All four teams in the AFL New Zealand Premiership have announced their assistant coach in preparation for the 2020 season.
Central Giants – Izaak Williams
With a new addition to the family taking priority, Izaak Williams will return to the Premiership next year as an Assistant Coach for the Central Giants.
Williams took over the Giants head coaching role in 2018 and guided the side to their first Premiership winning eight out of their nine games.
From Canterbury, Izaak has been involved with the sport in New Zealand for almost 10 years.
Williams has represented New Zealand at Under 20 level and also Canterbury at Provincial level but injuries have prevented him from being able to showcase his full potential in the playing arena.
His focus turned to coaching and in 2017 worked under New Zealand National and Central Giants head coach Rob Malone where he developed his craft.
Williams has a focus on setting up a good culture within the teams he coaches which he says sets up a solid foundation.
The 29 year old was at the helm of the New Zealand U18 side’s historic win in Australia back in 2018.
Northern Suns – James Bowden
Former New Zealand representative James Bowden will take on the role as Assistant Coach in 2020 making way for Adem Manderovic who was named as Head Coach in October this year.
The Cantabrian has been a playing assistant coach for the Central Giants before taking the reins at the Sun’s in 2019.
Bowden was the leading goal kicker for the Giants during the inaugural premiership season and played a pivotal role on the field for the development of the Giants younger squad members.
His career has seen him participate in in three International Cup campaigns including a ‘Best on Ground’ performance in New Zealand’s only victorious International Cup victory on the MCG against Papua New Guinea. National Provincial Championship victories with the Canterbury Cobras and a multitude of premierships in the CAFL with the Eastern Blues are also credits on his report card.
Southern Saints – Gregor Kempt
Wellington based Gregor Kempt will make his coaching debut in the 2020 AFL New Zealand Premiership with the Southern Saints.
He is the current head coach of the Wellington City Saints and his philosophy regarding the creation of a strong team culture will be an asset he brings to the Saints. Gregor slots into the experienced Saints outfit and his knowledge of the Wellington based players in the competition will assist head coach Andrew Congalton.
Gregor has a long history with AFL in Wellington and has previously been involved with the AFL New Zealand Academy over recent years.
Western Crows – Sean Mayes
Sean Mayes returns as Assistant Coach of the reigning Premiers in 2020.
Sean made his debut in 2019 and helped steer the Crows to their second Premiership alongside Head Coach Chris Mundell.
Currently the Coach of the North Shore Tigers in the Auckland AFL, Mayes has been involved in coaching at the Youth competition.
He will link up with new Head Coach Matt Cawley and will put plans in place to hold on to the Premiership trophy.