Manager of the New Zealand National Women’s Team, the Football Ferns, Tony Readings has come up against some giants of the women’s world game. Taking on the likes of the USA (#1) , China (#14) and Brazil (#6), the Ferns have performed well beyond expectations. Tony and his team have created a truely unique team culture, which seems to be the key ingredient in the Ferns’ ability to consistently produce world class results.

PDP: How would you describe the culture of the Football Ferns?

TR: The Football Ferns culture is very unique and a point of difference for the team. The togetherness, trust and respect amongst the group is special and has been formed through several years of commitment, sacrifice and dedication. The genuine willingness for people to put the team first provides benefit both on and off the pitch

PDP: Who shapes this culture?

TR: The culture is largely shaped and led by the players although every person in the group (players and staff) significantly contributes. The culture is shaped through shared values and beliefs and when these are collectively drawn upon are immensely powerful, especially as they are driven and chosen by the players.

PDP: How would you describe the environment you and you staff create for the Ferns?

TR: The staff provides leadership and direction for the team whilst at the same encouraging ownership and accountability from the players. The staff use a player centred approach providing support both on and off the pitch to help the players realise their potential. A goal of the coaching team is to gradually increase the self-accountability and responsibility of the players to make ourselves progressively unnecessary.

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Dave Wright
Dave Wright
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dave is a UEFA A licensed coach and Co-Founder of Player Development Project. He has 15 years’ coaching experience from high school first teams through to professional academy football in England, where he worked in London for both Brentford FC & Fulham FC. Dave has also worked in elite development at state level in Australia and New Zealand. Check out Dave’s eBook, Performance Soccer Coach: A Guide to Positive Player Development on Amazon.
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