Wagga United will kick off a new era under experienced coach James Samson next season.
Samson has been appointed head coach at Wagga United and will oversee the men's Pascoe Cup and Gardiner Shield squads.
Samson coached the Gardiner Shield squad this year in just his second season in Wagga and impressed so much that he has been promoted to the top job for 2022.
He replaces co-coaching pair Aaron Mo'ane and Scott Rohrich. Mo'ane has returned to Tolland as Pascoe Cup coach, while Rohrich has decided to take a step back next season.
Samson has an extensive playing and coaching background in Sydney and is excited to step up to the top job at Wagga United.
"I'm absolutely stoked. It's a fantastic opportunity for myself, to bring my experience to the club and I'm really excited to be involved," Samson said.
"When I was in Sydney I was involved in a premier league set up for over 10 years, firstly as a player, then a player and a coach, then lastly as a coach. I had experience with an NPL team as well but that was over 10 years ago now.
"I've always been involved and it's my love and passion. I still love playing but my passion is definitely coaching."
Wagga United were seventh on the Pascoe Cup table when the competition was called off this year, due to COVID, with just two wins from 13 games.
But they snared five draws, and were the only team to take a point from the undefeated Hanwood team. United's best was very good but they struggled for consistency.
Samson is not going to come in and set any major goals immediately.
"You can set the ultimate goal of winning the league or making finals but I'm very much about setting smaller goals," Samson said.
"I want us to try and achieve goals on a weekly basis. Consistent training, then take that training onto the park and try to get results."
MORE SPORT NEWS
The 31-year-old moved to Wagga a couple of years ago with his wife looking for a change from Sydney.
A primary school teacher at Sturt Public School, Samson has loved his time in Wagga already.
He sees a bright future for Wagga United and is keen to develop a lot of the talent that already exists at the club.
"We've got some good experience but also a lot of youth coming through," he said.
"I'm looking for a lot of the under 16s coming through to step up, and I'm really looking forward to working with them."
The appointment of Samson is part of a fresh look Wagga United will have in 2022, with Jarrod Bennett stepping up into the president's role, replacing Shandi Gibbons.
Bennett is confident Samson is the right man to lead the men's playing group forward.
"He coached reserves last year and did a good job so it's exciting to see him in the top job," Bennett said.
"He's very easy to get along with and his football brain is very good."
Wagga United will begin pre-season training at Duke of Kent Oval on January 16. Samson issued an open invitation for anyone to come along. He said all players will begin on an even playing field and assessed from there.
United are still looking to finalise their coaching appointments for women's grades.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.