Owain Prosser had barely got his feet under the desk at the OFC office before the national lockdown in New Zealand due to coronavirus was enforced.
Having recently joined OFC as the Head of Education and High Performance, Prosser is using the lockdown to review current high performance and education programmes, while supporting OFC’s Member Associations to be prepared for when things return to normal.
The 38-year-old came to OFC following seven years at New Zealand Football where he worked in the Football Development Team as the Coach Development Manager.
He has enjoyed his time in this part of the world after relocating from England where he worked extensively in football development for organisations including The Football Association and the English Premier League.
Part of his time with New Zealand Football was spent in the grassroots side of the game, helping to provide pathways and opportunities for players aged between 4 and 19.
But he also got plenty of experience in the high-performance aspect, attending a number of FIFA tournaments.
Prosser went to women’s youth World Cups in 2014, 2016 and 2018 with various New Zealand U-17 and U-20 teams as an assistant coach.
He was also an assistant coach for New Zealand’s Football Ferns at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
He obtained a UEFA A coaching licence in 2018 and received his OFC A licence in 2016.
Having had the opportunity to be involved in tournaments at the top level, Prosser said one of the key aspects of his role at OFC was using that experience to ensure teams from Oceania were equipped to perform on the global stage.
“I think my role in that is to help support the Member Associations to provide aligned, high quality coach and player development pathways to support everyone involved in football to be the best versions of themselves,” Prosser explained.
“That will mean different things for different Member Associations,” he added.
Prosser pointed to the third-place effort of the New Zealanders at the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup as an example of what can be done by teams from our region.
The New Zealand men’s team also reached the Round of 16 at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.
“Winning matches at World Cups is now achievable for teams from OFC.”
Prosser has experience in the Pacific having conducted FIFA coaching courses throughout Oceania in recent years.
“It’s a massive pleasure and a privilege to be able to work in football, first and foremost, but also in this region of the world, and if you’d told me 10 years ago that I’d be having the opportunity to work in a sport that I love in beautiful countries with fantastic people, I would have really jumped at the opportunity. I’m really keen to ensure that I make a mark here.”
Prosser’s appointment completes the revamped football department for OFC led by Patrick Jacquemet who is the Chief of the Football Development Division.
Melissa Palombi is the Head of Social Responsibility, Paul Toohey is the Acting Head of Football Development, Kevin Stoltenkamp is the Head of Refereeing, and Prosser is the Head of Education and High Performance.