The 19th annual First XI Super 8 football tournament will be hosted by Hastings Boys’ High School from Monday to Wednesday next week.
The tournament sees the eight schools split in half for pool play before semi-finals and a final. The pools for 2017 are:
Pool A – Hamilton BHS, New Plymouth BHS, Napier BHS, Hastings BHS.
Pool B – Palmerston North BHS, Tauranga BC, Gisborne BHS, Rotorua BHS.
The tourney appears to be wide open with seven of the eight teams capable of winning on their day. Rotorua BHS may struggle given they were beaten 4-0 by the Tauranga 2nd XI earlier in the season.
New Plymouth have beaten both Hamilton and Palmerston North in their exchanges this year.
Napier are the clear leaders in Hawkes Bay and have beaten Hastings 3-0 earlier in the season. However, Napier was only fifth in Super 8 in 2016, but finished in the top eight nationally.
Tauranga beat New Plymouth in pre-season, but have a young roster with only three Year 13’s. Hamilton are the defending champions. In last year’s final, they beat Palmerston North 4-0 with Alex Frank, Lachie McIsaac, Luke Woolerton and Chris Goodwin scoring goals.
A Few To Watch
Jorge Akers (Napier BHS) – An accomplished left wing or striker who plays for Hawke’s Bay United in the ASB Premiership and Napier City Rovers in the Central League, Akers will be a menace if given the chance to go forward. His father is ex All White Jeff Martin.
Alex Elliott (Tauranga BC) – Tauranga’s most potent striker has scored over 20 interschool goals and will be looking to use his pace, smarts and strong boot to add to that tally. Tauranga once won the Super 8 with a negative goal difference so defender Adam Davidson with his – excellent reading of the game and calm presence will be vital to.
Matt Roodbeen (New Plymouth BHS) – Known for his tough tackling and comfort on the ball exiting the back third. Year 12 striker Pacey Healy also lives him to his name up front in the striking position.
Sam Jones (Palmerston North BHS) – The Palmerston North captain brings great organisational qualities from midfield. A Combative player who also makes great forward runs, providing assists and has scored some crucial goals.
Lachie McIsaac (Hamilton BHS) – Scored 38 goals for Hamilton last season and has been deadly in front of the net again. The New Zealand Schools selection plays senior club football for Melville United,
1999: Tauranga Boys’ College
2000: New Plymouth Boys’ High School
2001: Tauranga Boys’ College
2002: Hamilton Boys’ High School
2003: Palmerston North Boys’ High School
2004: Palmerston North Boys’ High School
2005: Palmerston North Boys’ High School
2006: Palmerston North Boys’ High School
2007: Tauranga Boys’ College
2008: Napier Boys’ High School
2009: Palmerston North Boys’ High School
2010: Hamilton Boys’ High School
2011: Palmerston North Boys’ High School
2012: Palmerston North Boys’ High School
2013: Hamilton Boys’ High School
2014: Hamilton Boys’ High School
2015: New Plymouth Boys’ High School
2016: Hamilton Boys’ High School
For More Details Click Here: http://www.super8.co.nz/page/football-2017/
Nelson College presently holds two of the most prestigious trophies in secondary school sport.
The First XV rugby team holds the Moascar Cup, while the First XI recently won the Alex Harvey Cup which is the football equivalent.
Nelson did hold the Alex Harvey Cup in 2015 when they were the National champions, but was forced to regain it off local rivals Waimea College. Nelson’s captain is David Maisey and he says breaking down Waimea’s dogged defence was the key to the 3-1 win.
“Waimea set up with the traditional defensive mindset they employ when they play us. We had to be patient and a few good passing combinations led to goals by Alex Connor-McClean (2) and Thang Thang Vanuk.”
“In the 50th minute we lost Ben Stanley who broke his arm. We warmed up like we were starting the game again and that was a good approach to take.” Maisey continued.
Nelson’s fortunes got even better when they beat Nayland College 9-0 to confirm their place at Nationals. Thang Thang Vanuk scored four goals, Connor-McClean three and Maisey bagged a goal as well.
“We have about seven players returning from last year. Players to watch are Alex Conner-Maclean who is a goal scoring machine with Thang Thang Vanuk and Rick Muir. I typically play centre midfield and try to create chances for Alex and Thang.” Maisey reveals.
Maisey was a member of the Nelson team that won Nationals in 2015 and also won a National Championship with the Falcons Under-20’s in 2014 and has appeared for Tasman United in the ASB National league.
“The 2015 team was stacked with many good players playing some real good football with a good winning mentality throughout the season. It was so awesome to be a part of and the goal for this team is to win it again.” Maisey asserts.
