Team Wellington is pleased to announce the signings of Tom Jackson and Ben Harris for the 2016-2017 Stirling Sports Premiership Season.
Both players were instrumental in Team Wellington winning the title last season and both collected goals in the 4-2 Grand Final win over Auckland City.
A standout for Southern United for many seasons before joining up with Team Wellington for their debut Oceania Champions League campaign in 2015, Jackson continued that form into the Premiership last season after overcoming injury. He scored crucial goals in both the semi-final and Grand Final and continued his fine form with four goals in the 2016 O-League and thirteen for Miramar Rangers in the winter.
The powerfully built attacker is looking forward to the season ahead.
“Keeping the same core players from last season will definitely help us to build on what we achieved last season, and we obviously now have a new coach, who will implement his own brand of football and bring in a few additions of his own, I'm sure. So hopefully this all helps to make us stronger and we can play some great attacking football as a product of it.”
“We will have very strong competition for places this season, so I will be working extra hard to try and secure my spot. And secondly, I have set myself a target number of goals I expect myself to score, and will be looking to achieve that. The most obvious challenge we will face this year is the fact that after winning the league last season we will now have a huge target on our backs, with every team wanting to beat us.”
Exodus Team Wellington coach Jose Figueira was pleased with the signing of Jackson.
“Tom was very positive about linking up with Team Wellington again after the O-League and will bring a lot of experience. He is an imposing attacker who brings a big presence and attacking quality to the team and I have no doubt he will again cause defenses big problems with his movement and willingness in attack."
Ben Harris joined Team Wellington last season after impressing in front of goal with Nelson club side Richmond Athletic. The 26-year-old Englishman arrived in New Zealand looking for new opportunities having previously played for Windsor FC and Hampton & Richmond Borough in the Isthmian League. He played a major part for the champions and won the Golden Boot in the process, collecting thirteen goals. Harris continued that form with Miramar Rangers in the winter where he scored 16 goals in just 11 appearances in the Central League.
Harris is happy to be back on board and believes it will be a very competitive league.
"The teams to watch out for obviously include Auckland City who I think are just a step above everyone else in the league and Hawke's Bay will be decent again this year - they have made a few good signings. I would like to see Tasman United go well as I have got a lot of mates there. Clearly it will be tough to beat last season but hopefully we can do just that and go one step further in the Oceania Champions League.”
Figueira is pleased that Harris has re-signed.
"I am delighted to welcome back top scorer Ben Harris for the new season. Ben has been fantastic to work with, receptive to new ideas and I have no doubt his attacking prowess will once again be on show as he spearheads the Team Wellington attack."