As the countdown to the 2020 season continues, National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland, National Premier Leagues Women’s (NPLW) Queensland and Football Queensland Premier League (FQPL) clubs are making changes to both their player and coaching rosters; let’s take a look at three key coaching appointments that have already been announced.
NPL Queensland’s Moreton Bay United have re-signed former player/coach Royce Brownlie as first team coach ahead of the 2020 season.
A foundation player and captain of Moreton Bay United who still considers the club ‘home’, Brownlie scored 72 goals in his four seasons for the club before stepping down at the end of the 2016 season.
A former Queensland Roar, Swindon Town and Wellington Phoenix player, Brownlie spent last season as a player/coach of Logan Lightning and said he was returning to Moreton Bay United to bring them back to the top.
“The challenge of trying to restore Moreton Bay back to its former glory when we won the league is something that excites me,” Brownlie said.
“We’re recruiting well, and the boys we’ve brought in, I think there will be a couple in there that will be a surprise package in the league this year.”
Although Brownlie dreams of NPL Queensland glory, he admits success may not be instant.
“You want to achieve as high as you can, but to be honest this year will be a building year for the club. We’ve kept most of the core players from last year and if we build on that and finish mid-table I’ll think we’ve done well,” he said.
Brownlie hopes his attacking philosophy will create a brand of football that will bring excitement to the league.
“We’ve started back two weeks now and it’s all about playing positive football. We want to play an attacking style of football and a different system to what the majority of the league is playing now,” Brownlie said.
The respected coach brings with him to Moreton Bay former A-League player and Logan Lightning teammate Richard Greer, who will be Brownlie’s number two and also take charge of Jets’ Under 20 team next season.
“Richard is the perfect right-hand man. He communicates well and leads by example, he’s a true professional and we have a very good and honest relationship with each other,” Brownlie said.
Another key coach signing ahead of the 2020 season is Skie Hanifin, who has made the transition from NPLW Queensland’s Moreton Bay United to league competitors Capalaba FC for the upcoming season.
Hanifin guided Moreton Bay United to a second place league finish this year and an appearance in the 2019 NPLW Grand Final.
With over seven years’ experience in the women’s game, Hanifin believes Capalaba FC, who finished the 2019 season in fifth position, have the right foundation in place to capitalise on the continuing growth of women’s football in Queensland.
“Capalaba jumped out at me with their clear structure and willingness to succeed in this competition,” Hanifin told Capalaba FC media.
“They have had a wonderful women’s program for many, many years and I aim to strengthen the program even further.”
Hanifin insists Capalaba have the basis of a squad that can achieve a regular top four position for years to come.
“The foundations are clearly already there, so there is not much tweaking that needs to happen, only hard work and a clear pathway moving forward,” Hanifin said.
“I am also relishing the chance to work with their juniors and continue the good development work that has already commenced.”
Queensland competitions will also welcome coaching talent from interstate, with the signing of Rick Coghlan at Logan Lightning.
After leading Tasmanian side Devonport Strikers to the NPL Championship in 2019, Rick Coghlan takes the reigns at FQPL side Logan Lightning for the upcoming 2020 season.
The NPL Tasmania Coach of the Year, who has also previously held positions at Gold Coast United and Central Coast Mariners, made the decision to return to Queensland to be closer to family and friends.
Moving from NPL Tasmania to the FQPL, Coghlan said he is relishing the opportunity to take Logan Lightning to the next level.
“I think the league itself and the clubs within it are perfectly positioned to push on and hopefully gain exposure and promotion into the NPL. There is a lot of ambition from clubs to gain promotion so it’s an exciting time to be a part of this league,” Coghlan said.
Coghlan’s former side Devonport City boasted a great defensive record, conceding only 23 goals in 24 games last season. However, he insists his game plan is to take the game to the opposition.
“I’m heavily invested in possession football and trying to dominate games, be on the front foot and take the initiative,” Coghlan said.
“Our football will hopefully be pleasant on the eye to watch, and hopefully we can back up some of the success that I had last year down in Tasmania.”
Coghlan admitted he will set high standards for himself and his team, also praising the ambition of the club and the signings already locked in for next season.
“We’re recruiting very well. We’re implementing a structure that aims to compete and fight at the top end of the table and that’s the bar we set,” Coghlan said.
Words: Darren Newell