By David Gearey / www.asbpremiership.co.nz
NAPIER - Hawke’s Bay United made one of their most impressive starts to an ASB Premiership season last weekend but face a resurgent heartland derby rival in YoungHeart Manawatu.
coach Chris Greatholder has cast his web far and wide in the search of a mix of both youth and experience as he tries to take the franchise where no former Bay side have gone before.
Hawke’s Bay, still in search of that elusive playoff spot, have kicked off
heir season in style and new signing Sean Lovemore has already paid dividends after he notched up a goal scoring double on his franchise debut.
The speedy striker has been a great acquisition to the Hawke’s Bay set up and the former age group International is enjoying his new challenge playing in Napier.
"I'm currently loving the move to Napier." Lovemore said. "Everyone in the team and the coaching staff are really welcoming and it is a great environment to be a part of."
"The team we have could certainly push for one of those playoff spots and I would love to help the team get there. I think we have a great chance and I would love to make history with the squad we have" he said.
The making of a team so much depends on how a squad gel together, not just on the pitch but away from it also. Greatholder and his newly appointed assistant coach in former All White Perry Cotton have made sure that all players involved this summer will have the desire to work for one another and grind out a result as a team.
"The culture of the team means I am going to be broke by the end of the season, My fines are going through the roof!!" Lovemore joked.
But for the Bay to make the playoffs this season they will need to be targeting home matches as points they will so desperately need. Standing in their way this weekend will be the resurgent Young Heart Manawatu who turned a few heads last week when they came away with a resounding win against Otago in Dunedin.
Former Hawke's Bay United utility Adam Cowan has shot back through the gorge to captain the side from his home town and the all time ASB Premiership appearance leader was happy his side finally broke the streak that saw Manawatu go winless last season.
“The team spirit is high after last weekend, it was a long time between wins for some of the players involved and it's good to get that monkey off our back”
“It's always a good fight between the two teams. The Hawke’s Bay squad looks good this year and should be pushing for a top four place, but in saying that, we are looking to do the same with our young squad” Cowan said.
Hawke’s Bay United will line up very similar to their match against Waikato last weekend, with former All White Jarrod Smith and Dakota Lucas still missing with injuries, while Manawatu who had 7 players making their ASB Premiership debuts last weekend will have a fully fit squad to choose from.
The match kicks off at 2pm at Bluewater Stadium.
Hawke's Bay United
Luke CHAPMAN steps up to the first team squad.
Nathan COOKSLEY returns from suspension to boost YoungHeart confidence, otherwise it’s an unchanged squad from the one that won in Dunedin last Sunday.
Coach Chris GREATHOLDER goes for consistency with only Angus KILKOLLY left out of the squad as part of a rotation policy.
Matt KENNEDY and Michael FRASER are on the injured list.
Adam COWAN faces the Bay for the first time since moving back to Manawatu.
COOKSLEY will make his 85th ASB Premiership career appearance, if selected. He also has two goals to his name.
Hawke’s Bay United is on a five game unbeaten streak with YoungHeart Manawatu but they will be wary of a side that has a much improved look about it. The Bay haven’t lost a Heartland derby for three years.
YoungHeart Manawatu last defeated Hawke’s Bay United in 2009 when the then Bob Sova-coached Palmerstonians notched a 1-0 win at Memorial Park thanks to a Seule SOROMON goal.
Hawke's Bay United
ASB Premiership - Round 2,
Sunday 11 November, 2012
1- Richard Gillespie (GK)
1- Matt Borren (GK)
2- Aaron Jones
2- Liam Higgins
4- Kade Schrijvers
5- Bill Robertson
5- Andy Frampton
6- Stephen Hindmarch
7- Josh Chettleburgh
7- Matt Hastings
8- Nathan Cooksley
8- Cole Peverley
9- Seule Soromon
9- Jarrod Smith
10- Adam Cowan
10- Stephen Hoyle
11- Tom Mosquera
11- Conor Tinnion
14- Tyson Brandt
12- Harley Rodeka
15- Billy Scott
16- Sean Lovemore
17- Jordan Martens
17- Fergus Neil
18- Dale Higham
19- Rudi Bauerfiend
19- Ben Wilkes (GK)
23- Luke Chapman
20- Sam Redwood
24- Tui Kennedy
22- Grant Robson
26- Danyon Drake (GK)