NAIT Ooks bring on former FC Edmonton assistant coach

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Sports

NAIT Athletics have announced that Dhee Govender will be the new head coach for the 2023/24 women’s soccer/futsal season. This is Govender’s first head coach role, but he brings over 20 years of experience in coaching. In fact, he’s a former Ook. In 2018, Govender was the men’s goaltending coach. Before taking on his newest role, Govender was the Assistant Coach at Concordia University. He’s also coached at the professional level with FC Edmonton. 

Govender has been playing and coaching soccer for many years. “My family is a big soccer family. My dad played soccer back home in South Africa … I took to the game at a very young age, just watching soccer on TV and being able to follow my favourite club.” 

He started his coaching career at the age of 16. “I turned to coaching at a very young age … when I decided to joining a former teacher of mine who was coaching a team,” said Govender. 

Dhee Govender will take over the women’s soccer/futsal team. Photo by NAIT Athletics

“I kind of knew back then that I had to have a little bit of a long-term goal if I wanted to continue to progress in the industry … I decided that if I wasn’t going to make it as a professional footballer, the next thing was to go into coaching.”

Coming into the season, Govender may need a small adjustment period to settle in. He says the position is “incredibly different” from his previous ones. “I’ve been an assistant coach for many years within different programs … now you’re at the helm and you have to be able to get into the weeds a little bit more,” explained Govender. 

“I’ve been able to lean on some of my mentors over the course of this short period of time to continue to give me advice on how they’ve been able to manage the logistics and operations side of things which is relatively new to me.” 

His plan is to gauge where the program needs are and build up the team by bringing in new faces. “I’m going to be heavily recruiting over the course of the next months to continue to build the squad … There’s a massive opportunity here at the NAIT women’s soccer program.” 

Despite the difficulties facing him, Govender is up for the challenge. “I’ve been able to meet the players over the course of the last couple of weekends, having conversations with them as a group and individually,” said Govender. 

“I’m coming in with excitement.” 

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