Home grown coaching talent Chris Mundell has been announced as the new National Head Coach of the New Zealand AFL team through to the 2020 International Cup.
Chris takes over the position from Rob Malone who vacated the role after steering New Zealand to the 2017 International Cup Grand Final in August last year.
He has spent the past three years as NZ assistant coach under Malone along with his role as head coach of the New Zealand Under 18 side from 2015-2017.
With over eight years of professional coaching experience, Chris Mundell has become a prominent figure within New Zealand’s AFL landscape.
Initially entering into the AFL New Zealand High Performance Programme in an assistant coaching capacity, Chris has progressed to take on the head coaching role for the New Zealand Under 18 team, the Auckland Buccaneers at a National Provincial level and Auckland AFL coach with the University Blues.
Mundell was the head coach of the Northern Suns during the inaugural AFL New Zealand Premiership before moving to the Western Crows in 2017.
The 32 year old Aucklander was excited by attaining the top job.
“It’s obviously a huge honor and a privilege to be named as the senior coach, having learned the game here and being a born and bred Kiwi it is a great feeling to lead our national team.
Having been involved in the NZ system since 2010 first as a player and then moving into the coaching world, it’s great to be able to add my chapter to the development of the game in this country.
Following in the footsteps of such great coaches as Rob Malone, Justin Davies and Andrew Congalton highlight’s how big the shoes are to fill and to be trusted with the growth of the team is a huge responsibility and challenge that I look forward to.”
Mundell hopes to implement a coaching style centred on creating a good culture around development.
“My coaching style is very much about creating a culture and environment that breeds learning and development and as a result success. Creating standards, values and beliefs and ensuring we live up to them is vital to creating this environment.
It’s important to me that each player is being stretched to test themselves both mentally and physically and that they feel comfortable being uncomfortable.”
I feel that the game style and approach to footy that we have brought in over the last International Cup campaign has a lot of merit to the way we want to play, so I don’t see it changing dramatically in the short term.
There are elements we as a country need to improve on and continue to develop in order to be competitive on the world stage and that is my challenge.”
In a playing capacity Chris has represented New Zealand at the 2011 and 2014 International Cups as well campaigns against the AFL Academy.