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.
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