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