Larsen takes up role with Wests
He will be forever known for his cricket exploits, but Gavin Larsen has a lot of history with football.
The former New Zealand cricket representative and chief executive of Cricket Wellington played Central League football for North Wellington in his younger days, and also coached son Corey.
Larsen is a huge Liverpool FC fan.
‘‘I went to Anfield many times during my [cricket] days in England and was in the Kop [Liverpool’s home grandstand] at a few games,’’ Larsen said. ‘‘I’m a Liverpool tragic, growing up in the era of players like Ray Clemence and Jimmy Case.’’
It was partly his love of football and partly a working opportunity that led to Larsen being named last week as development manager for Western Suburbs FC.
He said his job as a Black Caps selector took up half his year and that the Wests role was ‘‘officially part-time, but I’ll be tackling it fulltime’’.
Larsen, who has moved to Aotea, will look to raise money for the Endeavour Park-based club through sponsorships and grants, and generally raise its profile.
It all began with a beer at the Co-Op with mate and former Wests chairman Pete Gillespie.
‘‘He cheekily asked whether my Black Caps role was fulltime, I said no, and you could see the glint in his eye. I have a few things keeping me occupied in winter, but this job with Wests allows me to get my teeth into something really worthwhile.
‘‘When I move to a new community, I like to be involved in some way.’’
Larsen said Wests already had a solid reputation, hard-working committee members and volunteers, good structures from seniors to midgets and a positive relationship with Ole Football Academy, but he was keen to keep building.
‘‘This is a go-ahead club, but a sleeping giant in my opinion. It has a huge catchment area and we’re sitting on something special.
‘‘But they need money and my job will be to strike up business relationships innovative.’’
Larsen said he was looking forward to working with Declan Edge and the rest of the Ole management.
The high-performance and first-term culture at Wests was as crucial as the successful junior programme, he said.
Wests chairman Dean Eager said Larsen’s business skills and sports acumen would be important for the club. and be more
Gavin Larsen has come on board with Western Suburbs’ as its development manager.