Team Wellington is pleased to announce the re-signing of Leo Villa of Waterside Karori and Mario Barcia of Wellington Olympic for the 2016-2017 Stirling Sports Premiership.
The experienced pair were in great form over the winter and proved instrumental in the strong showings of their respective teams, something not lost on Team Wellington coach Jose Figueira.
“Both Leo and Mario were very impressive over the course of the season and were often the most influential players on the park.”
Hailing from the town of Fuentes in northern Argentina, Villa joined Team Wellington last season after spending the last 10 years plying his trade in Italy. He is excited at the prospect of representing the franchise again.
“It will be great to be part of a side that will look to build on last season’s success. Jose has done well to retain the core of the squad and it bodes well for the season.”
Figueira is pleased with the retention of the creative Argentine.
“I am happy to see Leonardo Villa return to Team Wellington for the new season. He brings big experience and strong technical qualities, a key factor which will keep the team ticking.”
Wellington Olympic’s Mario Barcia was a lynch pin for the Central League side this winter and his ability to control the central areas of the pitch impressed the Team Wellington coach
“Mario is another key piece of the puzzle. He is another player with vast big game experience and is the engine room of the team. Mario brings physical presence a security to the team both in defense and attack,” said Figueira.
The twenty-six year from Santiago del Estero, Argentina found his way to Wellington in 2014 having been recruited by Capital Premier Island Bay United. He was key to the Bay’s performances in the Chatham Cup that year and his influence in pivotal matches caught the attention of Hawke’s Bay United, who he signed with for the following Premiership season. After initially starting on the bench, Barcia soon established himself as an important piece in the starting lineup on their run to the Premiership Final and repeated the feat with Team Wellington last season.
Barcia is looking forward to linking up with Team Wellington again.
“The most important challenge for us this season will be to win the league and O-League but also trying to play good football because we have the players and the coaching staff to do that.”