Team Wellington and the Ole Football Academy have entered into a partnership for the upcoming National Youth League commencing on October 16th. This partnership includes a sponsorship and coaching component that will see the team coached by Rupert Crump and Ben Sippola. Declan Edge will act as Technical Director.
Clubs and colleges were invited to nominate potential players for the team. Over 75 nominations were received, and four trial games were held over two nights. Local football identity Barry Pickering, who was asked to act as the arbitrator in the team selection, said that he was very pleased with the way the trials ran and believed it was a fair and transparent process for the players. Team Wellington wishes to thank the clubs, colleges and players for their support in this process.
Following the trials a squad of 30 players has been finalised as Team Wellington Youth looks ahead to their defense of the 2016 National Youth League season that begins on Sunday 16 October.
Crump, last year’s assistant coach, was pleased to be involved again. “It was an easy decision to put my name forward to be considered as part of the coaching staff for the youth team again. I really enjoyed working with the group of players last year and winning the league, but being part of the same competition but with what will be a vastly different squad was a great opportunity to test myself and get to know more players from the region”.
The squad has a great balance of promising players for the future and seasoned Central League starters which should see them produce some exciting football.
Sippola said the attitude shown at the trials from all players involved was impressive and the level of skill shown was promising for the region.
“A national youth league is vital for the development of elite youth players in the country as it gives them a brief experience of what the next level up is like. ” Sippola explained.
The Team Wellington Youth squad features a number of players with National Age-group experience including Nando Pijnaker, Owen Parker-Price, Callum McCowatt and Ahmad Mohammadi. There are also a number of players with Central League experience such as Reed Collingwood , Aaron McDonald, Ben Ratahi, Mark Webber and Jarred Stant from Lower Hutt; Jonty Bilderbeck, Xavier Green, Ihaia Delaney and Elijah Just from Western Suburbs and Shea Stapleton, Paora Porter and Hami Paraniki-Nuku from Petone.
Crump said the mixture of players involved in last year’s campaign and new faces would provide a good balance within the team in what would a be short but competitive competition.
“With such a short season it can be a bit of a lottery especially if teams get off to a poor start. I think you'd have to look at the teams from Auckland mainly because they have the biggest pool of players to choose from, Canterbury United and Tasman have done really well over the last few seasons and are tough places to travel to”.
Shane Bilderbeck will take the managers role for the second year running.
Team Wellington Youth begin their 2016 National Youth League campaign at home against Auckland City on Sunday 16 October at Memorial Park, Petone.
1 Jonty Bilderbeck 27/07/1998 Western Suburbs RB
2 Reed Collingwood 13/02/1997 Lower Hutt GK
3 Chris Cox 04/04/1997 Lower Hutt CB/RB/DCM
4 Ihaia Delaney 12/01/1999 Western Suburbs F
5 Liam Gerathy 18/06/1998 Western Suburbs CB/LB
6 Xavier Green 05/07/1999 Western Suburbs AM
7 Daniel Harford-Silas 24/05/1999 Western Suburbs D
8 Elijah Just 01/05/2000 Western Suburbs AM
9 Henry Lenihan-Geels 13/05/1997 Island Bay LB/LW
10 Brett McBride 8/3/1999 Waterside Karori CB/RB
11 Callum McCowatt 30/04/1999 Western Suburbs AM/F
12 Aaron McDonald 29/05/1998 Lower Hutt F
13 Ahmad Mohammadi 21/01/1999 Western Suburbs F
14 Fraser Norrington 10/10/1998 Miramar Rangers AM/F
15 Ahmed Othman 01/06/1999 Island Bay AM/F
16 Hami Paranihi-Nuku 04/02/1999 Petone DCM
17 Owen Parker-Price 10/12/1998 Western Suburbs CM
18 Nando Pijnaker 25/02/1999 Western Suburbs D
19 Paora Porter 11/07/1997 Petone AM/F
20 Ben Ratahi 12/10/1997 Lower Hutt RB/LB
21 Josh Rogerson 04/01/2000 Western Suburbs DCM
22 Omrie Saolele 2/7/1998 Wgtn Utd LB/LW
23 Tom Schuyt 17/07/1998 Miramar Rangers LB/CB
24 Ryosuke Shimizu 19/05/1998 Miramar Rangers CM
25 Jarred Stant 13/05/1998 Lower Hutt AM/F
26 Shea Stapleton 13/03/1999 Petone GK
27 Cam Wardlaw 01/09/1998 Western Suburbs CB
28 Mark Webber 13/03/1998 Lower Hutt DCM
29 Dalton Wilkins 15/04/1999 Western Suburbs LB/LW
30 Dominic Wooldridge 04/01/1999 Western Suburbs CM