The Northern Knights are delighted to announce the appointment of Justin Wenke as the club’s new TAC Cup Coach.
Wenke who turns 42 this week, will take over the role from Andrew Shakespeare who departed the club in mid-September.
“I’m really looking forward to get back involved in the pathway, in a region that has an enormous development opportunity, as well as promoting the region in a positive way.” Wenke said.
After finishing up a lengthy playing career across the EDFL, Wenke began his coaching career as the Junior Development Manager of the Yarra JFL in 2001. He continued in this role whilst doubling as the U16 Development Coach of the Oakleigh Chargers in 2005.
Wenke was then offered the top job at Oakleigh Chargers, guiding the club to the 2012 TAC Cup Premiership, before resigning due to personal reasons at the end of the 2014 season.
“I’ve learnt from my time at Oakleigh that we need to be a united team on and off field, and that engagement between all the age groups is crucial to team success in a strong Knights culture.”
Now with a break of two years from football, Wenke is committed to directing a fresh program at Preston City Oval.
“My vision for the Knights is to be recognised by our competitors to be the benchmark on and off the field and create a philosophy of long-term player development.”
“I’m hoping to implement a structured environment and a place that all our participants feel valued and cared for. That we teach the skills of the game when they come into the program and development themselves not just as footballers, but better people through elite level behaviours.”
Northern Knights Talent Manager Rhy Gieschen is pleased to have secured Wenke for the 2017 season.
“This program is about bringing in the best possible talent and I firmly believe we have done that with the appointment of Justin.” Gieschen said.
“Justin showed a really extensive knowledge of the Northern Region in the interview process. He fully understands the direction we are wanting to head and I have full confidence that he will be the man to take us forward in that direction. His knowledge of the game, desire to develop players and people, and ability to be honest and forthright in his communication will be a real asset to this program. ”
Gieschen also drew on Wenke’s previous experience at TAC Cup level.
“Justin’s experience with the Oakleigh Chargers, both from a player development and creating a winning culture perspective, will be invaluable in our quest to achieving sustained success. Oakleigh have been the benchmark of this competition for the past five years and Justin has played an integral part in setting that up. He will bring a holistic approach across all of our programs. ”
Justin will officially commence in the role on Monday, October 31st.