North Shore United aim out of NRFL first division
A successful football coach is bringing his winning attitude to Devonport.
North Shore United is the only one of the seven clubs based on the Shore to be competing in the Northern Regional Football League (NRFL) first division this season.
With the loss of eight notable first team players in the off-season, new coach Tom Speers will be guiding a team anchored by the experienced Ben Hutter and Dave Fahy. The addition of attacking players Ash Ngadela, who returns from Metro, along with Ross Langworthy, midfielders Seb Vanneste and Souley Cissoko and young goalkeeper James Dunn make up a side that Speers says will play an "aggressive" style of football.
"The biggest challenge was the location of the club when talking with players, which why it was important, when talking with them, that they bought into my ideas and plans for the club, which thankfully 90 per cent of them did," Speers says.
The Englishman, who comes to North Shore, after two years as assistant coach with title-winning club Eastern Suburbs, says he is under no illusions about the challenges in front of him.
"This year the league is the strongest it's been since I arrived in New Zealand ... this season will be very competitive, something which I am really looking forward to," he says.
Speers has some big aspirations at his new club.
"I'm a winner and it was the first thing I spoke to the board about when coming on board," Speers says.
"They have been fairly unlucky for whatever reasons over the last two years, but I feel, with the energy, power and the togetherness of the boys in the squad, we will be pushing to get this club back where it belongs and that is in the premiership.
"Hard work will in the end get you out of this division, which we have been doing in pre-season and look to continue that through the season.
"I feel where the club has been in the past, that we are sleeping giants and hopefully this season we can put Devonport back on the map in with regards to football and give the community something to be happy about."
North Shore United open their NRFL season at Allen Hill Stadium in Devonport against Metro FC on March 25 kick-off at 3pm.