Waikato FC call in some outside assistance
Waikato FC and coach Declan Edge have had to tweak their philosophy to bolster the side for the upcoming season.
The franchise announced a raft of new signings yesterday which included five Aucklanders as they look to improve on a seventh-place finish in last season's ASB Premiership.
Along with Waikato product Sam Margetts, Waikato have signed the Birkenhead United trio of Sam Jasper, Jack Hobson-McVeigh and David Parkinson and the Waitakere United duo of striker Rory Turner and goalkeeper Matt Upton.
The franchise has pledged to build a side from young talent within the region but chairman Brendon Coker acknowledged they needed to re-assess.
"While we are still working to develop our own homegrown players, in assembling a 25-strong squad we have had to accept a few realities. With players such as Dave Samson [Wanderers] and Steve Morrison [Ngaruawahia] injured, and other senior players unavailable, and with just two premier league winter clubs in the province, at present there are not enough Waikato players of the calibre required to be competitive at national league level," Coker said.
Margetts first played for Waikato FC as a schoolboy in early 2007 and has re-joined after making 14 appearances for Hawke's Bay last summer.
Turner, 18, netted 11 goals in this year's Northern League Premier Division and Edge will be hopeful the duo can bolster an attack that struggled for goals last season.
Defender Jasper has played for the Football Kingz, Waitakere Utd and Canterbury Utd, while Hobson-McVeigh is a gifted utility player.