National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland club Gold Coast United have announced a host of personnel changes for next season, headlined by the signing of vastly-experienced defender Michael Thwaite.
The personnel changes and acquisition of the experienced Thwaite come after a disappointing NPL campaign that saw the club finish tenth overall and long way off making the finals.
Thwaite is the first key signing of newly-appointed Kristian Rees, his former Gold Coast United teammate.
Thwaite first signed with United in 2009 when he joined Rees in the club’s inaugural season in the Hyundai A-League and his return is a massive boost for the club, coach and NPL Queensland in general.
Rees is a major recruit himself and has replaced outgoing head coach Sean Lane, who stepped down from his position at the conclusion of the regular season.
Speaking on the signing of veteran defender Thwaite, Rees was clearly overjoyed.
“Michael’s a massive signing. It’s a huge acknowledgement that the club is heading in the right direction,” he said.
“Michael brings great experience, he’s played all over the country and across the world. He’s a great leader and I know what he can offer on the field.”
Thwaite, who has played 13 times for the Socceroos, made over 200 appearances in the Hyundai A-League and enjoyed stints in Romania, Poland, Norway and China, will also assist his former teammate.
“Kristian and I played next to each other. He was a leader on the pitch and I’m sure his attributes will see him successful as a coach,” Thwaite said.
“It’s time to give back for both of us. We’ve both got so much excitement for the future of Gold Coast United.”
In addition to these two massive coups, the club has also appointed Rob Morris to the position of General Manager as well recruiting veteran goalkeeping coach Fernando Vaz Alves who was part of two title-winning seasons up the M1 at Brisbane Roar.
These four appointments are welcome additions as United gear up for the pre-season ahead of NPL Queensland 2019 campaign.
Words: Samuel Johnson