The season is drawing to a close for Otago United. Just two
games remain, beginning with this week's home fixture in
Invercargill against Wellington.
Unfortunately, I won't be on the bus. I have played my last
game for Otago and a broken tibia has consigned me to the
couch for the next few months.
Injuries are certainly a part of sport at this level, and
after a career of being virtually injury-free, I have been
very lucky to make it this far before getting a really bad
Not only does it end my season for Otago but it also means
missing the winter season for Dunedin Technical.
I have to give thanks in advance to my extremely supportive
wife Maggie and daughter Ruby, who will have to put up with a
lot from me over the next few months.
So, with six points from 12 games so far, Otago United
requires a few more points to surpass its worst effort of
eight points in 2008.
Where has it all gone wrong?Forsyth Barr Stadium has become a
bit of a hoodoo and all the points have come away from home.
Although the players love playing at the stadium, it probably
suits the better footballing teams due to its size, and takes
away the weather elements of wind and rain, which teams from
the North Island often hate.
Is the current crop of players good enough?In my opinion, we
have the best local players Otago has to offer but yet we
still can't compete regularly with the teams above us.
These teams all have a bigger player base, more resources and
the ability to attract good quality overseas players.
The other problem we have is teams poaching our best players,
which seems to happen every season and sets us back to square
one, as we try to replace key players with younger and
The Auckland teams have the World Club Cup prizemoney, and
Wellington has the backing of the Phoenix.
However, Canterbury and Hawkes Bay have developed strong
squads and set-ups on the back of very involved community
support and the backing of all local clubs, so I believe we
need to look at something similar if Otago United is to
succeed and push for playoff spots in the future.
There have been a few positives this season, including the
performances of Regan Coldicott in having a consistent run of
scoring form, and also the emergence of young Joel Stevens,
before he was injured.
Let's hope the boys can finish the season well and get some
much-needed points on the road this week. I'm picking a 2-1
- Aaron Burgess is a striker for Otago United and has
been a prolific scorer for Dunedin Technical for more than a