Vanuatu National Super League winners Malampa Revivors FC have appointed former national team player Percy Avock as coach for the upcoming OFC Champions League.

The New Caledonia-based coach has put coaching Noumea-based club Mont Dore on hold to join the Revivors in Luganville to prepare for the side’s debut in the region’s premier international club competition in March.

Avock holds a diploma in sport and has proven himself on the international football stage as both a player and a coach. He led the Vanuatu national team at the 2012 OFC Nations Cup in Honiara, and although their campaign ended in the Group Stage, the national team battled well against the more established sides in their group. His passion for the game brought him to Santo last month to observe the Revivors, and his extensive experience attracted the side to bring him on board.

Long-serving Revivors coach and Sarakata Centenary Church elder Steve Ham will assist Avock on the sideline alongside current assistant coach Peter Jacob. The three started training the current side on 29 December with a high intensity schedule to bring the team up to speed in the short time available.

Although the OFC Champions League is fast approaching, Avock and the coaching staff plan to hold off announcing their final squad until all new recruits have joined the team in Luganville and have been given equal opportunity for selection.

“I have trust in the current team but our weaknesses must be considered important as well, and if we need to recruit we must do so sooner rather than later,” he said.

“I expect players from other member associations who were listed to join the team to start moving to Luganville before we decide on the final team”, he added.

Malampa Revivors FC have been drawn Pool C of the 2017 OFC Champion’s League with New Zealand’s Auckland City FC, Papua New Guinea’s Lae City Dwellers and Solomon Islands’ Western United.

The Revivors’ first match will be against Lae City Dwellers at Mangere Centre Park in Auckland, New Zealand, on 11 March at 1pm (local time).