Nelson play for keeps in Harris Cup
The coach of the Nelson representative football side charged with removing the newly restored Harris Cup from Marlborough's grasp tomorrow has made his intentions clear - it's all about the result.
Nelson will travel to A&P Park in Blenheim for a fixture in which a result is guaranteed thanks to the new one-off match format. Extra-time and penalties will eventuate if the teams cannot be separated after the fulltime whistle, a far cry from the old format.
The once celebrated trophy hasn't been contested since 2008 due to scheduling issues when a series of matches were played. At that time the challenger had to win their matches outright to claim it, now draws will no longer suffice for Marlborough to keep the cup.
Marlborough are the current holders and are more than determined to hold on for another season but Nelson coach Joe Green said there was only one focus for his Nelson side - victory.
"This is different to what I have been doing at Suburbs where it has been about development. This here is just a one-off game and to be honest it is all about the result.
"There are some young guys who will gain good experience but it has to be all about the result, that is just the nature of a one-off game for a cup, we will be looking for the win.
"I've picked players that I think will be ready to go out and do a job for us . . . The lads involved are as keen as I am to get the result for Nelson, there will be no problem with motivation there."
Green said he had been in opposition against a few of the Marlborough players during his time on the field for Richmond Athletic and he thought they had a decent quality.
"They have some pretty reasonable players and speaking to a couple of the Marlborough boys it [the Harris Cup] is quite a big deal for them.
"I have been told they are looking forward to it and always see it as a challenge to turn Nelson over. It will be a tough game."
With many Nelson players involved in the New Zealand Secondary School Lotto Premier tournament held at Saxton Field this week, the team was set to have just have one training session today to gel. Green said he was confident Nelson could do the job despite restricted groundwork.
"In some respects the limited preparation is not ideal . . . but maybe that is not a bad thing - it has been a long season for some. In terms of structure it is difficult having players that haven't played together all season but it will be the same for them.
"To be honest the biggest reason for getting them together on Saturday is to try and get a bit of togetherness and team spirit."
The starting team, made up of Nelson Pine Industries men's first division players, was to be named later today.
The team travel to Blenheim tomorrow. Kickoff is at 2pm.
Nelson: Simon Capenerhurst (Nelson Suburbs), Sam Miller (FC Nelson), Sam Maxwell (Nelson Suburbs), Johnny Gough (FC Nelson), Harry Tod- Smith (Nelson College), Neil Connell (FC Nelson), Antonie Sonneman (FC Nelson), Sean Parkes (FC Nelson), Philip Tunepa (Nelson College), Ben Hamson (Nelson Suburbs), Josh Johnson (Richmond), Daryl Fenemor (Richmond), Nathan Jeffree (FC Nelson), Jamane Wilson (Nelson College), Matson Fenny (Nelson Suburbs), George Kaikui (Nelson College).
- The Nelson Mail