Southern United FC are proud to announce our
22-man ISPS Handa Premiership squad for the 2017/18
season, which gets underway at Forsyth Barr Stadium this
Sunday afternoon in a Round 1 match against
heavyweights Auckland City Football Club.
The squad has a fresh look from last season, with a number of
new faces joining the team from both within and outside
the Football South region. They join a core of eleven
players returning from last season's campaign.
With a couple of squad spots still open, coach Paul O'Reilly has
made it clear that he is still on the lookout to recruit players
hungry to strengthen his team.
O'Reilly acknowledges that there are a number of players brought
in from outside the Football South region. "I see it as a necessary
part of the team's development at this point. We are aiming to
develop young players coming through our system and region, but
that takes time. We've been working closely with the Youth team
head coach Kevin Scoullar and we'll be looking to add Youth players
to the squad when their season finishes pre-Christmas. The players
coming into the squad are hungry and enthusiastic to succeed on the
national stage, and have already made Dunedin home".
There are a good number of locally based players in the squad,
including the likes of experienced locals Morgan Day and Tom Connor
who both return to national league action.
The squad includes three scholarship recipients in Alex Cox,
Jack Pirie, and Ben Wade. Our scholarship system facilitates
tertiary study for talented young footballers in partnership with
the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, and
is a huge part of our long-term development plan to keep and
develop our local talent and also attract young players with
potential to the region.
A couple of players from our initial squad announced in early
September are unlucky to miss out on the final squad. Losing key
winger Andy Mulligan to a knee injury (minimum 3 months recovery)
picked up early in the recent pre-season match against Canterbury
United is a big blow so close to the beginning of the season.
Overall though, O'Reilly has been pleased with the increased
competition for spots in recent weeks and the pre-season efforts
from the squad.
There are a few key departures from last season, including a
couple of locals in Ross Howard and Liam Whittaker undertaking
overseas travel, and Eric Molloy departing to Team Wellington.
Sunday's ISPS Handa Premiership opener kicks off at 2pm at
Forsyth Barr Stadium. Admission is just gold coin so the squad is
hopeful to have an enthusiastic crowd on hand.