Western United announces Senior Academy coaching structure

Diogo Ferreira Western United

Diogo Ferreira will take the reigns as Western United Academy’s Senior Head Coach in 2023, with Academy Director Anthony Frost moving to oversee the entire Academy program next year.

Frost will manage coaching and player development across the expanded Academy, allowing Ferreira to step up from his assistant role and take up his first head coaching position.

“I believe I’m ready. I had a really good season with the club here last season, obviously getting promoted,” Ferreira said.

“I’ve been doing a lot of work in the past that has led me to this opportunity. I’m really excited.

“We’ve got a really good bunch of Under 21’s and Under 23’s coming through, and I can really see quite a few cracking into that senior environment shortly.”

The 33-year-old will be well supported on the sidelines by club legend Andrew Durante, who will serve as Senior Academy Assistant Coach while continuing as Player Welfare and Development Manager.

Former Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Adelaide United star Mate Dugandzic will also continue as an Assistant Coach in the Senior team.

Western United General Manager of Football Mal Impiombato said Ferreira and Durante would provide excellent examples to the next crop of Green and Black stars.

“As we continue to evolve, and as planned, Anthony will sharpen his focus on bringing to life our full Academy structure in 2023,” he said.

“This will allow for Diogo Ferreira to step into the Head Coach role where he was instrumental in supporting Anthony last season in securing promotion to NPL 2. Our Senior Academy structure is further bolstered by including club legend Andrew Durante into the program, where he will work alongside Diogo as our Under 23’s Assistant Coach.

“We are excited about the journey ahead and we are delighted with the talented, youthful group that will lead our program. The WUFC Academy is in great hands as we aspire to provide opportunities and a pathway for all players in the West.” 

After guiding his side to the Finals in 2022, Vaughan Coveny will remain the Under 21’s Head Coach, continuing in the role he has held since the Academy’s inception.

Nikola Markovski joins the Club in the role of Under 21’s Assistant Coach. Markovski was most recently Second Assistant Coach for professional Uzbekistani outfit FC Pakhtakor and holds an AFC B Coaching Licence.

Frost said the new Academy structure strengthens the Club’s vision to provide coaches, as well as players, with opportunities to grow in football in the West.

“As we grow and develop, we have established some clear guiding principles that shape what we do in the Academy,” he said.

“One of those is to help people maximise their potential, which includes our staff. I’m delighted that we are able to offer a pathway for our staff to reach their own personal goals as they look to help our players do the same.”

Brody Crane will join the staff as Senior Academy Goalkeeper Coach, signing from the Young Socceroos program and having previously held roles at Sydney FC, Western Sydney Wanderers and the Young Matildas.

Louis Mazza and Dan Hanna will continue in their respective roles as Strength and Conditioning Coach and Lead Physiotherapist, while Harry Reading will take on an expanded role as Academy Performance Analyst.

Coaching staff for new junior teams will be announced in due course as the Western United Academy prepares for a significant 2023.

Full Western United Senior Academy staff

Anthony Frost – Academy Director

Diogo Ferreira – Senior’s Head Coach

Andrew Durante – Senior’s Assistant Coach

Mate Dugandzic – Senior’s Assistant Coach

Vaughan Coveny – Under 21’s Head Coach

Nikola Markovski – Under 21’s Assistant Coach

Brody Crane – Senior Academy Goalkeeper Coach

Louis Mazza – Strength and Conditioning Coach

Daniel Hanna – Lead Physiotherapist

Harry Reading – Academy Performance Analyst