By John Donnachie
CHRISTCHURCH - For some players going back to an old club can be a daunting prospect. But Hawke's Bay defender Bill Robertson can't wait to lock horns with his old Canterbury United teammates this weekend.
The 26-year-old Englishman described this Sunday's match-up in Christchurch as the 'tie of the round'.
“I'm really looking forward to it. It is early in the season, but both teams are showing signs of form and are full of confidence.”
Due to a serious injury he sustained last season against Waikato FC, Robertson was unavailable the last time Hawke's Bay faced Canterbury in Christchurch. But the former United captain has since made a gutsy recovery from what was an horrific leg break. He expects no favours from his old teammates or the United faithful.
“I'm sure the tackles will be flying in from the start. They know how I play, and I know how guys like (Andy) Pitman and (Dan)Terris play, so it should be entertaining. I'm sure come the end of the match we will all have a beer and all will be forgotten. I had a good couple of years down there. All the lads are spot on, I have a lot of time for them. It is always nice to come down again.”
He said he was not sure what to expect from the home supporters. “Hopefully they won't want to boo me as I always had a great relationship with them.”
Canterbury captain Dan Terris said Robertson and him had exchanged a few texts during the week. “Yeh we had a joke about things, it is a shame he is playing for the other side but that is how it is.”
Terris paid tribute to his former Dragons teammate. He said Robertson was a “good leader and someone who always gave a 100 percent”. His combative style made him popular with the Canterbury fans.
As for the game itself, Canterbury have one doubt. Ryan Faichnie pulled up in training on Thursday with a knock. Otherwise, coach Keith Braithwaite reported a clean bill of health.
Captain Dan Terris said it was important that Canterbury maintained their early season momentum.
“Of course we want to keep winning. Our aim is to make Linfield Park a fortress this season.”
Hawke's Bay meanwhile welcome back All White Cole Peverley, but it is not known whether key midfielder Jarrod Smith will make the journey south. Full back Phil Doran is suspended following his sending off last week.
The match kicks off at 2pm on Sunday.
Hawke's Bay United
Dominic McGARR, Coey TURIPA and Andy BARTON join the squad.
Cole PEVERLEY returns from suspension. Jarrod SMITH returns from a hamstring strain.
Chris SINCLAIR, Michael WILLIS and Tane GENT drop out,
Phil DORAN is suspended, Adam CHANDLER is dropped.
Tom BATTY will make his 20th ASB Premiership career appearance, if selected. Andy PITMAN will make his 73rd ASB Premiership career appearance, if selected.
Cole PEVERLEY will make his 50th ASB Premiership career appearance, if selected. Chris McIVOR will make his 75th ASB Premiership career appearance, if selected. McIVOR has scored 16 career goals to date. Jonathan TAYLOR will make his 49th ASB Premiership career appearance, if selected.
Canterbury United hold the upper hand against Hawke’s Bay United – in eight encounters at home Canterbury has won five, drawn two and lost just one to the visitors. Canterbury United’s biggest home win over Hawke’s Bay was 3-0 achieved in 2004-05.
Hawke’s Bay United have won two, drawn one and lost one of their past four visits to Christchurch including last season’s 4-0 win. The 4-0 win was also Hawke’s Bay United’s biggest win over Canterbury United.
ASB Premiership - Week Five
Linfield Park, Christchurch
Hawke's Bay United
Sunday 21 November, 2010
1- Tom BATTY (GK)
1- Richard GILLESPIE (GK)
2- Dan TERRIS
3- Marvin EAKINS
3- Nick WORTELBOER
5- Bill ROBERTSON
4- Gareth ROWE
7- Matt HASTINGS
5- Tom SCHWARZ
8- Leon BIRNIE
6- Glen COLLINS
9- Peter DORANS
7- Aaron CLAPHAM
10- Dan O'BRIEN
9- Russell KAMO
11- Cole PEVERLEY
11- Ryan FAICHNIE
12- Andy BEVIN
12- Gagame FENI
13- Dan WILSON
14- Joe MURRAY
14- Marama THOMPSON
15- Danny ATTWELL
15- Joachim RANDE
17- Ryan TIPPETT
18- Jonathan TAYLOR
20- Dominic McGARR
19- Dan BALL
22- Coey TURIPA (GK)
20- Chris McIVOR
23- Andrew BARTON
22- Ryan MARTIN
25- Andy PITMAN
23- Jarrod SMITH
25- Shaun PETA (GK)