Team Wellington Head Coach, José Figueira, has announced that he will not be returning to the club for the upcoming season.
While not an easy decision, Figueira is confident the club can continue their success.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Team Wellington – it’s a special environment to be a part of; the players, the staff, our partners and sponsors, supporters and all those connected with the club,” he said.
“Team Wellington has a strong culture both on and off the pitch and it’s one that makes this club so unique.
“During my three seasons with the club, it’s been great to see players develop and move on to other leagues, professional contracts and representing their country. That kind of progression is a true testament to the work ethic of the team and all that goes on behind the scenes,” Figueira added.
Figueira joined Team Wellington in 2016 and went on to manage the team in over 80 games across all competitions, including the ISPS Handa Premiership title for the 2016/17 season, an OFC Champions League title in 2018 and Team Wellington’s first FIFA Club World Cup appearance later that same year.
Club Chairman, Peter Chote, praised Figueira for his contribution to the club and the impact he has made on and off the field.
“Jose has certainly made a huge impression on the club.
“Not only his dedication to developing young players, but his playing philosophy and clear vision has enabled the club to achieve some fantastic honours during his time.”
Figueira said that after much thought and reflection, the time was right to move on to the next chapter of his career and life.
“I’ve experienced a lot during my career as a coach but to win the OFC Champions League Final in 2018 and qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup is something I will never forget.
“It was a special moment to help lead the club to their first ever FIFA Club World Cup appearance and the performance by the team in that match, coming so close, is one I am so proud of.
“Balancing the demands of football, both domestically and internationally with being involved in the New Zealand set up, while having a young and growing family is always challenging.
“There never really feels like a right time to leave, but I leave with so many great memories.
“I would like to thank everyone in our Team Wellington community. The players and staff who have become like family and our incredible supporters that have shared the journey with us, even some travelling around the world, have made a lasting impression.”
Chote said while Figueira will be missed, it gives the club an opportunity to start the new season with a fresh outlook.
“It’s an end of an era for Team Wellington with his departure but an exciting time for the club to rebuild in the upcoming season.
“I would like to thank José for everything he has done during his tenure, and on behalf of the club, partners, sponsors, and supporters wish him and his family, all the very best for the future.”
José Figueira will continue to focus on his New Zealand Football roles, including the New Zealand U-17s as they prepare for the FIFA U-17 World Cup later this year.