Bill Robertson is the backbone of Team Wellington’s defensive line. His physicality and calm approach under pressure is critical to his team’s success.
Robertson has been loving his football since taking on the captain’s armband this season.
“It’s a responsibility I am proud to take on. The role of captain helps me as a player- I like to think I can help some of the younger players and try to inspire them to achieve their goals.”
Robertson feels the greatest test of his leadership ability comes when his team are playing abroad - something he will be aware of ahead of this weekend’s Oceanic-League fixture in New Caledonia.
“Going to the Islands can be challenging as we found in Fiji two years ago. It’s the unknown- such as being away from family and your usual preparation. You are also playing in humid conditions and experiencing a different calibre of pitches, opposition and referees.”
Robertson has a unique story to share. After growing up in Oldham, Manchester; his talents were recognised early following selection for the Liverpool and Oldham Athletic Academy.
He has great memories of his early playing days and remains a hardened supporter of Oldham Athletic!
At the age of 22- after a short stint playing in San Francisco- Robertson decided to relocate to New Zealand. After two seasons with Canterbury United, Jonathan Gould approached him about a move to Hawkes Bay United which he accepted.
Finally, in 2014, Robertson could not resist the opportunity to sign for Team Wellington.
“I had aspirations to play in the Oceanic-League and to challenge for top honours in the national league. I saw Team Wellington as a good opportunity to achieve that.”
When he is away from Dave Farrington Park, Robertson spends his time with his wife Kristy and 15-month old son Jack in their Hawkes Bay home.
He makes no secret of his desire for his son to take on a career in football!
“Rugby is a culture here- but I will try to get a soccer ball at his feet as early as I can and hopefully he’ll want to follow in his dad’s footsteps.”
Robertson is also kept busy in a self-employed role where he coaches Napier City Rovers and various Primary Schools across Hawkes Bay.
He is passionate about passing on his knowledge to up-and-coming players. So what is Robertson’s biggest piece of advice for young footballers?
“My main piece of advice to young people is to look after yourself and your body- that’s your ‘football tool’. I’ve also always tried to act in a professional manner both on and off the pitch which I think is really important.”
As for his future career ambitions, Robertson is determined to keep playing for a while yet. When he does eventually hang up the boots, he’ll continue to develop his coaching career.
“I want to keep playing as long as I can. I’m 32 now but the body feels pretty good. As long as I feel I can continue to contribute well at this level then I want to carry on doing that.”
“In terms of the coaching side of things, that’ll probably be my bread-and-butter once I finish playing.”
Without doubt, Team Wellington will once again rely on the calming influence of Robertson as the Stirling Sports Premiership and Oceanic-League heats up towards the business-end of the season.