MEET the Wyndham Town Football president, highly regarded coach, Menzies College schoolteacher, and all-round good sort Carl Lambert who has been transforming a small town’s well-being one goal at a time.
Lambert, a former Southland Football Coach of the Year, is passionate about helping the people of Wyndham.
After seeing the need and setting up the football club in 2017 with a senior women’s team, Lambert has worked tirelessly to fill the gaps. In 2019, the club he helped establish added a senior men’s team and two junior 12th grade teams.
Undeterred in the face of Covid-19, which saw New Zealanders and their sport go into lockdown, the club continued to connect with its growing local members using an online football skills platform, allowing members to take part in a virtual football academy with challenges and tasks for players to connect with.
The 2020 season saw the club’s continued consolidation and expansion with players and coaches winning further accolades at the Football South Awards.
This was the year Lambert won Coach of the Year and senior women’s player Laura Hill was named Southland Women’s Player of the Year.
The club was also a finalist in the Club of the Year award, only to be pipped at the winning post by Winton FC.
The 2021 season has seen the continued meteoric expansion of the club with the addition of a further four junior teams. This has allowed players aged from 6 to 16 years to take part in one of New Zealand’s fastest growing team sports.
You won’t find Lambert resting on his laurels though.
“I’m always looking at things to try and see if there’s anything new or something that I can try and incorporate into what I do or change,” he said.
Far from taking the praise for what had been achieved in this rural Southland town of just 550 people, Lambert credited the success to the spirit of the local community.
“I’ve been very lucky becuase I’ve been able to work with a lot of talented people and a lot of talented players,” Lambert said.
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