Revamped squad boosted as kickoff looms
YoungHeart Manawatu coach Stu Jacobs has assembled the bulk of his squad just over a week out from the national league.
Manawatu start their campaign against Otago United in Dunedin on November 4.
Seventeen squad members have been signed for the season, however, it can be expanded to a squad of 25.
Defender Sam Redwood from Auckland, who is among the signings, could help plug last season's leaky Manawatu defence.
He looked good against Hawke's Bay United in their pre-season loss two weeks ago and should team up with Nathan Cooksley in the central defence.
Other handy additions include midfielder Billy Scott who has come from Nelson via Western Suburbs in Wellington and New Zealand under-20 defender Liam Higgins from Wellington.
Andrew Frampton, an Englishman who has been living in New Zealand this year, will add to the side's experience as well.
Palmerston North Marist's Tyson Brandt, a small but speedy striker, is the other newcomer in the preliminary squad, having been rewarded for his club form this year.
Dale Higham is back with the side, having spent last season with Hawke's Bay United and could be an option up front.
So is former YoungHeart captain and national league centurion Adam Cowan, who will beef up the midfield and provide his strikers with quality ball.
Returning from last year are: striker Tom Mosquera, defender Wade Randle, midfielders Michael McKnight and Josh Chettleburgh, as well as schoolboy Jordan Martens.
Striker Michael Fraser and goalkeepers Matt Borren and Ben Wilkes are also back and experienced players like Cooksley, last season's captain, and Matt Kennedy are also back on the books.
Dangerous striker Seule Soromon is also expected to be back for the season.
Midfielder Cory Chettleburgh, captain for a brief period last year, has moved to Team Wellington this season after a spell in the Netherlands playing for WHC Wezep.
Wellington-based players Jimmy Haidakis, Barry Lewis and Jamie O'Connor weren't required.
YoungHeart Manawatu squad: Liam Higgins, Sam Redwood, Billy Scott, Andrew Frampton, Tyson Brandt, Dale Higham, Adam Cowan, Matt Kennedy, Nathan Cooksley, Tom Mosquera, Michael McKnight, Wade Randle, Jordan Martens, Matt Borren, Ben Wilkes, Michael Fraser, Josh Chettleburgh.
- © Fairfax NZ News