Southern retains three head coaches

Paul O'Reilly
Paul O'Reilly
Consistency in its coaching staff will be a boost for Southern United this season.

The club has announced it has retained three of its head coaches, with the youth one yet to be confirmed.

Paul O'Reilly will return for his fourth season with the men's side.

He will announce his coaching team - including the youth coaches - in the coming weeks.

Ignacio Sande returns as the women's head coach and will be assisted by Graeme Smaill.

Meanwhile, Darren Hart continues to lead a very successful futsal side with the help of James Coombes.

Southern CEO Chris Wright said it had not been a hard decision to re-sign the coaches.

''No, not [a hard decision] at all.

''We have a review process at the end of the season and the players were all supportive of the current coaching arrangements.

''It was just a matter of making sure the club had the right plans moving forward and the coaches were happy with the arrangements.

''We're really happy to have everyone back.''

Wright said having O'Reilly was a real coup for the region.

In the club's opinion, he was one of the best coaches in the country and had done an exceptional job in his first three seasons.

He said similar things about Hart, one of the country's highest-qualified futsal coaches, who guided Southern to a national title in 2017.

Likewise, Sande had created a great environment in his first year with the women's side last year.

The new Logan Park artificial turf would act as the club's home ground.

That would be valuable, after games were spread around five different grounds over the past two seasons.

''It's a massive positive change for the region and the club,'' Wright said.

''Having a training base that all the teams can use is a game-changer for us.

''We've had challenges with training and game-day facilities in the past and we've been really thankful for the clubs that have hosted us in the last couple of years.

''But now we've got an opportunity to make the turf at Logan Park our home and we're really excited about it.''

The club was looking at what it could do to create the best match-day experience it could.

That could include seating, food and drink, children's entertainment and a filming tower to live stream the games.

However, a clearer picture would emerge in the next month.

The women's team is the first to begin, its season kicking off on September 14.

The futsal league follows a week later, while the youth league begins on October 5 and the men's premiership on November 2.

Players have not been confirmed for the season yet, but will be announced in the coming weeks.

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