Southern United seek improvement after they claim national football league wooden spoon

Tasman United's Ermal Hajdari tries to shoot despite the attention of Southern United's Ross Howard and Stephen Last ...
PHILLIP ROLLO/FAIRFAX NZ

Tasman United's Ermal Hajdari tries to shoot despite the attention of Southern United's Ross Howard and Stephen Last during their 5-2 win over Southern United at Trafalgar Park.

Southern United will be looking to boost their squad in the off-season, after they picked up their third national football league wooden spoon in-a-row.

The southerners lost their final Stirling Sports Premiership game 5-2 to a Paul Ifill inspired Tasman United, despite a Danny Furlong double, to remain rooted to the foot of the league table in 10th spot on 10 points.

Southern United showed plenty of endeavour in their first season under new head coach Paul O'Reilly, but were unable to build on a three game mid-season blitz, which saw them pick up a hat-trick of victories on-the-trot, against rivals Tasman, Hamilton Wanderers and Canterbury United. 

Tasman United's Dylan Burns takes on Ross Howard during their 5-2 win over Southern United at Trafalgar Park.
PHILLIP ROLLO/FAIRFAX NZ

Tasman United's Dylan Burns takes on Ross Howard during their 5-2 win over Southern United at Trafalgar Park.

Instead, they finished last, three points adrift of ninth-placed Hamilton Wanderers and according to coach O'Reilly, they fell short of their pre-season target.

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*Southern United looking to get off bottom of the table

"I think we have made loads of progress in lots of areas, but ultimately we are judged on where we are on the league table, it's the top level of football in the country and if we are being realistic, our aim was to get out of the bottom two, but obviously that didn't happen," he said. 

Southern United football coach Paul O'Reilly.
John Hawkins/Fairfax NZ

Southern United football coach Paul O'Reilly.

"We are a little bit disappointed where we have finished on the table, but we do think we have made some progress, I think we have been more competitive than Southern have for a couple of years." 

"We have got some good results and we have been competitive every week, we have fallen short a lot, it has always been slightly falling short, rather than walking around with our tails between our legs."

Southern United, which includes six Irish imports among their ranks, will be searching to bolster their squad for next season, as the standard of the competition continues to increase.

"In terms of improvement, we are always on the look out and looking to add to the squad and always looking to get stronger and better players and we are always looking to bring the strongest team from the region through," he said.

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"So we will be looking to do that again through the off-season and get some good young players from the region through, but we will also be looking to add to the squad as well."

 - Stuff

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