The Western Force is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Goodman as the General Manager of the Fortescue Academy.
Goodman joins the Force from Super Rugby and Trans-Tasman rivals the Crusaders, where he played a pivotal role as the Academy Director for six years in the first program of its type in New Zealand.
Reigning from the Tasman region, Goodman is determined to build on the strong foundations built in the Western Force Fortescue Academy’s inaugural year.
“The Western Force excites me when I talk about them. There’s something about the place that when I got the opportunity, I just jumped at it,” Goodman explained.
“I think the Force is a crucial part of the puzzle for Rugby Australia. There are a lot of passionate rugby people here in Western Australia and a lot of talented players. From my perspective, it’s a chance to build on and continue to push for success.”
Coaching and development is a family affair for Goodman and he will be using his invaluable experience to bring a balanced and holistic approach.
“I’m really passionate about rugby and that stems from my family. As a youngster, I watched my Dad mentor many players and coaches within the Tasman, so for this to be my career is quite special and a dream of mine,” he said.
“The recipe to success is having good people around you. Players who are willing to work hard, but have fun as well. If you’re not having fun then it’s not worth doing it, which ties in with the cultural aspects I’m looking to instill into the Academy.”
Success comes in many forms for Goodman, with connection to community rugby playing a significant role.
“For me personally, success is building a great pathway for local young talent coming through, retaining that talent within Western Australia, and building future Force and Wallabies players,” he said.
“I also want to attract talent to the club by using what’s unique to the Force. Connecting with the community is a big part of it, as you can’t have a professional sport without community rugby at the grassroots level. I’m really looking forward to achieving an aligned pathway and creating opportunities for those players within WA.”
Goodman was full of praise for the professionalism of the club and the organisation as a whole following his first week in Perth.
“I’ve been really impressed with the openness and welcoming of everyone. Innovative is the word I would use to describe people I’ve met and worked with so far,” he noted.
“Going into my induction at Tattarang on my first day was an unreal experience. I didn’t quite grasp how big the organisation was and having that charitable side of the business with Minderoo and all the touchpoints they have throughout Australia and the world is mind-boggling for a kid from a town of 40,000 in New Zealand. That’s what really excited me about the role as well; the opportunity to work with Andrew and Nicola Forrest and the organisations they represent.”
Western Force Chief Executive Officer Tony Lewis is delighted with the appointment.
“Chris (Goodman) brings an abundance of experience and expertise to the club. Chris joining us is a significant step in the right direction as we build towards becoming the best academy in Australia,” Lewis stated.
“This recruitment further supports the clear vision of Andrew and Nicola Forrest by growing rugby in WA through the nurturing and development of local talent, while also cultivating a strong connection with the community clubs.”