Mark Atkinson | Head Trainer
Mark relocated from Auckland with his family and joined Olé four years ago. He is one of our most experienced coaches, looking after the U17 Academy and coaching across other age groups. Mark holds an AFC/AFF B-License.
A former professional player and only member on staff to play against Ronaldinho, Mark spent 8 years playing at the highest level in Singapore and Australia before joining New Zealand’s first professional club, Football Kings FC, playing in the Australian National Soccer League. Mark represented New Zealand at age-group level, playing in the NZ U20’s and U23’s and went on to become an All White, gaining 36 A-International caps.
Mark was a co-founder of South Auckland Elite Academy (SAE), which was created in 2013 to offer football opportunities to young South Auckland players. Mark and the SAE team started bringing groups of players to visit Olé regularly, gaining exposure to different methods and philosophies. This eventually led to Mark joining the Olé coaching staff, and his two children joining the academy as players. It’s also led to a great long-term relationship with SAE.
Mark’s coaching philosophy is based around “supporting the learner,” with a focus on process rather than outcomes. He likes to let the players play, let them struggle a bit, be better than yesterday but embrace the failure.