New Zealand Football is pleased to announce Hiroshi Miyazawa as the New Zealand U-20 Men’s Assistant Coach for the 2018 OFC U-19 Championship.

Miyazawa, who played for the Football Kingz for two seasons at the end of a successful professional career, coached Onehunga Sports to their first league – Cup double last year.

Head Coach Des Buckingham said Miyazawa (47) will be a great fit for the New Zealand U-20 side as they get ready for the OFC U-19 Championship from 4–18 August in Tahiti.

“Miya has worked with a lot of the current U-20 extended squad group, has a strong playing background as a professional player and has coached in New Zealand for the past 15 years,” said Buckingham.

“There are a lot of excellent coaches working around the country and I am pleased Miya will be able to add his knowledge and experiences to complement our playing and staff group as we plan for the OFC U-19 Championship early next month.”

Buckingham said Miyazawa’s record with Onehunga Sports – to be the first coach at the club to win the ISPS Handa Chatham Cup and the NRFL in 2017 – speaks for itself. Onehunga Sports are currently second on the NRFL Premier Standings and still in contention to defend their ISPS Handa Chatham Cup title, they will face Western Suburbs in the quarterfinals.

“Miya has done extremely well at domestic level, including winning the Chatham Cup in 2017 and to bring a coach of his standing into this environment will enhance our overall programme,” said Buckingham.

“It is an exciting prospect to work with the countries best young players and Miya will fit well with our current staff group to deliver high-quality sessions for this group.”

Buckingham is counting down to the OFC U-19 Championship as they look to book their place in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland next year.

It is an important tournament with the bulk of this squad not only hoping to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, but also pressing for inclusion in the NZ U-23 team who will look to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

A camp for the extended NZ U-20 training group will be staged in Auckland from 23 – 26 July. The 18-man squad will be named for the OFC Qualifiers following the camp, and the team leaves for Tahiti on 1 August.