#SSPremiership: Round 18 Preview

Team Wellington are aiming to secure a home semi-final in the Stirling Sports Premiership. Photo: Raghavan Venugopal / www.photosport.nz

The Stirling Sports Premiership regular season wraps up this weekend with the main talking points Team Wellington looking to secure a home semi-final and Southern United aiming to avoid the wooden spoon. The match televised live on SKY Sport is Wellington’s trip to Canterbury United on Sunday.


Referee: A Riley
Assistant Referees: C Gruschow, R Preston
Fourth Official: B O’Connell


Tasman United: 1. Coey Turipa (GK), 3. Labu Pan, 8. Paul Ifill, 9. Ermal Hajdari, 10. Dylan Burns, 12. Robbie Pearson, 14. Sam Ayers, 16. Daniel Allan, 17. Callan Elliot, 18. David Maisey, 19. Tinashe Marowa, 20. Marcel Kampman (GK), 21. Matt Tod-Smith, 22. Claudio Amad, 23. Chester Gaskin
Coach: Davor Tavich

Southern United: 1. Josh Dijkstra (GK), 2. Conor O’Keeffe, 5. Stephen Last, 6. Danny Ledwith, 7. Eric Molloy, 8. Michael Hogan, 9. Harley Rodeka, 10. Danny Furlong, 11. Andy Mulligan, 12. Sam Cosgrave, 14. Ross Howard, 15. Andrew Ridden, 16. Tom Stevens, 22. Ben O’Farrell, 24. Ben Wade
Coach: Paul O’Reilly


Any hopes of extending their campaign past the round robin stages disappeared for these sides long ago but there is still plenty to play for as eighth-placed Tasman United would be hugely disappointed to finish in the bottom two while Southern United will be looking to inch above Hamilton Wanderers and thus avoid the wooden spoon. Both sides will be frustrated to be in this position after proving highly competitive in most matches this season but struggling to convert that into a higher points total. Tasman had enjoyed an upturn in fortunes under new coach Davor Tavich but were brought crashing back down to earth with a 5-1 humbling at Team Wellington last weekend while Southern are aiming to bring a six-game losing streak to an end. They will be buoyed by the fact that one of their three wins this season came against Tasman with a 3-1 success in December. And the Tasman line-up has been decimated by injuries, suspensions and departures with Cameron Lindsay, Alex Ridsdale, Luca Perico and Ryan Stewart all out of action and Nicolas Abot having left for Australia.


Davor Tavich (Tasman United): “I don’t think there’s a team on this planet that is not going to suffer from losing four starting eleven players in one game so it will be challenging for us, there’s no doubt about it. But the young boys have a chance and the senior boys will have to carry a bit more of a load. We’ll try to close the season off on a high regardless of who is on the pitch but I’m sure they’ll try to do whatever they can do to spoil the party.”


Southern United coach Paul O’Reilly


Referee: A-M Keighley
Assistant Referees: M Rule, G Sheehan
Fourth Official: M Stoneman


Hawke’s Bay United: 1. Joshua Hill (GK), 2. Sean Liddicoat, 6. Alex Palezevic, 7. Cory Chettleburgh, 9. Facundo Barbero, 10. Sam Mason-Smith, 11. Saul Halpin, 12. Ross Willox, 13. Ethan Dent, 14. Martin Canales Ramos, 15. James Hoyle, 16. Angus Kilkolly, 17. Fergus Neil, 19. Jorge Akers, 22. Daniel Mulholland, 26. Ruben Parker (GK)
Coach: Brett Angell

Hamilton Wanderers: 21. Matt Oliver (GK), 2. Liam Williams, 3. Adam Luque, 4. Aaron Scott, 7. Alex Frank, 8. Cory Mitchell, 9. Ignacio Machuca, 10. Jama Boss, 12. Raheem Hunter-Ali, 16. Sam O’Regan, 17. Paul Clout, 18. Alexis Varela, 19. Stafford Dowling, 23. Quinton Kipara
Coach: Mark Cossey


There are still two teams in the running for the remaining play-off spot but only one of them can do anything to help their cause now. Eastern Suburbs have already played all of their 18 matches, meaning Malcolm McPherson and his men are in for a nervous wait until late Sunday afternoon to see if their debut season has come to an end. That will be the case if Hawke’s Bay United can pick up a point and the omens aren’t good for Suburbs as Hamilton Wanderers have not won since mid-December. That victory did come against the Bay though so Suburbs will at least be heartened by the thought that Wanderers have previously pulled off the required result. Hawke’s Bay may also be rusty after not taking the field since beating Southern 2-1 a fortnight ago.


Hawke’s Bay United coach Brett Angell


Referee: C Kerr
Assistant Referees: I Trevis, M Love
Fourth Official: H McCabe


Canterbury United: 1. Tom Batty (GK), 5. Tom Schwarz, 6. Gary Ogilvie, 7. Matthew Wiesenfarth, 8. Aaron Clapham, 9. Sean Morris, 10. Aaron Spain, 12. Nikolai Molijn, 13. Nicholas Haworth, 15. Andreas Wilson, 16. Jack Anderson, 17. Stephen Hoyle, 18. Daniel Thoms, 19. Colin van Gool, 22. Danny Knight (GK), 23. Sebastian Schacht
Coach: Willy Gerdsen

Team Wellington: 1. Scott Basalaj (GK), 2. Justin Gulley, 4. Guillermo Moretti, 5. Bill Robertson, 6. Taylor Schrijvers, 7. Leonardo Villa, 9. Tom Jackson, 10. Nathanael Hailemariam, 11. Mario Barcia, 12. Andy Bevin, 15. Joel Stevens, 16. Ben Harris, 18. Nicolas Zambrano, 19. Josh Margetts, 21. Nico Kirwan, 22. James McPeake (GK)
Coach: Jose Figueira


This fixture has loomed as an pivotal moment in the play-off fight since the draw was released but the sting has been taken out of it somewhat after Canterbury dropped out of the top-four running. Aside from the kudos of defeating the defending champions, the hosts now have little to play for but it’s a different story for Team Wellington, who need to take something from the game to ensure home advantage in their impending semi-final against Waitakere United. If the previous clash between these sides is anything to go by, this should be a thriller as the pair fought out a 3-3 draw just before Christmas. With three of the league’s top five scorers likely to take the field, goals should not be in short supply as Wellington’s Tom Jackson looks to make certain of the golden boot after notching a hat-trick against Tasman in the previous round. Canterbury will be without defender Felix Komolong, who is on international duty with Papua New Guinea.


Canterbury United coach Willy Gerdsen

Canterbury United defender Andreas Wilson

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