Tasman United re-sign Cameron Lindsay, Daniel Allan and Robbie Pearson
Cameron Lindsay, Daniel Allan and Robbie Pearson have been revealed as Tasman United's first signings for the 2017/18 campaign with coach Davor Tavich making it high priority to retain the spine of last season's squad.
Lindsay and Allan are both currently playing for Wairarapa United in the Central League and are understood to have rejected offers from elsewhere to remain with Tasman for a second season while Pearson was always likely to re-sign given that he stayed on to play for Nelson Suburbs in the Mainland Premier League.
"Last year was fantastic to be involved and with Davor in charge and driving things I can't wait to get back," said 24-year-old Lindsay, who made four appearances for the Wellington Phoenix in 2013.
"Really it was a no-brainer for me. It's a great place to play premier football, I want to work hard and repay the fans and the volunteers for the way they supported us last year. With that support and the players we have, we will give it a real push this season."
Lindsay and Pearson, 26, formed a strong midfield partnership during Tasman's first foray in the ISPS Handa Premiership, making 17 and 16 appearances respectively, with Lindsay also named player of the year at the team's end of season prizegiving.
Allan, 20, is one of the most promising defenders to come out of Nelson in recent years. He was named players' player of the year in his rookie season.
Tavich said it was great to have the trio back on board as he begins to build a squad capable of reaching the semifinals.
"It's really good for the franchise that the boys are coming back. They're obviously three very important players and they have done extremely well for us last season and they've decided to give it another shot and hopefully we can do better as a team," Tavich said.
"I'm sure they all had offers and interest from elsewhere, being quality players, but it's a very positive and encouraging sign to see the players believe in what Tasman has been doing so far, our future plans and where we want to go from here."
One player that won't be back though is starting goalkeeper Coey Turipa, who has rejoined Canterbury United.
Although disappointed to lose their No 1 shotstopper to their rivals, Tavich had no ill feeling towards Turipa for his decision.
"Coey is a great young keeper and a great young man but we'll wish him all the best ... that is football and like anybody else he's looking after himself and his future plans and we have no problem with that. He's been a long servant of Nelson football and he's done a lot of good stuff for Nelson so there's no hard feelings whatsoever.
"We have one very promising goalkeeper who we have showed a lot of interest in and he wants to be a part of it so we're working through the details there, and we'll look for either a No 2 or a young apprentice."