After a busy year, Petone FC club chairman Matt Bliss said the club is very pleased to announce the return of Besim Balicevac as head coach of the 2021 Liquid IT Men’s first team.

“After taking up the coaching duties with Paul Whitmarsh midway through the 2020 season, it’s great to have Besim back for his first full campaign as head coach.”

Supporting Besim as assistant coach will be Jeremy Field. Jeremy is no stranger to Petone, having played for the club a couple of seasons ago. He has continued playing football, more recently at Eastbourne, and has been focusing on gaining his coach qualifications, having recently gained his NZF C Licence.

Matt said that the team is also pleased to welcome back Phil Pickering as team manager.

In addition to the first team appointments, Ben Feld will once again take the reins of the Petone Reserves after assisting the team to gain promotion to Capital One. Ben will be supported by team manager, Richard Wake.

“It’s great to have the continuity of coaches for our players to help build on what they achieved last year.”

Besim and Ben have been working closely with the club’s Football Advisory Committee to sign players for the 2021 first team squad. This will include the return of Cody Brook, who is moving to Wellington from Dunedin and Sam Pickering will re-join the team from Hawkes Bay United following the conclusion of the ISPS Handa Men’s Premiership.

Ahead of changes to the Central League next year, which sees all teams required to start two U20 players in each game, the club has signed Ethan Claridge, Jack Keenan, Dylan Benson, Seth Loughran, Will Grantham and Matt Jones as part of the wider first team squad.

Besim said he’s looking forward to another season with Petone FC and is confident of adding more players to the first team squad in the new year.

Training is already underway but will ramp up from late January with the season starting in early 2021.