want to enter a venture it's more likely to happen,” Bleiberg said.

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