Maisey enthuses “there are many leaders in our team” and “everyone knows their job” so leadership is not overly arduous, but just a question of “fixing problems on the field as they come.”
Maisey believes the Auckland competition is the strongest in New Zealand and Nelson’s stiffest opponents will come from that tourney.
Nelson is coached by Davor Tavich.
The players tasked with leading New Zealand to the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France have been named and coach Gareth Turnbull is looking for them to complete the job in style.
Turnbull’s charges will enter the qualifying tournament, the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship, next month as both the home nation and favourites and will take on five sides from the Pacific Islands – Papua New Guinea, Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa and Tonga – in a round-robin format at Ngahue Reserve in Auckland from July 11 to 24.
Turnbull has selected a 20-strong squad and is aiming to do more than merely qualify for the World Cup.
“Qualification is the primary aim – and in a comfortable style of football,” he says.
“But we also want to provide more learning opportunities for some of the girls who have experienced international football, who will get another taste of a different style, and the girls who maybe haven’t been part of an international programme before,” he adds.
“The aim is for them to become more immersed and rub shoulders with some of the girls in the senior mix to grow into international footballers.”
New Zealand have traditionally dominated female age-group tournaments in the Oceania region but Turnbull believes the standard is rising across the Pacific and is not expecting his side to have it all their own way.
“We expect all the nations will give us a different challenge and I saw that when we went away with the U-17s last year,” he says.
“I think PNG will be the most organised and competitive team and we have them up first, which will be a great opening to the tournament. If the last U-17s qualifying cycle is anything to go off, New Caledonia have a few really exciting players – X-factor type players who we need to be mindful of – while Fiji will be competitive and Samoa and Tonga will make life hard,” he adds.
“The focus will be on us and we have some quality players who can execute the playing style we are trying to develop here. If we don’t prepare properly and approach every game as an international fixture we will make life difficult for ourselves. But if we approach it with confidence and show our qualities then I am pretty confident we will qualify.”
The squad includes three players who have already been in the mix for the senior Football Ferns – goalkeeper Anna Leat, Grace Jale and Malia Steinmetz – and others who are part of the Football Ferns Development Programme (FFDP), an initiative put in place by New Zealand Football to help the country’s most promising domestic-based players make the step up to international football.
“They’re going to bring us some experience as they have been to U-17 and U-20 World Cups. Anna has had a couple of caps in the senior national team, which is amazing, and they are part of the FFDP group, where we are working in a pretty high performance environment. I would require all of the FFDP girls to be leaders within the group, to keep standards high and make sure we are all tracking in the same direction.”
A notable name missing is Three Kings United forward and three-cap Football Fern Paige Satchell, who has been ruled out due to a knee injury.
“It’s a blow for Paige, she’s an incredibly talented player – an important player for the Ferns – and it’s a huge disappointment to lose her for upwards of nine months with an ACL. But the challenge will be to make sure she does her rehab and is in a fantastically supportive environment so that, when she comes back into the fold next year, she hasn’t lost too much of where she is at.”
Satchell, Steinmetz and Jale were all part of New Zealand’s squad at the previous FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup last year in Papua New Guinea, as were Hannah Blake, Jacqui Hand, Elizabeth Anton, Sarah Morton and goalkeeper Nadia Olla.
With such quality and major tournament experience at his disposal, Turnbull admits the selection process was tough.
“It’s always a challenge selecting a national team because there are good players you have to leave out but, on the other hand, we are very excited with the group we have available,” he says.
“There are some girls that went away to the U-17 World Cup in Jordan last year that aren’t in this group but it’s a challenge for the girls who missed out to continue working hard and force their way back in.”
Please find attached audio from an interview with New Zealand U-20 women’s coach Gareth Turnbull.
New Zealand squad for OFC U-19 Women’s Championship
Anna Leat (Glenfield Rovers)
Nadia Olla (Norwest United)
Saskia Vosper (Forrest Hill Milford United)
Rebecca Lake (Coastal Spirit)
Elizabeth Anton (Western Springs)
Sarah Morton (Western Springs)
Emma Clarke (Coastal Spirit)
Claudia Bunge (Glenfield Rovers)
Michaela Foster (Claudelands Rovers)
Grace Jale (Eastern Suburbs)
Malia Steinmetz (Forrest Hill Milford United)
Hannah Blake (Three Kings United)
Nicole Mettam (Eastern Suburbs)
‘Alosi Bloomfield (Three Kings United)
Deven Jackson (Three Kings United)
Lily Bray (Coastal Spirit)
Emma Main (Upper Hutt City)
Samantha Tawharu (Forrest Hill Milford United)
Jacqui Hand (Eastern Suburbs)
Dayna Stevens (Glenfield Rovers)
Head Coach: Gareth Turnbull
Assistant Coaches: Owain Prosser, Gemma Lewis
Goalkeeping Coach: Fabian Otte
Sports Scientist: Harriet Steele
Analyst: Alice Noyer
Manager: Angelina Lee-Hussien
New Zealand schedule at OFC U-19 Women’s Championship
(Ngahue Reserve, Auckland)
vs Papua New Guinea
Tuesday 11 July, 10am
Friday 14 July, 10am
vs New Caledonia
Monday 17 July, 12.30pm
Friday 21 July, 10am
Monday 24 July, 10am
National First XI football champions Sacred Heart College could claim to be the fifth best team in the World.
