FOOTBALL Hall of Fame WA inductee Gareth Naven has been appointed as the new Head Coach of top NPLWA club Bayswater City.
He succeeds another Hall of Fame inductee, Chris Coyne, who recently left the club to take up the post of Under-20s coach with Perth Glory.
Naven, like Coyne, is a former Glory player. He was the club’s inaugural captain in 1996 and played 143 times. He also captained Perth Kangaroos in the Singapore League in 1994.
Born in 1969 in Wigan (England), this strong-tackling midfielder was a junior with Gosnells but made his initial impact with Bayswater Inter in 1985 – the year Gareth and his twin brother Craig were selected in the national Under-16 team that took part in the World Under-16 championship in China.
Another Bayswater player, Scott Racey, was also in the Australian side that competed in China, reaching the quarter-finals.
Gareth was still a teenager when he moved to South Australia where he played 11 times for Adelaide City in the national league and locally for Birkalla.
He then returned to Perth and played with Italia, winning four State league championships with them. He also made 20 appearances for WA, and was the 1992 Gold Medal winner.
After having a spell with Malaysian side Sarawak followed by the Kangaroos, he joined the Glory with his brother for their inaugural season and kept the captaincy until his retirement. He received the first Perth Glory Life Membership in 2004.
Naven moved into coaching with Perth SC and had roles at various under-age State teams (and a stint with Cockburn City as the Director of Coaching) before becoming the Glory’s youth team coach.
He then moved east and was Melbourne Victory’s youth team leader for four seasons until returning to WA and taking up appointment as a Youth Development Officer with Football West.
Gareth played alongside Bayswater City President Oriano Colli at Perth Italia and Colli said that Gareth was a perfect fit for the club.
“Gareth is an ex-Bayswater boy and made his senior debut here when he was 15, and we are delighted to have him back as our Head Coach,” he said.
“As a club we want to move forward and win titles and bring silverware back to the club, and we believe Gareth is the man to do that.
“He has an FFA pro-license, which not many coaches in WA have, and he is a high-level coach, and we believe he can take our club to the right level.”
Gareth was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame’s Hall of Champions in 2008, as was his brother Craig. Others who were inducted that year included Gareth’s former Glory team-mates Alistair Edwards, Tommy Maras, Shaun Murphy and Robbie Zabica.
FOOTNOTE: Gareth Naven has big boots to fill at Bayswater. Chris Coyne enjoyed considerable success in seven years with the club, leading them to four league crowns, four Night Series titles and two State Cups.
PICTURED: Gareth Naven and his new club Bayswater City; Gareth (left) with Glory coach Gary Marocchi and brother Craig; Gareth (left) and Craig as 16-year-olds with Bayswater; Gareth is congratulated on his Hall of Fame induction by Minister for Sport John Kobelke.