Wellington striker sees better things ahead this season
Few people were more pleased to see Henry Fa'arodo finally arrive in Wellington than Hamish Watson.
The captain of Solomon Islands, Fa'arodo missed the opening two rounds of the national league because of visa issues as Team Wellington failed to score a goal in losses to Waitakere and Canterbury.
But the former Perth Glory playmaker touched down in time for last Sunday's game against Waikato as Wellington's attack sparked into life in a 4-1 win.
Watson, who played for Hawke's Bay last season, opened his Wellington account with two goals and the striker was confident of more success against Manawatu at David Farrington Park tomorrow.
"We played much better than we had been," Watson said.
"We kept the ball, took our chances well and just generally played better. We should push on from here for the rest of the season.
"Henry is a very good player, very experienced so I'm going to enjoy playing with him. I played against him last year and I thought he was a very good player. It adds to our options up front and it's good to be playing with him this year."
The Central League golden boot with Lower Hutt City, Watson now has eight national league goals from 16 appearances.
The powerful 19-year-old is also a member of the Phoenix academy and said the opportunity to train with professionals on a daily basis was priceless.
"We always have quite open talks about how we play and what we need to do to improve our game. I've been working on holding the ball up and bringing others into play, being a link. And then always hitting the target with my shots and just creating chances and being clinical."
Manawatu are also on three points after one win and two losses but on paper Wellington should be too good for the Stu Jacobs-coached side.
The visitors' biggest threat comes through Seule Soromon, Tomas Mosquera and Adam Cowan while the Chettleburgh brothers Cory (Wellington) and Josh (Manawatu) should enjoy a good scrap in midfield.
Experienced Wellington campaigners Wiremu Patrick and Dominic Rowe have been omitted from Matt Calcott's squad, while defender Karl Whalen returns from a rib injury.
Waitakere and Auckland City square off in the feature match of the round.
Meanwhile, Capital host Central in the national women's league at Wakefield Park tomorrow (1pm kickoff).
The teams are equal second in the southern conference, although Central have scored more goals, with Emma Boyack second in the golden boot race with seven.
Capital are missing former Football Ferns striker Renee Leota this season, although former Central Pulse netballer-turned-goalkeeper Cushla Lichtwark is marshalling a miserly defence.
The Dominion Post