Ooks Name Dhee Govender as Women’s Soccer/Futsal Head Coach
Dhee Govender has been named the Head Coach of the NAIT Ooks women’s soccer/futsal team after former Head Coach Alesha Weicker-Pasternak stepped down in late 2022. Weicker-Pasternak had a great season with the Ooks leading them to the ACAC Championship, where they placed fourth. The NAIT Athletics Department would like to thank Alesha Weicker-Pasternak for all the work she did for the NAIT Ooks women’s soccer program this past season, there will be big shoes to fill, and Govender is ready to step into his new role.
The college’s newest head coach spent last season in the Canadian Premier League, where he assisted Alan Koch as a goalkeeper coach for what ultimately became FC Edmonton’s last season.
FC Edmonton’s coaching staff has been forced to move on following the shuttering of the club, with Alan Koch now an academy technical director in New Zealand while assistant coach Todd May underwent an opportunity to join the Brighton and Hove Albion academy in England for a spell.
“I had a once in a lifetime chance thanks to ‘FC Opportunity’, one that I am forever grateful to Alan Koch and the club,” Govender told us. “The high level of leadership, attention to detail, and accountability was remarkable to be a part of. Being guided to having a growth mindset throughout the day-to-day operations was immense for players and staff to keep the team competitive through the clubs circumstances.”
“I am thrilled to continue building on the existing foundations of this extremely successful program, whose history speaks for itself. Working with coach Alesha to ensure the program doesn’t skip a beat is something we both want, as we value putting the student-athletes at the forefront throughout this transitional phase,” said Govender.
Govender has an extensive soccer background. He started coaching at 16 while still competing at the highest level for his age group; Govender competed through post-secondary before hanging up the cleats and turning his attention to coaching. In 2014 Govender coached the Edmonton Strikers SC U18 girls to a national silver medal. From there, his coaching experience began to expand.
Prior to joining NAIT as the Head Coach of the women’s soccer program, Govender worked as an Assistant Coach for FC Edmonton of the Canadian Premier League (CPL), gaining invaluable experience working for the professional club while maintaining his role as one of the Technical Directors for the Sherwood Park District Soccer Association. Working with female athletes has been the foundation of his career in youth clubs while spending time as an Assistant Coach for three years at Concordia University of Edmonton and four years with the University of Alberta Pandas. While at the U of A, Govender Head coached their Jr. Pandas program, which helped many athletes progress into NCAA, USPORT, CCAA, and CSA youth national team programs.
“NAIT Athletics is pleased to have Dhee assume the role of Head Coach for our women’s soccer/futsal team. Dhee brings passion and knowledge of the game to the program, and I look forward to seeing him excel as a Head Coach at the collegiate level,” said NAIT Athletics Director Jordan Richey.
The NAIT Ooks futsal season starts February 11th at Portage College. Govender is looking forward to getting started.
“There is a lot of work ahead, which I am really looking forward to with excitement and enthusiasm,” said Govender.