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9 May 2018

Academy manager Gregor Rioch and coach Jake Campbell spent time in New South Wales at the end of April.

  • Wigan Athletic promote the club’s academy work in New South Wales, Australia
  • Academy manager Gregor Rioch and coach Jake Campbell spent time in Australia in April
  • Trip involved coaching, forging links with Australian clubs and meeting Latics’ Australian Supporters’ Club

Latics’ academy manager Gregor Rioch and coach Jake Campbell spread the Latics love worldwide in April as they coached youngsters in Australia, linked up with local sides and met overseas supporters in an unprecedented trip.

Gregor and Jake were invited out to Sydney by Sutherland Sharks’ U20 coach and Technical Director Nick Dimovski, on the back of successfully hosting one of his U16 players at the Academy earlier in 2018.

The Sharks play their football one step below the A-League and have a reputation as one of the best youth development clubs in New South Wales.

Whilst on the trip, Rioch and Campbell coached groups at Sutherland Sharks (U10s, U11s and U20s) as well as running a three-day soccer camp at one of the local grass roots clubs - where Nick is technical director - for young players from the region.

The visit allowed Gregor and Jake to take Wigan Athletic overseas and promote the club and Academy whilst also forging links to allow the best players from New South Wales to come over to England and trial with Latics. In turn, the trip also saw the coaches create links for potential career progression for any of our young scholars/professionals who are unsuccessful in attaining a pro contract with us. A former scholar of Gregor’s from his Coventry City days had done just that.

It wasn’t all about coaching, though, as Gregor and Jake met Latics’ Supporters Club in Australia for a Q and A and informal meeting which was hugely successful, providing them the opportunity to find out about the club as well as receive some merchandise.

Now the U10 and U11 groups who were coached by Gregor and Jake have arranged to travel over to the North West in late September and will play against our teams and train with us.

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