Paisley Daily Express


Strategic partnershi­p will allow for exchange of players and coaches


St Mirren has announced new strategic partnershi­ps with both Birkenhead United and Nelson Suburbs in New Zealand.

The hook- ups will see the exchange of players and coaches as well as sharing of resources and expertise.

It’s understood academy tours and tournament­s will also take place when it’s safe in conjunctio­n with the club’s official travel partners, inspirespo­rt.

As St Mirren look to grow the brand globally, Birkenhead United and Nelson Suburbs become the latest clubs to partner with Saints, following similar agreements with Northern Irish side Rosario YFC and Australian­s Para Hills Knights SC.

St Mirren chief executive Tony Fitzpatric­k said: “We are delighted to officially become strategic partners with Birkenhead United and Nelson Suburbs.

“We believe that these partnershi­ps will bring significan­t benefits on the field in terms of talent recruitmen­t, as well as commercial­ly and operationa­lly as we share our knowledge and resources.

“The partnershi­ps are a key part of our vision in growing the St Mirren brand and expanding our footprint worldwide. We are very much looking forward to working with Birkenhead United and Nelson Suburbs.”

David Williams from Birkenhead United said: “The opportunit­y to partner with a profession­al club enables a number of new outcomes for Birkenhead United.

“We are further enabled on a journey to improve the level and quality of coaching we can provide to our community, to both the participat­ion and elite groups.

“For any player with an aspiration to an elite or profession­al career in football the opportunit­y offered by this partnershi­p becomes an explicit part of an attraction and recruitmen­t policy for us.

“We believe that this formal partnershi­p, at a club level, can only be a positive for both NZ Football as a whole, raising the profile of football both within and outside the borders, and for the potential opportunit­y for representa­tive players into the future.”

Gary Booth from Nelson Suburbs said: “Developing a pathway for growth and resource sharing between our club and a club of St Mirren’s stature is exciting for Nelson Suburbs.

“We believe it will be hugely beneficial for our players, managers and coaches to be able to share knowledge and learn from a leading Scottish Premiershi­p club and it can only strengthen and add value to our club.

“Nelson Suburbs sees this partnershi­p as a way to support young Kiwi players as they transition overseas, giving them a European platform and environmen­t to acclimatis­e and train and play at a profession­al level.

“It also serves as a platform to showcase the standard and quality of New Zealand players to the rest of Europe.”

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