ISPS Handa Prem Round One Preview

Auckland City captain Angel Berlanga and Team Wellington striker Tom Jackson fight for the ball in the Charity Cup. Photo: Marty Melville /

The ISPS Handa Premiership returns for another season this weekend with the first full round of action taking place across the country.

There are four games being staged on Sunday with Hamilton Wanderers playing host to Tasman United, Auckland City making the lengthy trip to Southern United and Team Wellington welcoming Eastern Suburbs while the live televised match is from English Park in Christchurch, where Canterbury United will take on Waitakere United. The fifth and final fixture is set for Monday afternoon with the Wellington Phoenix Reserves travelling to Hawke’s Bay United.

Hamilton Wanderers vs Tasman United
Porritt Stadium, Hamilton
Sunday 22 October, 1pm
#ISPSHandaPrem #HWvTU

Referee: N Waldron
Assistant Referees: B Norman, A Lamberth
Fourth Officials: G Lochrie


Hamilton Wanderers: 1. Matt OLIVER (GK), 2. Bailey WEBSTER, 3. Joseph NOTTAGE, 4. Adam LUQUE, 5. Sam O’REGAN, 6. Flynn O’BRIEN, 7. Michael BUILT, 10. Marc EVANS, 11. Jordan SHAW, 12. Raheem HUNTER-ALI, 15. Ignacio MACHUCA, 16. Hamish SMYLIE, 17. Xavier PRATT, 18. Alexis VARELA, 22. Liam FELLOWES, 23. David MASTERS (GK)
Coach: Ricki HERBERT

Tasman United: 1. Corey WILSON (GK), 2. Luca PERICO, 4. Cameron LINDSAY, 5. Mark JOHNSTON, 7. Ryan STEWART, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Maksym KOWAL, 11. Alex RIDSDALE, 14. Robbie PEARSON, 15. Tinasha MAROWA, 16. Daniel ALLAN, 17.Callan ELLIOT, 20. Alex BRITTON (GK), 21. Yousif ALI, 22. Abdulla AL-KALISY, 23. Sammy AYERS
Coach: Davor TAVICH


This is the start of a second ISPS Handa Premiership season for each club and they will be looking to improve after both finishing in the bottom three last time out. For Hamilton, a change in management sees Mark Cossey leave the hot seat with former All Whites coach Ricki Herbert taking the reins. They also welcome the services of Papua New Guinean duo Tommy Semmy and Patrick Aisa, who will add plenty of flair up front. Tasman have welcomed back the majority of last season’s squad, including the likes of Paul Ifill, Cameron Lindsay and Alex Ridsdale. Kieran Smith is a new addition, joining from Bala Town in Wales, but the striker is not available this weekend due to injury. Tasman had the wood over Hamilton last season, winning 3-2 away and 1-0 at home.


Davor Tavich (Tasman United coach): “The message during the week has really been to focus on individual performance and I think in return that will take care of the team performance. We got a couple of good results last year against Hamilton but we need to forget about that because they have a different team this year and a different coach. We can’t take anything for granted because if we don’t perform at the top of our game then we’ll probably get punished.”

Ricki Herbert (Hamilton Wanderers coach): “I’ve been delighted with what I’ve seen and I think it will be a side that will progress and get better over the season. The carrot’s out there for the players. They look hungry and they’ve trained well but there’s a lot of work to do and I understand that – that’s why I’m here.”

Southern United vs Auckland City
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Sunday 22 October, 2pm
#ISPSHandaPrem #SUvAC

Referee: CK Waugh
Assistant Referees: A Verolino, J Henderson
Fourth Officials: J Cowie


Southern United: 1. Liam LITTLE (GK), 2. Connor O’KEEFE, 3. Tom CONNOR, 4. Kristian GIBSON, 5. Stephen LAST, 7. Omar GUARDIOLA, 8. Jared GROVE, 9. Garbhan COUGHLAN, 10. Danny FURLONG, 14. Andy RIDDEN, Hamish COTTER, 16. Tom STEVENS (GK), 17. Morgan DAY, 18. Roland BALA, 21. Cody BROOK, 23. Ben WADE
Coach: Paul O’REILLY

Auckland City: 1. Enaut ZUBIKARAI (GK), 2. Liam GRAHAM, 3. Takuya IWATA, 5. Angel BERLANGA, 6. Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 8. Albert RIERA, 9. Darren WHITE, 10. Ryan DE VRIES, 11. Fabrizio TAVANO, 12. Kris BRIGHT, 13. Alfie ROGERS, 15. Dan MORGAN, 16. Daewook KIM, 17. Reid DRAKE, 18. Danyon DRAKE (GK), 20. Emiliano TADE


The Navy Blues will be looking to bounce back after last weekend’s Charity Cup defeat and are aiming to regain a title they have given up to Team Wellington for the past two seasons. Southern have their own ambitions at the other end of the table after becoming worryingly well-acquainted with the wooden spoon and coach Paul O’Reilly will have his heart set on taking Southern out of bottom spot for the first time since 2013. Striker Garbhan Coughlan could be an exciting addition to the Southern line-up, coming in on the back of good form from Limerick in the League of Ireland. Auckland won both encounters last season and triumphed 3-1 in the previous meeting between the sides.


