Matamata Swifts is pleased to announce that Bradley Rea has been appointed Comag Matamata Swifts 1st team head coach for the 2023 season.

Rea is no stranger to Matamata, having been a regular presence at the Swifts over the past four seasons as part of his role with the Ricki Herbert Football Academy. Even though still in his mid-20s, Rea has considerable experience in youth football, while he was also 1st team coach at Cambridge FC during the 2022 season.

“Brad is a strong, popular and confident young coach who will bring enthusiasm and freshness to a job that, if we’re honest, has been pretty tough over the last few seasons,” says Swifts President, Dwayne Barlow. “We were looking for someone who could come in, build a solid culture, and help improve the quality of the Swifts playing group. We think Brad will deliver that for the club, our players, and our supporters.”

Rea is pleased to expand his involvement with the Swifts. “I’ve been coaching in Matamata for a while now and really enjoy my time there. When the opportunity came up to take over as 1st team coach, I was initially very interested,” explained Rea. “The more we talked the more excited I became. The club and team have real potential. I think the Swifts will be a great fit for me and I’m looking forward to working with people I already have a great deal of time and respect for”

The appointment of Rea comes as part of a growing relationship between Matamata Swifts AFC and the Ricki Herbert Football Academy. “With Brad, we’re not only getting a first team coach,” says Barlow. “The plan is he’ll be in town several days a week as we look to expand our community and talent development programmes. This is something I’ve been working towards for a while now”

Ricki Herbert Football Academy director, Ricki Herbert, was keen to grow his relationship with the Swifts and sees Rea’s increased involvement with the club as a natural progression. “As an academy, we’re looking for new opportunities and Matamata was always on our radar,” explained Herbert. “We already have a great relationship with the Swifts, and I’m pleased we’ve been able to find a way to offer a greater level of opportunity for local footballers.

“Along with his other responsibilities with the academy, Brad will run our programmes in Matamata alongside his 1st team role. This will allow local youngsters the chance to receive quality coaching without having to head out of town, while also giving aspiring players a greater level of access to some of the other things we offer, such as our ID camps and national and international tours.”

Find out more about the Ricki Herbert Football Academy: