Commencing the football season at the end of a challenging week for all those associated with New Zealand is a difficult prospect but our Men’s Premier team is determined to honour the memory of all lives lost and in particular those of Atta Elayyan, Sayyad Milne and Tariq Omar.
For many of the side the loss of Futsal White Atta has been most keenly felt with Coach Darren Hart, Assistant Coach James Coombes and players Daniel Robinson, Allan McBride, Arnon Tapp, Oban Hawkins, Ben O’Farrell, Tim O’Farrell and Thomas Sule all members of the New Zealand Futsal family.
None of those who lost their lives will ever be forgotten and for the Futsal family, Atta was the very best of who they aspire to be and as Elliot Collier commented this week “We need more Atta Elayyan’s”.
For the football side of things, the great promise of celebrating the University of Otago 150th Anniversary, the establishment of the Football South Home of Football on campus at Logan Park and the recruitment of Club Development Coach Stuart Moffat has seen our playing stocks boosted with a quality collection of new players.
University of Otago Entrance Scholarship recipients Stewart Catto, Daniel Robinson, Joseph Araya, Albie Murray, Tim O’Farrell and Oban Hawkins headline a new collection of players to the club. Stewart and Tim join OUAFC after full seasons with the Southern United Senior side, with Daniel and Oban National League Futsal players with Central and Northern respectively, Oban is also a full Futsal White and holds a Chatham Cup winners medal from 2018 with Birkenhead United.
Joining them in the side are also previous Chatham Cup winner Greg Nimmo (also with Birkenhead in 2016), Southern United Futsal representative Ben O’Farrell, Tasman United Youth player Ben Stanley and returning players Harry Gaskin, Dom Scahill, and Arnon Tapp.
There is great hope that this side will bring a new era of success to University Football with the excitement around the side reaching the highest levels in the University, with Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne recently attending and speaking at the Season Launch event.
The first outing for the new side is against traditional South Dunedin powerhouse Caversham AFC who are in a rebuilding phase and will present a good challenge for Darren and our Men’s Premiers as they strive for success in 2019.
This week’s game is being held at Tahuna Park at 2:45 pm.
A number of our other sides will also be in action with the Men’s Seconds and Men’s Thirds and Women’s Seconds and Women’s Third clashing in internal pre-season fixtures.
Our Women’s Premiers play Roslyn-Wakari Premiers at 1 pm at Logan Park and our Men’s Fourths also take on Northern Thirds at 11 am.