Des Buckingham

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Des Buckingham
Personal information
Full name Desmon Paul Buckingham
Date of birth (1985-02-07) 7 February 1985 (age 34)
Place of birth Cowley, England
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
Oxford United
Teams managed
Years Team
2004–2014 Oxford United (Youth)
2015 Wellington Phoenix (Assistant)
2016 Wellington Phoenix (Interim)
2017 Wellington Phoenix
2017–2018 Stoke City U23
2018– New Zealand U20

Des Buckingham is an English professional football head coach and former footballer who was a head coach of A-League side Wellington Phoenix.[1]

Buckingham holds the Pro Licence coaching qualification and became the youngest head coach in the history of the A-League during the 2016–17 A-League season.[2]



Born in Cowley, England,[3] Buckingham started his playing career as a goalkeeper, having spells in the youth and reserve teams of English sides Reading and Oxford United.[4] A professional career didn't materialise and Buckingham subsequently joined Oxford & Cherwell Valley College in a full-time coaching and teaching role over a four-year period.[5]

He returned to Oxford United after leaving his role at Oxford & Cherwell Valley College, joining their coaching department full-time. During a ten-year period Buckingham worked in several roles throughout their academy, including Head of Coaching and first team coach.[6] In 2014, Buckingham left England for a career in New Zealand after accepting a post with New Zealand Football to be their Football Development Manager based in Hamilton. He later took the same role based out of Capital Football in Wellington.

Midway through the 2014–15 A-League season, Buckingham joined New Zealand-based club Wellington Phoenix, in a job share as a part-time goalkeeping coach; after previous coach Jonathan Gould left to join Premier League outfit West Bromwich Albion.[7] After impressing then-manager Ernie Merrick, he was promoted to a full-time assistant coach role.[8][9] In December 2016, after the departure of Merrick, Buckingham and fellow coach Chris Greenacre became interim coaches of the club.[10]

On 1 January 2017, Buckingham was appointed head coach of Wellington Phoenix with Greenacre becoming co-coach.[11] The pair were able to lift the Club off the bottom of the table and despite picking up a points-per-game ratio that across a full season would have seen Phoenix qualify for their fifth finals appearance in ten seasons, narrowly missed out finishing 7th.[12]

Buckingham was replaced as Phoenix head coach by Darije Kalezić in June 2017, with the club paying tribute to Buckingham & Greenacre; stating ‘we believe we have two of the most talented young coaches currently active in Australasia’.[13]

In July 2017, Buckingham was granted permission to leave Wellington Phoenix to take up a role as coach of Stoke City.[14][15]

In January 2018, Buckingham was appointed to the New Zealand coaching staff.[16] In August 2018, he led the New Zealand under-20 national football team to the 2018 OFC U-19 Championship title.[17]

Career statistics[edit]


As of 7 June 2017.
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Wellington Phoenix (interim)[18] New Zealand 5 December 2016 31 December 2016 4 1 3 0 025.00
Wellington Phoenix[18] New Zealand 1 January 2017 7 June 2017 15 5 3 7 033.33
Total 19 6 6 7 031.58


  1. ^ "Des Buckingham profile". Soccerway. 5 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Former United Coach becomes youngest A-League boss". Oxford Mail. 13 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Meet the mystery man of the Wellington Phoenix interim co-coaching duo". Stuff. 15 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Former Oxford United Coach on his rise to take charge of Wellington Phoenix". Oxford. 10 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Sports alumnus takes up head coaching role". Active Learning. 5 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Who is Wellington Phoenix coach Des Buckingham?". Hyundai A-League. 5 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Jonathan Gould off to Premier League". Wellington Phoenix. 16 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Buckingham moves to role at Phoenix". Capital Football. 17 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Goal Keeping Coach Extends Role At Phoenix". Wellington Phoenix FC. 16 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Merrick steps down as Wellington Phoenix Head Coach". Wellington Phoenix FC. 4 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Buckingham and Greenacre to take Phoenix forward". Wellington Phoenix FC. 1 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Phoenix sign new coach". New Zealand Herald. 19 May 2017.
  13. ^ "Phoenix sign 'excellently situated' unnamed Europe-based coach". TVNZ. 19 May 2017.
  14. ^ "Wellington Phoenix coach departs for Premier League club". Wellington Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  15. ^ "The A-League's youngest manager joins Stoke City". Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Des Buckingham returning to NZ to coach U20s as Jose Figueira gets U17s nod". Stuff. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  17. ^ "New Zealand win seventh title | Oceania Football Confederation". Oceania Football Confederation. 19 August 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  18. ^ a b "Wellington Phoenix matches". Soccerway. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2017.

External links[edit]