A trip down to Invercargill for our Men’s Premier side and an interclub Premier grade clash between out two Women’s Premier sides are the highlights of our first set of fixtures in May.
With the potential for South Island League football in 2019 on the radar for a number of the Football South Premier League teams our boys head down south in pursuit of points to play Southland United with renewed vigor on the back of a seven nil win against Northern AFC last weekend and gaining access to training facilities for the first time since early April.
Our opponents Southland United have had an up and down season with two large wins mixed in with a number of losses so the form book is not something to read too much in to particularly when you consider they train and play on an artificial surface and they easily accounted for Queenstown earlier this season.
For our boys, it is a case of continuing to do things our way and not allowing our tactics to be influenced by what the opposition does. The artificial surface should suit our ball players in midfield Oban Hawkins and Ben O’Farrell who will relish the chance to play on a smooth surface again this week. Both have yet to register a goal this season but there’s plenty of shooting ability in their boots and Oban has clear talents to find space where you wouldn’t otherwise expect there to be.
Up front, Ben Stanley and Dom Scahill are the top marksmen in the league both sitting comfortably at the top of the chart with seven goals apiece. It has been some years since University had a noted goalscorer but the advantage of having two has caused defenses significant trouble this year already.
After a delayed start to the season, our Women’s Premier side finally get underway with the first of three interclub clashes with our Women’s Seconds for the season. This should be an interesting matchup with the Premier side largely unchanged from last year with the Seconds featuring a number of new faces who have already shown so far in their two league matches that they can play with confidence at this level.
For the Premiers pacey front runners Erin Roxburgh and Meike van der Meer feature again and they are joined by new edition Bella Cartman who possesses a wonderful right-footed cross which will add a new dimension to attacks. The attacking players are supported by a quintet of center midfield options in Lena de Ronde, Emma Crewe, Beth Elliott, Elinor Clark, and new signing Kara Daeche all of whom could start for the side at any point which creates both depth and competition for places. The defensive shield will continue to feature regulars Jaimee Paterson, Ruby Dixon, and Megan O’Malley who are joined by exciting new defensive singing Lizzie Ellis from Eastern Suburbs.
With regular senior goalkeeper Jordy Woodward absent this weekend, Sophie Armitage will take the gloves for the Premiers and recent edition Emma Andrew opposing her and in good form after a Player of the Day performance against Roslyn Wakari last weekend.
New Seconds Coach Arnon Tapp will use this fixture to get a first real look at his charges and assess how things might look for the side as the season ahead. As has been the case in recent years Seconds have had a fair amount of turnover in personnel as players finish their University studies and depart Dunedin. A core group remains with significant experience in this league however and this will create a good foundation for Arnon to build on.
Tessa Dixon returns to Captain the side and she is supported by fellow senior players Ruby Coers, Kate Rawcliffe and Jada Mataroa. There’s a number of new players who have come in with plenty of energy and commitment to their football with Ella Creagh a handy addition from Queenstown and Tania Savery an intriguing option once she gets up to speed.
An interesting battle is shaping up at Tahuna Park as Stu takes his Men’s Seconds side out to South Dunedin to face his former side Dunedin Technical. With our boys on a run of form after an early-season blip, this fixture comes at exactly the right time to test our new found confidence about one of the top sides in the Division. Stu will field any almost full strength side for this clash with Jack Mawdesley serving his concussion stand down the only absentee. The formidable front line of Caleb Roberts, Harry Gaskin and Youngjae Lee will cause absolute havoc if the midfield behind them can release them early.
Jack and the Men’s Thirds (aka Cobra’s) get to host Northern AFC at home on the Oval with the strength of Stu’s Men’s Seconds set to flow down the ranks to add quality to an already unbeaten team. If Jack can get the boy’s firing this week the goals might just flow against a Northern side which has added more stability than previous years with a number of their veteran players stepping down the grades.
Division One Yellow and Blue both have fixtures against youthful sides in the league with the Roslyn Wakari and Green Island Reserve teams set to host our girls this week. Both teams are now back to full strength after the holidays and will look to continue their winning ways.
The full fixture list is:
- Men’s Premier versus Southland United, 1 at the ILT Turf
- Men’s Seconds versus Dunedin Technical, 12:45 at Tahuna Park
- Men’s Thirds versus Northern, 12:45 at the Oval
- Men’s Fourths versus Mosgiel, 2:45 at Memorial Park
- Men’s Sixth versus Roslyn, 12:45 at the Oval
- Men’s Sevenths versus Balcutha, 2:45 at Balclutha
- Women’s Premiers versus Women’s Seconds, 7 at Logan Park
- Women’s Division One Yellow versus Roslyn Wakari, 12:45 at Sunnyvale
- Women’s Division One Blue versus Green Island, 12:45 at Sunnyvale