By David Gearey / asbpremiership.co.nz
NAPIER - Waitakere United new boy Andy Bevin hopes to celebrate an emotional return to Bluewater Stadium by shooting down his old team Hawke's Bay United on Sunday.
Bevin returns to Bluewater Stadium after a recent stint in America and admits that his arrival in Napier - home for the majority of his formative years in football - will be very different from being regarded as a villain rather than a local hero.
“It’s definitely going to be different because I’ve never played at Park Island for anyone other than the home team. It’s also been the venue where I’ve cheered on the home team ever since I can remember. It’s tough for me to see Hawke’s Bay’s current position but I’m excited to see a few familiar faces and square up against my good mates,” Bevin said.
After Waitakere easily overcome Manawatu last weekend 7-2, Bevin is under no illusions that Waitakere United will have to do more than just have to turn up at Bluewater Stadium to guarantee themselves all three points.
“During my time at Hawke’s Bay the team was always most excited to play the big teams and make a statement to the rest of the field, so I’m sure we’ll face a hard working side that are desperate to turn their fortunes around and make a run for the playoffs,” Bevin added.
Hawke’s Bay will be without their influential captain Bill Robertson when they welcome Waitakere United.
The untimely loss of Robertson is a big blow for the home side but coach Chris Greatholder feels that he has the depth and experience within his squad to fill the void and push for their first victory of the new year.
Greatholder was disappointed with his side’s second half performance against Team Wellington last weekend but he will also be very excited with the performance of New Zealand Olympic squad member Sam Margetts.
Margetts made himself a real nuisance throughout their match with Team Wellington and also finished off two superb first half goals, so with the Olympic head coach Neil Emblem making the trip south, Margetts knows he has a great opportunity to impress before the final squad is announced.
He said: “Personally I think its important for me just to focus on playing well and keep playing my natural game. What happens after that is out of my control so there is no point in me wasting energy worrying about."
“It would be great to be chosen in the Olympic team but I know that will only happen if I play consistently for HBU,” he added.
So finding the back of the net consistently will not only help his cause for that Olympic dream but also make life a lot easier for his current head coach and the Hawke’s Bay franchise itself.
“As a forward player I have a responsibility to score goals for the team when I get opportunities. I will always go into games thinking I can score and play well so hopefully I can put in more positive performances throughout the rest of the season,” Margetts said.
With that, head coach Greatholder will be banking on Margetts finding the back of the net and not his former team mate and Bay's top scorer from last season, Andy Bevin.
The match between Hawke’s Bay United and Waitakere United takes place at Bluewater Stadium, Napier, this Sunday, kick off at 2pm.
Hawke's Bay United
Richard GILLESPIE returns to the squad after a long term knee injury ruled out the former Auckland City and Waitakere United gloveman for the first half of the season. Jerome GROOT is named in the squad pending transfer clearance
Rudi BAUERFIEND and Matt GOULD are both injured.
Bill TUILOMA returns to the LA Galaxy after securing a contract with the MLS club’s youth set-up. Aaron SCOTT and Ryan ZOGHBY remain on the long term injured list, Luke ADAMS Derby County trial has ended after the youngster damaged his ACL.
Bill ROBERTSON is suspended
Jake BUTLER made his 100th ASB Premiership career appearance in the win over Manawatu and joins Allan PEARCE as the only current squad member at Waitakere United to achieve the milestone.
Hawke’s Bay United 2-1 win over Waitakere United last season was the club’s first victory over the West Aucklanders since 2007 when the Bay downed their opponents 3-0 at Bluewater Stadium.
Waitakere United have won three and drawn one in their last four visits to Bluewater Stadium a record that dates back to 2007.
Hawke's Bay United
ASB Premiership - Round 8
Sunday 22 January, 2012
1- Richard GILLESPIE (GK)
1- Danny ROBINSON (GK)
2- Fergus NEIL
2- Jason ROWLEY
3- Alex BARLOW
4- Tim MYERS
4- Stu WILSON
7- Martin BULLOCK
6- Stephen HINDMARCH
8- Chris BALE
7- Matt HASTINGS
10- Allan PEARCE
8- Adam COWAN
11- Ross McKENZIE
10- Sam MARGETTS
12- Roy KRISHNA
11- Conor TINNION
14- Andy BEVIN
12- Dale HIGHAM
15- Gagame FENI
13- Luke CHAPMAN
16- Neil EMBLEN
14- Danny WILSON
17- Jake BUTLER (c)
16- Reilly O'MEAGHER
22- Matt UPTON (GK)
17- Tom BISS
25- Sean LOVEMORE
18- Hamish WATSON
29- Jordan VALE
19- Chris McIVOR
30- Rory TURNER
21- Josh MARGETTS
22- Jerome GROOT
26- Shaun PETA (GK)