NPL NSW Men’s Premiers and NPL Finals Champions Wollongong Wolves have appointed former Socceroo defender Steve O’Connor as its new Under 20’s coach for the 2020 season.
Steve has enjoyed an illustrious career in Australian football.
During his 13 years in charge of the Australian Institute of Sport football program, O’Connor developed many of Australian football’s golden generation and is widely acknowledged to have had a significant influence on the careers of player such as Mark Viduka, Mark Bresciano, Brett Emerton, Vince Grella, Josip Skoko, Lucas Neill, John Aloisi, Craig Moore, Kevin Muscat, Simon Colosimo, Josh Kennedy, Carl Valeri and Wolves senior coach Luke Wilkshire.
In a recent article, former Socceroo’s captain Craig Moore named Steve O’Connor as one of the biggest influences on his career during his formative years.
Wilkshire was delighted to link up once more with O’Connor who had a huge influence on his career.
“Steve was in charge of the AIS when I attended as a 16 – 17 year old.
“He had a massive influence on my career and many other players who went on to become household names in Australian football and to have careers in the top leagues in Europe.
“Steve has always been exceptional with young players and this is why we have brought him in. We view our under 20’s team and program to be very important to the future of our club and our region.
“The way Australian football is set up, players in this age group are at a crucial stage in their development and Steve will help develop these players.
“Steve is a winner and will instill a mentality of hard work and persistence into these players, whilst at the same time, demanding they play in the style I want the whole club to play in.
“I look forward to working closely with Steve and developing these players with a view to winning the league and having the players put pressure on our first team squad. I want to see these players break into the squad and become first team regulars.”
O’Connor was looking forward to the challenge ahead at WIN Stadium.
“I am looking forward to working with Luke and at the club. In my talks with the club I was impressed with what they are trying to achieve both on and off the pitch.
“I worked with Luke during his time at the AIS and he obviously went on to have a great career. Now I get the chance to work alongside him and I am looking forward to that. I believe that I still have a lot to offer and I am also looking forward to developing the club’s young players.”