The Auckland powerhouse recently finished fifth at the International School Sport Federation World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.
Sacred Heart was the first New Zealand team selected to participate in the tourney which featured 36 teams, 24 counties and 640 players.
Sacred Heart boasted the best goal differential and held runners up Germany to a 1-1 draw. Striker Matthew Palmer netted 11 goals in eight games to finish the tournament as leading scorer.
The event was won by Qatar who Sacred Heart lost to 0-1 in the quarter finals. It was a defeat that left a sour taste explains defender Jono Ansley.
“I don’t want to be too critical and come across as a bad sport, but the night before we had a dinner with all the teams who performed a cultural item. We chose to do the haka and were booed by the Qatar table. After their win they weren’t very gracious either. It was pretty disrespectful.”
Further investigation into Qatar reveals their cultural item was a promotional video for the Aspire Academy; a muti-million dollar government funded sporting Academy for youth in the Arab country. The program was arguably a central player in Qatar’s successfully corrupt bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.*
Why didn’t Sacred Heart just beat Qatar?
“We surprised ourselves by topping our group unbeaten. We were pumped for the quarters, but I think we got ahead of ourselves a wee bit. It was almost like we are from New Zealand and aren’t supposed to win these things.” Ansley reflects.
Sacred Heart bounced back hard to defeat Chile 2-1 and France 2-0 in the consolation playoffs.
In pool play Sacred Heart accounted for Armenia 4-0, Iran 3-0, Denmark 5-0 and China 4-0.
“We were exposed to many different styles of football. Armenia was quite different to Germany for example and that was the greatest challenge. The top eight teams would have been National contenders in New Zealand, but some of the others were a bit weaker than we thought.” Ansley surmises
Palmer is an outstanding all-round athlete with a bright future.
“Matthew is in the New Zealand Under-17’s and does athletics with me in the summer. He is a sprinter who competes in the 200 and 400-metres.” Ansley acclaims.
What did Ansley made of his own displays at the tournament?
“I wasn’t supposed to go, but I ended up playing every game so I guess I went alright.” Ansley answers.
Ansley has chosen to commit to running this winter in the hope of attaining a college scholarship in the US.
“It was such a tough choice, but I had to choose one or the other. I think running gives me better options education wise. I joined the First XI two weeks before the tournament. It will probably be my last games for them.” Ansley elaborates.
Cross Country is the immediate focus with the National Secondary School Championships staged next Saturday. Sacred Heart is the defending 6-man team champions.
“We have a good team this year. Jacob Holmes is our best runner and he will be aiming to medal in the individual race. I would like to as well, but I am a bit short of form after illness last year and the football.” Ansley says.
Sacred Heart has lost James Uhlenberg to St. Kenitgern College. Uhlenberg was the best runner in the squad last year.
Ansley was the National club Under-18 800m champion last year. After cross country Nationals he will be working towards the New Zealand Secondary Schools Track and Field Nationals which are being held in the Hawke’s Bay in December.
* Between 2007 and 2014 the Aspire program screened 3.5 million boys, mostly from developing countries in Africa. The best of them have been sent to live and train at either the main academy in Doha or the satellite academy in Senegal. They get room and board, a free education, and a monthly spending allowance, and their families get up to $US5,000 from Qatar. Aspire sent scouts to Thailand and Guatemala, countries with little footballing history, due to both countries having representation on the FIFA Executive Committee.
Does Qatar plan to assimilate academy players into their 2022 World Cup squad given their lenient policy on naturalisation of athletes for sports? It’s highly likely. The Qatari FA offered to pay Brazilian striker Ailton, then the top scorer in the German Bundesliga, $1million to come and play for Qatar in 2004, even though he had never set foot in the country. The move led to FIFA introducing emergency legislation banning naturalizations from taking place if there was no connection between the player and their prospective country. A school provides the connection needed to satisfy the FIFA laws.
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