Coach Profile - Andrew Dunn
A profile on our very own Andy Dunn which featured on the NFF facebook page recently.
Andrew Dunn has had an extensive coaching journey that has taken him all over the globe. Currently the Womens First Team coach at Norwest United Football Club, he has been involved in varying degrees with teams from Japan, Canada and New Zealand. Andrew has a true passion for coaching, developing and growing players. We had the chance to talk to Andrew about his career so far!
Could you give us a bit of a background on your coaching journey so far?
I’ve always been coaching in some capacity since I was in high school. I missed 9 months of playing when I was 17 as I had back surgery and while I was out injured I was the assistant coach for the varsity school team. It was a great way to stay connected to the game and really fostered the desire to give back and help my teammates.
It was when I was at university in Vancouver, Canada, that I really started to get into coaching. I started as an assistant coach for a under 17 girls team and then quickly progressed to coaching a number of youth teams in the then newly formed British Columbia Soccer Premier League with Fusion FC. I worked closely with the technical director there, Jason Jordan, a former Vancouver Whitecaps FC scoring legend and learnt so much about coaching the game and managing players in a high performance environment. In 2016 I became the Assistant Technical Director at Fusion FC and was able to help aspiring coaches to improve along with helping oversee programming for the players. As a coach for Fusion FC I was able to travel all over the US and Europe to tournaments and it was amazing to see our players go toe to toe with some of the best youth teams in Europe and the US.
At the end of 2018 and after 16 years I left Vancouver to move to New Zealand so I could be closer to my parents and brother and sister who have lived down here for over 15 years. I was fortunate enough to get a role coaching at Norwest United Football Cluband I have absolutely loved it since moving here. It’s been awesome to coach some amazing young players at the club and the future looks bright with a number of great young players coming through our system. Our hope for this year is to have our women's team gain promotion to the premier league and to give our younger players a real pathway to succeed at their local club.
Last year I was hugely indebted to Shane Verma who offered me the chance to coach the U16 NAGT squad and also be an assistant coach with the Northern Lights. I thoroughly enjoyed that environment, working with highly driven players and staff. I hope to be involved again in the future once a sense of normality returns!
Do you hold an official coaching licence?
I hold both a Canadian and New Zealand Football National B License. I also have a New Zealand Football Coach Educator License too which means I can help young and new coaches take their first steps on their coaching journey.
What has been the highlight of your coaching career?
Winning trophies is always nice and I’ve been lucky enough to win a few with teams that may not have been favored to do so. However the real highlight would be when a player that I’ve coached progresses on to excel at a higher level. It gives me immense joy when I see players that I’ve coached play for the u17s and u20s national teams for Canada while knowing I’ve played a role in their development. My hope is to continue that trend here and help develop players for New Zealand too. Another highlight would be seeing the value and impact that football can have. While I was in Japan I was able to be part of the coaching staff for the Japanese Homeless World Cup team. It was an amazing program that enabled people who had found themselves upon hard times a platform to start to regain control of their lives again. It really showed me how powerful and meaningful the sport of football can be.
What are some interesting facts about yourself that people might not know?
What is one piece of advice you would give to people who want to get into coaching, or are coaching their first team this year?
Back yourself and always be willing to get out of your comfort zone! Try drills you’ve never done before and if they don’t work at first don’t be afraid to tweak them on the fly. Ask questions of other experienced coaches in your club and get on as many coaching courses as possible, they really are the best way to learn. Best piece of advice given to me: whilst coaching during a game, fix one thing and the rest will follow.
What is your favourite movie and why?
Back to the Future. No explanation necessary.
Thanks Andrew for everything you do for the sport we all love!