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Match Preview - Wanderers SC

Refreshed from a week away from National League comptition, Southern United travels north on Sunday to play Wanderers SC on Sunday for a 2 pm kick-off at North Harbour Stadium.

Coach Luiz Uehara used last weekend to organise a practice match at Tahuna park against an Invitation XI, which gave United much needed game time.

Yet, as is sometimes the case, there were more questions created from the match than answers, and it is a new look United, with several changes for Sunday as Uehara seeks his first win of the season.

Missing Southern United 'regulars' are top scorer Regan Coldicott, and Aajay Cunningham, while centreback Peter Overmire is promoted to team captain and he will adopt a new free role, as Matt Joy marks tight.

United has leaked 16 goals in five matches which may have coloured Uehara's tightening of the defence, and the team's tally of one goal per game may also result in a changed formation up front.

Candidates to partner Brazilian striker Henrique Viana could be Peter Rae, or the under-rated Dan Morris, or impressive youngster Taylor McCormack.

What could be a positive move is the option of moving Andrew Ridden forward into an attacking midfield role, in the hole just behind United strikers.

One imagines that United's coaching group has targeted a win in this match against what is ostensibly a national Youth side preparing for the U20 World Cup in 2015.

But why the name Wanderers ? And what does SC stand for ? Coach Darren Bazeley recently revealed it stood for "Special Club" That's as opposed to the usual FC," he said. "It acknowledges this team has arisen out of a special situation and was specially formed for the purpose."

The Wanderers name was chosen to distance it from being an official U-20 national squad, given that there are a number of players in other parts of the country also eligible for the national age group team.

The present Wanderers squad has 10 players from last year's ill fated FIFA U17 World Cup in UAR, where there were heavy defeats from Uruguay 7-nil, Italy 1-nil and Ivory Coast 3-nil.

Coach Bazeley is at the helm of the team which replaced YoungHeart Manawatu and is the third Auckland-based side in the ASB Premiership, calling North Harbour Stadium home.

The Wanderers team has gained a reputation for resilience after grabbing late draws against Canterbury 2-2, and WaiBOP 3-3, and is presently two points above bottom placed United after four games. In pre-season matches with top side Waitakere there was little between the teams, 3-2 to Waitakere, and a 2-1 win to the young Wanderers.

Bazeley,  who played professionally for Walsall, Wolves and Watford, will have his side well organised, quick, mobile and it has already shown a capacity to rescue results with late goals, implying top fitness, and netting an average of 2 goals per game.

Still unfazed, Southern's Uehara insists the underwhelming nature of this season's results has not caused him undue concern and that his youthful group of players remain on course to fulfil his long-term plans for the franchise. "We are focused mainly on the quality of the performances at the moment," he says.

"Unfortunately, people only want to look at the results but that is not what it is about for us. When I took on the job I said that we were not good enough right now but that we have a lot of potential.'

Sunday's match could be decided by 'Personality.' said the Brazilian.  ' We must try to impose ourselves on this younger team, minimise mistakes and take up our goalscoring chances.'

The non-travelling part United's squad will help prepare United's Youth side with a match at Tahuna park on Saturday at 10.30. The Youth team, coached by Mike McGarry and Andrew Brook plays its first serious NYL fixture against Nelson on Sunday 12 January at Tahuna park.

Southern Squad list: : 1- Tom BATTY (GK), 2- David HAYMAN, 3- Nick HINDSON, 4- Peter OVERMIRE, 5- Matt JOY, 6- Henry FLOOD, 7- Sam MEPHAM, 10- Taylor McCORMACK, 11- Peter RAE, 14- Henrique VIANA, 15- Morgan DAY, 18- Dan MORRIS, 19- Campbell HIGGINS, 20- Jacob SCHNEIDER, 21- Andrew RIDDEN, 23- Campbell ATTWOOD.