Paul O’Reilly (Southern United coach): “Anytime we get to play in Forsyth Barr it becomes exciting for the players. It’s a wonderful stadium, so it will be nice to be in there. Obviously, Auckland is a very good side but they’re coming off a poor result and we’ve had a lot of changes in our squad. The main aim would be to make it very difficult for them, try not to concede early and, if we can do that, then we might be able to nick something in the game.”

Ivan Vicelich (Auckland City assistant coach): “The mood is very good but it’s been a tough week. We’ve trained well despite the disappointing loss last weekend. We’ve had a good look at what went wrong and what we have to do to correct it. We created a lot of opportunities but didn’t take them and Team Wellington capitalised on that and scored some good goals. We need to focus better for every minute we’re on the pitch and to make sure we’re sharp because Southern will be a tough opponent.”

Team Wellington vs Eastern Suburbs
David Farrington Park, Wellington
Sunday 22 October, 2pm
#ISPSHandaPrem #TWvES

Referee: C Berg
Assistant Referees: E Cook, R Swiney
Fourth Officials: S Lount


Team Wellington: 1.Scott BASALAJ (GK), 2. Justin GULLEY, 3. Scott HILLIAR, 4. Mario ILLICH, 5. Erik PANZER, 6. Taylor SCHRIJVERS, 7. Eric MOLLOY, 8. Cole PEVERLEY, 9. Tom JACKSON, 10. Nathaniel HAILEMARIAM, 11. Mario BARCIA, 12. Andy BEVIN, 15. Joel STEVENS, 16. Angus KILKOLLY, 17. Louis FENTON, 18. Sekou DIANE, 20. Junjie ZHANG, 22. Marcel KAMPMAN (GK)
Coach: Jose FIGUEIRA

Eastern Suburbs: 25. Zac SPEEDY (GK), 3. Ryan ELDER, 4. Brock MESSENGER, 5. Reese COX, 6. Jordan VALE, 7. Tim PAYNE, 8. Moses DYER, 10. Andre de JONG, 11. Ben THOMAS, 13. Rossi NKOY, 14. Dane SCHNELL, 18. Tristan PRATTLEY, 19. Nicholas ZAMBRANO, 20. Derek TIEKU, 31. Thomas McCLOY
Coach: Danny HAY


Team Wellington have started their campaign on a high after defeating giants Auckland City in the Charity Cup, a fixture that doubled as the opening ISPS Handa Premiership match. Jose Figueira and his men are aiming for a three-peat of titles this season but will come up against a strong and rebuilt Eastern Suburbs side under the guidance of new coach Danny Hay. He has put together a mostly Kiwi-influenced outfit which features only a couple of imported players in Silvio Rodic and Derek Tieku. Suburbs have already started somewhat on the back foot as their pre-season has been disrupted by the absence of Hay and his assistant, fellow former All White Chris Zorocich, who have both been in India coaching New Zealand at the FIFA U-17 World Cup. They will hope they do not get off to a sluggish start as a result.


Jose Figueira (Team Wellington coach): “We had a very positive start last week but have been firmly focused on the task ahead in a game that’s going to bring a whole different range of challenges for us. There is a core of the Eastern Suburbs team that remains from last year and we are well aware of the quality those players have and the quality the new players will bring. Danny and Chris are top, experienced coaches so we are certainly expecting an intense game.”

Danny Hay (Eastern Suburbs coach): “It’s going to be very difficult, they had a good win last weekend against Auckland City and are reigning champions as well. They’ve gotten together a really good squad and we know Jose is an outstanding coach. It’s going to be tough for us and, with myself and Chris having just coming back from the U-17 World Cup, we haven’t had a huge amount of time with the players. But we’re really excited about the prospect, it’s a great challenge and I think we have a decent squad for us to go down there and be very competitive.”

