Nelson-based youth side boost to Marlborough
The confirmation of a Nelson-based side in the 2012 ASB Youth League is just as positive news for Marlborough as it is for Nelson, according to the team's newly-appointed Marlborough liaison Nigel Thompson.
Nelson Football initially applied for a spot in NZ Football's full ASB Premiership and, although that was turned down, on September 24 they were accepted to enter a youth (under-20) side.
Not long after that, Thompson was contacted by an old acquaintance at Nelson Football and advised they were very keen to include Marlborough in the future of the new franchise. To that end, four Marlborough players participated in the two trials that were held and last weekend three of them - Tore Waechter, Taine Swete and Omar Guardiola - were named in a 22-player squad. Carl Connor-McClean was the unlucky Marlborough player to miss out.
The team has just 10 weeks before their first match, a tough away fixture against defending champs Canterbury United on January 13, and until then the three Marlborough players will be travelling to Nelson twice a week for trainings.
Trafalgar Park in Nelson will host the team's first home game against YoungHeart Manawatu on January 20, while the next three home games are expected to be played at Saxton Fields. The fifth home game, though, is likely to be played at Lansdowne Park in Blenheim on the weekend of March 9-10.
There is no official name for the team yet, but given Nelson are keen for Marlborough to play a big part it was possible it could include a reference to Tasman.
Thompson said there was talk the team would be run along the lines of the Makos rugby side and he emphasised it was a big positive for Marlborough football. He felt it would create more opportunities for aspiring Marlborough players by filling the large void that currently existed between the end of rep age-group football and aspirants breaking into a top-level senior team.
Former FC Nelson player and Nelson Bays Academy coach Davor Tavich has been appointed head coach of the side.