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Week 8 - Waikato v Waitakere

Squad List

"Work in progress" Waikato welcome Waitakere challenge

By Ian Anderson

HAMILTON - Waikato FC coach Willy Gerdsen continues to insist his side ``is a work in progress''.image courtesy Photosport

Saturday's home match against Waitakere City should provide a strong gauge of just how far they've come this season.

After five games it would be fair to label them as this season's surprise package, with two wins and and a draw leaving them in fourth spot ahead of Team Wellington on goal difference.

Now recognised as genuine playoff contenders, Willy Gerdsen's men have the chance to make a big noise against the league leaders at Hamilton's Fred Jones Park.

Gerdsen as usual is treading cautiously though.

"They're not unbeaten for a reason,'' Gerdsen said

"They've scored the most goals and conceded the least. So this really is a big one for us.''

However, Gerdsen doesn't want his side to go into its shell.

"We can't afford to sit back  we will get punished. They have such gamebreakers like Roy Krishna and Luiz del Monte.

It's another step for us, hopefully in the right direction. We're a work in progress but hopefully we will get something out of the game.''

His opposite Neil Emblen expects the encounter to "be a ding-dong battle''.

"Not only do the coaches know all the players well but all the players know each other, they've played in the same teams at times, so it makes some extra spice.''

Included in those is former Waitakere player Jason Hicks, who has excelled at Waikato to the extent that he was named Player of the Month for November.

"That's brilliant for Jason, who's obviously showing the benefits of gettin regular football,'' Emblen said.

The coach said the two most pleasing aspects of his side's perfect start to the ASB Premiership were their defence and away form.

"We haven't been perfect every game but I've been really pleased with the amont of goals conceded and our best performances have been away from home.''

In team news, usual skipper Dan Peat is expected to start on the bench for the hosts as he returns from a hamstring injury while Gerdsen may have to decide whether to again have hugely promising teen Eugene Heerschap on the bench or let him continue his heroics in the club's ASB Youth League semifinal away to Canterbury United after netting a hat-trick against Waitakere United last weekend.

Waitakere have injury concerns over Jason Rowley and Neil Sykes while Ryan de Vries is in South Africa, but they have called up del Monte along with youth stars Tim Payne and Ashton Pett.


Head to Head

Waikato FC

Waitakere United


 Fresh from an ASB Youth League hat trick against Waitakere United last weekend, Eugene HEERSCHAP is provisionally added to the senior squad for a crucial match against the same club. Daniel PEAT returns from injury and Mauri WASI also makes the squad after missing last week’s trip to Canterbury.

ASB Youth League stand outs Tim PAYNE and Ashton PETT come into the squad as does Luiz DEL MONTE.



Mike GWYTHER and Zane SOLE are left out for internal disciplinary reasons, while Ryan DE VRIES is in South Africa.



Jason ROWLEY will make his 50th ASB Premiership appearance if selected, but faces a scan on an ankle injury picked up in last weekend’s OFC Champions League fixture in New Caledonia

Vital Stats:

Two wins, one draw and four losses in seven home matches is the record Waikato FC has posted in showdowns with Waitakere United to date. Waikato FC's biggest win over Waitakere United was a 3-0 triumph enjoyed in 2004-05 season.

Waitakere United has won ten of their last eleven ASB Premiership matches with Waikato FC. They've scored 23 goals and conceded just nine during a run of success that began in 2006.


Squad List

 Waikato FC

ASB Premiership - Week 8
Fred Jones Park, Hamilton

Waitakere United

Saturday 11 December, 2010
Kickoff: 2pm


1- Danny ROBINSON (GK)

2- Maksim MANKO

2- Jason ROWLEY

5- Nathan STROM

3- Aaron SCOTT

6- Nick BRANCH

4- Tim MYERS

7- Jason HICKS

6- Jack PELTER

8- Jason McKEOWN

8- Chris BALE

9- Mark JONES

9- Luiz del MONTE

10- Daniel PEAT

10- Allan PEARCE

11- Nathan PALMER (C)

11- Neil SYKES

12- Jack BEGUELY



14- Tim PAYNE

15- Eugene HEERSCHAP

16- Neil EMBLEN

17- Milos NIKOLIC

17- Jake BUTLER (C)


19- Dakota LUCAS


22- Liam LITTLE (GK)

22- Alex CARR (GK)

23- Ashton PETT

23- Matteo BALLAN


24- Mauri WASI

Two to be ommitted