REDLANDS United have signed coaching legend Graham Harvey as the club's new technical director.
Harvey, who returns to the Australian football scene off the back of a coaching stint in the Hong Kong Premier League with the Eastern Long Lions, will oversee all teams at the club and be responsible for driving junior development.
His signing comes in the middle of a purple patch for the Redlands first team, who have won four games on the trot to clear themselves of the relegation zone.
Harvey has significant Australian coaching experience having spent several years at the helm of Ipswich NPL side Western Pride and the Whitsunday Miners in the now defunct Queensland State League.
His coaching experience extends to the United Kingdom where he spent time as an academy coach at professional clubs Rotherham United and Notts County.
He was also involved with the Brisbane Strikers first team in 2013.
Redlands United vice president Sheree Lamont said the club was excited to have Harvey on board.
"He will provide technical direction to the juniors right the way through to the seniors with a specific focus on junior development," she said.
Harvey said he was looking for an opportunity to return to his son in Australia when Redlands came knocking for his signature.
"...I was impressed by their long term vision and the fact they were looking to give full control of the football department to someone with a track record of youth development within Australia," he said.
"Redlands is a massive club with a huge member base and catchment region, so I really feel by taking small steps we can start to put the foundations back in place to give the region a club to be proud of."
Harvey said he was reminded of how ruthless the professional game could be while coaching in Hong Kong.
"At Eastern we were top of the league at Christmas but by the end of January we had a new head coach so I feel these experiences will allow me to bring reality to players and parents looking to progress their football," he said.
"Having now worked across three continents I am confident I understand how to develop young footballers into professional players but more importantly how to give them a well rounded education on and off the field."
Redlands United hope to become Australia's top junior football nursery under Harvey's direction.
"I think we have to be very realistic where we as a club currently sit in the football eco-system within Australia," Harvey said.
"We are currently in the second tier of Australian football so our program should be focusing on trying to provide an environment that allows players to progress into the professional game whether that be here in Queensland, Australia wide or globally.
"...One of the key areas to grow our entire club is to make sure we develop a culture of one club and everybody understands how important they are to Redlands.
"...The reality at the moment is our club as a whole is massively under performing for the size of our region."
Harvey said his work would extend into the back rooms where he would mentor coaches to develop a talent pool of leaders within the Redlands.
NPL and SAP trial information for the beginning of the Harvey era will be available on Redlands United's website at the end of this week.
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