Canterbury United vs Waitakere United
English Park, Christchurch
Sunday 22 October, 4.35pm
#ISPSHandaPrem #CUvWU
Live on SKY Sport

Referee: B O’Connell
Assistant Referees: C Gruschow, R Preston
Fourth Officials: N Burnett


Canterbury United: 1. Coey TURIPA (GK), 3. Aaron SPAIN, 4. Harrison BOWMAN, 6. Gary OGILIVIE, 7. Travis NICKLAW, 8. Aaron CLAPHAM, 10. Futa NAKAMURA, 11. Juan CHANG, 12. George KING, 14. Sean LIDDICOAT, 15. Andreas WILSON, 16. Cory MITCHELL 17. Stephen HOYLE, 19. Sean MORRIS, 21. Seth CLARK, 22. Daniel KNIGHT (GK)
Coach: Willy GERDSEN

Waitakere United: 28. Liam ANDERSON (GK), 2. Nino LACAGNINA, 3. Stewart MACKAY, 5. Julyan COLLETT, 6. Jordan HEARN, 7. Yuki OHTSUKA, 9. Ryan CAIN, 10. Eder FRANCHINI PASTEN, 11. Keegan LINDERBOOM, 12. Fabian ISTEFO, 14. David PARKINSON, 17. Jake BUTLER, 19. Thomas SHAW, 22. Josh DIJKSTRA (GK), 23. Dylan MANICKUM
Coach: Chris MILICICH


Waitakere hinted at a return to their former glory days last season with a semi-final showing and will be aiming to go one better this time to confirm they are well and truly back as a dominant force. Coach Chris Milicich has remained at the helm and kept much of the previous squad in place while welcoming some exciting new additions. The most eye-catching of these could be Japanese winger Yuki Ohtsuka, who will look to combine with the returning Keegan Linderboom and Dylan Manickum, who will not be appearing in the Futsal National League this season so he can focus fully on Waitakere. Canterbury have also turned to Japan to unearth striker Futa Nakamura and may have another star on their hands in former Manchester City academy player George King. The Dragons lost both matches to Waitakere last season so will be out for revenge.


Willy Gerdsen (Canterbury United coach): “Waitakere is a challenge for us first up, they were semi-finalists last year and were unlucky to lose on penalties. They’ll be well-organised, physical and strong but we’re looking forward to this and are confident we can match them. I think the Premiership will be even stronger this season with a huge improvement from all teams, I don’t expect any team to run away with it.”

Hawkes Bay United vs Wellington Phoenix Reserves
Bluewater Stadium, Napier
Monday 23 October, 4.35pm
#ISPSHandaPrem #HBvWP

Referee: A Riley
Assistant Referees: M Rule, G Sheehan
Fourth Officials: M Roil


Hawkes Bay United: 1. Ruben PARKER (GK), 2. Daniel MCHENERY, 4. Graham CRAVEN, 5. Bill ROBERTSON, 7. Wesley CAIN, 8. Alex PALEZEVIC, 10. Adam THURSTON, 11. Hayato WAKINO, 15. James HOYLE, 16. Liam HAYES, 17. Fergus NEIL, 19. Birhanu TAYE, 21. Bjorn CHRISTENSEN, 24. Karanjit MANDAIR, 26. Mackenzie WAITE
Coach: Brett ANGELL

Wellington Phoenix Reserves: 30. Zac JONES (GK), 3. Jake WILLIAMS, 4. Liam MOORE, 5. Liam WOOD, 6. Liberato CACACE, 7. Gianni BOUZOUKIS, 8. Oliver WHYTE, 10. Willem EBBINGE, 11. Sam SUTTON, 12. Oliver VALENTINE, 15. James McGARRY, 17. Luke TONGUE, 19. Sam PHILIP, 23. Ben WAINE
Coach: Chris GREENACRE


This match is the finale to a real feast of football at Bluewater Stadium with the venue playing host to the annual U-19 national tournament, the finals of which will act as a curtain raiser. Hawke’s Bay have reached the play-offs in each of the past five seasons but will look to repeat that feat with almost an entirely new squad as only a handful of players have returned. Striker Sam Mason-Smith will not be involved for at least the opening weeks of the campaign as he is currently on trial overseas but the homecoming of Bill Robertson is a huge boost and the leadership skills of the former Team Wellington captain will be vital. The ‘Weenix’ have a new man in charge with Chris Greenacre taking over from Andy Hedge and have included several stars of New Zealand’s recent FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign for Monday’s match, as well as first teamer James McGarry.


Brett Angell (Hawke’s Bay United coach): “I’m fairly pleased with how things have developed, the player base has been added to over the course of the pre-season but we’re still working towards the cohesion. I think the group will get stronger and stronger as the season develops but we’re at home and we’ve got to make Bluewater Stadium a fortress and that’s what we’re looking to do on Monday. The Phoenix are sometimes dependent on the availability of their player base but whatever they put out there it’s going to be a challenge so we need to approach the game correctly.”

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