Ben Sippola is a graduate of Butler University (NCAA Division 1), where during his time was recognised as a 3 – year captain, 1st Team All-American, Academic All-American and Semi-Finalist for the Hermann Trophy. He graduated with a BA in English Literature. Previous to Butler, Ben spent two years at United States Development Academy (USDA) Shattuck St. Mary’s and was the first graduate of the Boys Soccer Centre of Excellence under Head Coach Tim Carter.
Prior to joining the Olé Football Academy staff, Ben was drafted to the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer and spent several seasons playing professionally in the United States and Scandinavia. Previously he held the position, Head of Sales and Marketing with Bluechip Study USA, Sweden. Ben holds the New Zealand Senior Level 2 and Junior Level 3 “C License.” In 2014 Ben was appointed CEO of Olé Football Academy. Since his arrival, the academy has grown from 40 to 250 players in the programme from grassroots to the academy’s top tier Young Olé. In 2016 and 2017 he was named co – head coach of Team Wellington Youth. Ben was unanimously appointed Campaign Manager for the Vanuatu Football Federation’s 2017 U-20 World Cup Campaign. If not in football, Ben would be found on a river somewhere teaching folks how to fly fish. He is a published writer. His work has been featured in The Fly Fish Journal “Fly fishing’s Premier Media Product” and on The Olé Way Blog.
A former All White and professional player, Declan has managed Waikato FC in the ASB Premiership and Melville United where he led them to the 2003 Chatham Cup Final. Edge currently serves as the Technical Director at Olé Football Academy, Team Wellington Youth Head Coach, and the 1st Team Head Coach and Director of Football at Western Suburbs Football Club. Under Declan’s guidance Western Suburbs have won the Central League (2017) and accumulated more points over the last five years than any other Central League club.
Declan holds the New Zealand International Team Coaching Licence, New Zealand and Australian Football Federation “C Licenses” and is on track to earning the Oceania “A License.” In 2016, Edge served as Head Coach of the Vanuatu U20 National Team taking them through Oceania World Cup Qualifiers achieving a birthplace in the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, South Korea. Declan is a former professional with Shrewsbury Town, Notts County (Jimmy Sirrel Era), and Adelaide City while also appearing 41 times for New Zealand. Olé F.A. serves as Declan’s platform to continue, and build upon, the player development project he started nearly a decade ago with a group of 11-12 year olds in Hamilton, NZ. The group included Ryan Thomas (PEC Zwolle, Dutch Eredevisie), Tyler Boyd (CD Tondela, Portuguese Primeira Liga), Tyler Lisette (IFK Varnamo, Swedish Superettan), Harry Edge (Auckland City FC), Jesse Edge (Achilles ’29, Dutch Tweede Divisie), and many others still continuing their football journeys in New Zealand and on scholarships at U.S universities.
Director of Business Development
Mike Wilson is a former New Zealand International and Stanford University (NCAA Division 1) Captain. He was a member of Cardinal teams in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s that featured the likes of fellow Kiwis, Simon Elliot and Ryan Nelsen. After graduating from Stanford in 2004 with a BA in International Relations, Mike was selected in the 2004 MLS Super Draft by the San Jose Earthquakes.
Mike’s professional career covered a span of 8 years and took him across the United States with San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) and Minnesota Thunder (A-League), as well as South America with Aucas Quito (Ecuador, Serie B). Currently, Mike is responsible for acquisitions at Wilson Investment Management. He is also a board member of Bantu Rovers FC in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The organisation is dedicated to Zimbabwe football youth development, and helping student-athletes achieve their academic and football goals.