ASB Premiership Standings

Grand Final

Fulltime

1
0
Auckland
Wellington
Sun 16 Mar, 2.35pm, 2014
Kiwitea St, Sandringham

2013/14 ASBP Media Guide

2013/14 ASBP Draw

Round 10 - Otago v Manawatu

Squad List

Strugglers seek change of fortune

By Rab Smith / asbpremiership.co.nz 

DUNEDIN - When Otago United plays Manawatu on Sunday at noon at the Forsyth Barr stadium, both teams will be looking to radically improve their statistical form.

Both teams suffered identical heavy defeats last week, when Otago was thumped 5-0 - admittedly by a top team in Waitakere, while in mirror misery, Manawatu lost by the same scoreline to Hawke's Bay.

Manawatu is bottom of the ASB Premiership. Despite having recruited a top coach in Stu Jacobs the Palmerston North side has conceded forty goals including 21 in the last three games.

Shorn of its most experienced players, Otago has yet to regain the winning form it showed early in the season, and four consecutive defeats have tested morale.

Otago coach Richard Murray said: "We are very much a work in progress, as the squad adjust to recent changes, but the signs are good that we are settling back into a good team shape."

"Obviously this a very important match for both sides, and we are keen to earn the points we need to restart our season"

"Apart from the players who left for jobs overseas, we have also had a string of niggling injuries, and some have still to come right, but we will field a competitive side on Sunday."

Centreback Matt Joy returns after a week’s suspension, which will have helped relieve his recent toe injury, but left fullback Craig Ferguson may be sidelined due to a groin problem.

Coach Murray has brought some good youngsters into the squad, including Aajay Cunningham, younger brother of Mike who performed so well in midfield before he emigrated. New Costa Rican signing Jose Cantillo made a promising start in midfield last week.

Up front Ant Hancock will lead the attack, paired with the returning James Govan or Donnie MacGregor, as Otago tries to convert the many chances it creates into actual goals.

Earlier this season, Otago won 3-2 in Palmerston North, but only after the fright of goals by Nobu Ishi and Jimmy Haidakis which gave Manawatu a handy 2-0 lead.

Youngheart Manawatu’s experienced coach Stu Jacobs has made adjustments by bringing in keeper Ben Wilkes, and Matt Kennedy, Michael Sheridan and Wade Randle to freshen his team.

Hamish Kay is suspended, and both Matt Borren and Barry Lewis are unavailable. Nathan Cooksley is injured.

But Manawatu has scored more goals than Otago this season, and if striker Seule Soromon and  midfielder Jimmy Haidakis hit form, that could swing the match for Jacobs' side.

Attendance at the match will be swollen by hundreds of National Masters footballers competing in the immediate area, who are allowed free entry into Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The match kicks off at 12pm on Sunday.

 

Head to Head

Otago United

YoungHeart Manawatu

In:

Matt JOY returns from suspension, James GOVAN, Aajay CUNNINGHAM and Donnie MacGREGOR receive call-ups to the squad.

Matt KENNEDY, Michael SHERIDAN, Wade RANDLE and goalkeeper Ben WILKES receive call-ups

Out:

Andrew RIDDEN (ankle) is injured while Zac RATHBONE is not selected.

Hamish McKAY is suspended while the experienced Nathan COOKSLEY (ankle) is injured.

Players:

Aajay CUNNINGHAM, brother of  former Otago United stalwart Michael CUNNINGHAM, is called-up by coach Richard MURRAY.

Matt BORREN and Barry LEWIS are unavailable.

Vital Stats:

Otago United has won four and drawn one of its previous five matches with YoungHeart Manawatu. Otago last lost a home match with Manawatu in 2008 when they were beaten 3-2 by the visitors.

Manawatu last tasted victory in Dunedin back in 2009 when goals from Jason HAYNE and Gustavo SERELEGUI handed YoungHeart a 2-0 win.

 

Squad List

 Otago United

ASB Premiership - Round 10
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin


YoungHeart Manawatu 

Sunday 5 February, 2012 
Kickoff: 12pm


1- Oswaldo RODRIGUEZ (GK)

1- Ben WILKES (GK)

2- Liam LOCKHART

3- Josh CHETTLEBURGH

3- Tristan PRATTLEY

4- Jamie O'CONNOR

4- Jude FITZPATRICK

6- Matt KENNEDY

5- Matt JOY

7- Jared CURTIS

6- Morgan DAY

9- Seule SOROMON

7- Reagan COLDICOTT

11- Jimmy HAIDAKIS

8- Seamus RYDER

12- Michael SHERIDAN

9- Donnie MacGREGOR

14- Pablo MOYA

10- Ant HANCOCK

15- Stuart LAWRIE

11- James GOVAN

16- Michael FRASER

14- Sam MEPHAM

17- Jordan MARTENS

18- Harley RODEKA

19- Andrew DRAKE (GK)

20- Matt BROOK

20- Souley CISSOKO

21- Joe CANTILLO

23- Wade RANDLE

22- Peter EVANS (GK)

24- Michael McKNIGHT

25- Craig FERGUSON

25- Izaia BURSTON

27- Aajay CUNNINGHAM