Tinashe Marowa returns to Tasman United after missing out on Phoenix contract
Tasman United coach Davor Tavich has welcomed the surprise return of one of the team's best players from last season, just a week out from the start of the new campaign.
Tasman have confirmed the re-signing of rising star Tinashe Marowa, who was expected to spend the ISPS Handa Premiership with the Wellington Phoenix reserves.
However, after missing out on a professional contract with the Phoenix, Marowa opted against hanging around to play for their reserves and instead decided to return to Tasman - a team he thrived with during their inaugural season.
"T is coming back and it's very nice to have him back. He's a lovely young man and obviously a great footballer. He was a big part of the Tasman set-up last year so to have him back is a great bonus for us," Tavich said.
"He went the whole preseason with the Phoenix and played a few games with them so he will pick up the way we want to play very quick. But I think physically, technically and mentally he will be more than ready, possibly more ready than everyone else because I believe the Phoenix preseason is a lot harder than any other preseason. I don't think there will be any issues for the first game."
After starting out in the National Youth League, it didn't take long for the 20-year-old winger to step up and prove his worth in the Premiership. Marowa became a regular starter and finished the season with seven goals to his name, a tally only surpassed by team-mate Paul Ifill when he scored four in the final game against Southern United.
Marowa's superb form did not go unnoticed and he was invited to trial with the Phoenix in the hope of scoring a place in the A-League squad.
He represented the Phoenix at the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens and made his full debut in their FFA Cup loss against Western Sydney Wanderers. But ultimately, Marowa was unable to earn a professional contract.
The late addition of Marowa means there is now serious competition for places in the front three at Tasman with Ifill, Smith, Maksym Kowal and Abdulla Al-Kalisy the other contenders for a starting role.
Tavich said Marowa's arrival gives his team a significant boost particularly with another forward, new recruit Kieran Smith, in doubt their opening round clash against Hamilton Wanderers next weekend through injury.
"The timing of Tinashe coming back couldn't be better with Kieran out for another week or so, although he is coming along better than expected. T gives us another option and he's very quick, similar to Kieran's style of play, so with him there and Paul, Maksym we have an option to chose from some very established attackers in that first game.
Meanwhile, Tavich confirmed that left-back Labu Pan will see out the entire National Youth League campaign with Tasman's youth team before returning to the first team in December.