Team Wellington and the Ole Football Academy continue their partnership for the upcoming National Youth League commencing on Saturday October 14. This partnership includes a sponsorship and coaching component that will see the team coached by Rupert Crump and Declan Edge.
Clubs and colleges were invited to nominate potential players for the team. Over 70 nominations were received, and three trial games were held over three days. Team Wellington wishes to thank the clubs, colleges and players for their support in this process.
Following the trials, a squad of 25 training players, including 22 outfielders and three goalkeepers have been finalised. In addition, five non-training reserves have been named to take the squad to the allowed total of 30.as Team Wellington Youth looks ahead to the 2017 National Youth League season.
Crump, co-coach last term, was pleased to be involved again,
“I’ve really enjoyed being involved in this competition over the last two seasons and it will be another great opportunity this year with a different group of talented young players from the region”.
The squad has a great balance of promising players for the future and seasoned senior football starters which should see them produce some exciting football.
Edge 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. However, if we want this to be our premier youth competition and pathway for players then it needs to be given the proper priority and circumstances to perform that function” .
The Team Wellington Youth squad features a number of players with National Age-group experience including Nando Pijnaker, Elijah Just, and Josh Rogerson. There are also a number of players with Central League experience such as Bryn Yates and Marcel Kampman from Lower Hutt; Xavier Green, Daniel Harford-Silas, Alex Clayton and Matt Garbett from Western Suburbs, Hami Paraniki-Nuku from Petone, and Brayan Heredia from Stop Out.
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 like we did last year. I think you'd have to look at the teams from Auckland mainly because they have the biggest pool of players to choose from and Hamilton will be keen to defend their title”.
Shane Bilderbeck will take the managers role for the second year running.
Team Wellington Youth have their first game kick off at 2:00pm on Saturday 14th October against Eastern Suburbs at Memorial Park, Petone.
TRAINING SQUAD: Jarom Brouwer (Miramar Rangers), Matthew Chadwick (Miramar Rangers), Alex Clayton (Western Suburbs),Tor Davenport-Peterson (Waterside Karori), Ryan Feutz (Western Suburbs), Matt Garbett (Western Suburbs), Xavier Green (Western Suburbs), Daniel Harford-Silas (Western Suburbs), Brayan Heredia (Stop Out), Elijah Just (Western Suburbs), Marcel Kampman (Lower Hutt), Merlin Luke-Miny (Miramar Rangers), Cameron MacKenzie (Western Suburbs), Jakob Moore (Lower Hutt), Hami Paranihi-Nuku (Petone), Nando Pijnaker (Western Suburbs), Josh Rogerson (Western Suburbs), Robert Sabo (Western Suburbs), Tom Schuyt (Miramar Rangers), Marcus Simmon Godinet (Western Suburbs), Marco Stamenic (Western Suburbs), Ashlen Stroud (Western Suburbs), Shikane Tuuhoro (Lower Hutt), Frankie Walkington (Western Suburbs) and Bryn Yates (Lower Hutt).
NON-TRAINING RESERVES: Wan Gatek (Lower Hutt), Sam Gillespie (North Wellington), Matt Hickling (Lower Hutt), Ahmed Osman (Island Bay) and Tom Scott (Lower Hutt).