Otago look forward to second home

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 05:00 15/02/2013

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Otago United are looking forward to spreading the gospel when they take on Team Wellington in an ASB Premiership game in Invercargill on Sunday.

Otago coach Richard Murray said the players were excited about the opportunity.

"It's different and it's good. It's nice to get out and about," Murray said.

Former Verdon College pupil Andrew Ridden is part of the Otago United team, while left back Craig Ferguson was a standout player during a season playing for the now defunct Southland Spirit side in 2011.

Invercargill-born Aaron Burgess would also have been making a homecoming but he's been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign after breaking his leg.

Otago United, who have lost their last four games, sit one place, but nine points, below Team Wellington on the premiership standings with two rounds remaining and are in a scrap with Waikato FC and YoungHeart Manawatu to avoid the eight-team competition's wooden spoon.

"We've had an up and down season. We've played quite well but for one reason or another things haven't gone the right way," Murray said.

"We are languishing now and there's three teams sitting on six points at the bottom of the table so we need to get any sort of points to push clear of that and reach where we were last year, which was sixth place."

Otago beat Wellington 1-0 earlier this season, though the team from the capital have won their last two games.

"They are a very good side and they've improved a lot since Christmas time," Murray said.

"They are a different side to what we beat up there but I'd like to think that we've grown as well.

"We've got a bit more experience and a bit more nous now and it's our home game as well."

Southland Football manager Ken Cresswell hoped for a crowd of about 500 at Rugby Park.

AT A GLANCE

What: ASB Premiership, Otago United v Team Wellington.

Where: Rugby Park, Invercargill

When: Sunday, 2pm

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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