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Grand Final


Sun 16 Mar, 2.35pm, 2014
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Week 14 - Otago v Manawatu

Squad List

Fleming eyes win as playoff tension builds

By Rab Smith / 

DUNEDIN - Seven points from their final three games may get Otago to the playoffs - so says Otago United coach Malcolm Fleming as his team hosts YoungHeart Manawatu in Dunedin on Sunday.

"This is a massive game for Otago," Fleming told his squad at training this week. "It's in our hands whether our season finishes on Sunday – or we battle on.’
With a group comprised of persistent youngsters, honed against the backdrop of a hard season, Fleming is keen for Otago to seize their playoff chance against a struggling Manawatu.
Otago will rely on the likes of Tom Connor, Ant Hancock, Morgan Day, Harley Rodeka, James Govan, Sam Mepham to join near veterans Tristan Prattley and Andy Coburn, to deliver top performances if the Dunedin-based outfit is to qualify for its first playoff berth since 2005-06 season. An optimistic Coburn leaves for Australia in a few weeks, but has factored in a delay, if Otago can reach the top four.
With the side minus Paul Seaman, Tim Horner, Nathan Knox, Phil Ruggles, and Alistair Rickerby in recent weeks, the Otago squad’s average age has almost halved. But that average could rise when Otago’s contingent from Canterbury is factored in.

Goalkeeper Adam Highfield – presently on a rich vein of form - centreback Tom Sadd and the battling qualities of James Reichwien will be critical if Otago is to qualify for the semi-finals.
Otago's latest import from Christchurch, Chris Anderson, has also impressed local supporters with his mobility and tight control. Anderson, in tandem with Aaron Burgess, could be asked to score the goals that achieve Fleming's seven point target.
"It’s a question of getting the mix right," said Fleming. "We are aiming at seven points from the last nine available in the three remaining matches. And I think we are capable of that," he said.
Otago United is unbeaten in its last three showdowns with Manawatu, and you have to go back three years to find YoungHeart's last win over the home team when a double by Jason Hayne helped the Palmerston North-based franchise to a rare 3-2 win.
However, coach Bob Sova’s side will be without Hayne this week who left for Australia, and the vastly experienced Adam Cowan will also be absent through suspension. Matt Smith, Jared Bloor and Brook Tozer are drafted into Manawatu’s squad for Dunedin. Goalkeeper Ben Wilkes will also travel.

Manawatu will rely on experienced defender, Colin Falvey, if they are to repel an Otago side desperate to make the top four at the expense of South Island rivals Canterbury United.

YoungHeart Manawatu and their playoff hopes parted ways weeks ago but the green and whites will be eager to grab at least three more points before the end of the campaign and avoid accumulating the ASB Premiership's lowest ever points total. That is a record currently held by Hawke's Bay United, who posted a mere five points from 21 games in the 2005-06 season.

The match kicks off at Tahuna Park, Dunedin, on Sunday 13 February, 2011, at 12pm.


Head to Head

Otago United

YoungHeart Manawatu



Matt SMITH, Jared BLOOR and Brook TOZER are drafted into the squad for the visit to Dunedin. Goalkeeper Ben WILKES also returns to the squad.


Tim HORNER is on the long term injured list while 35-year-old midfield man, Paul SEAMAN, has not yet recovered from a knee injury.

The big news for YoungHeart Manawatu this week is the departure of influential attacking midfielder, Jason HAYNE, who has returned to Australia. Adam COWAN is suspended while youngster, Joe HARRIS, is unavailable



Graham CRAVEN and Greg O’CONNOR remain on the long term injured list.

Vital Stats:

Otago United’s recent record in matches with Manawatu is on the improve with the Southerners unbeaten in three encounters with their provincial opponents. Otago’s last home defeat to Manawatu occurred back in 2008 – a 3-2 loss.

YoungHeart’s last win over Otago United came in 2008 when a double by Jason HAYNE and a strike by Cory CHETTLEBURGH secured a 3-2 win in Dunedin for the visitors.


Squad List

 Otago United

ASB Premiership - Week 14
Tahuna Park, Dunedin

YoungHeart Manawatu 

Sunday 13 February, 2011 
Kickoff: 12pm


1- Matt BORREN (GK)

6- Tom SADD

2- Nobu ISHI

9- Aaron BURGESS

3- Matt SMITH

11- Andy COBURN

4- Coliv FALVEY



13- Callum FLAWS (GK)


16- James GOVAN

8- Nathan COOKSLEY

18- Harley RODEKA

9- Michael WHITE

19- Chris ANDERSON

12- Joachim RANDE

20- Matt BROOK



15- Pablo MOYA


17- Brook TOZER

24- Curtis DAY

18- Dale HIGHAM

26- Tristan PRATTLEY

19- Ben WILKES (GK)

27- Morgan DAY

21- Jared BLOOR

28- Sam MEPHAN

25- Jonno STEELE