Big changes at Technical for new season

Dunedin Technical’s Rhys Quarrell (left) and Southland United’s Angel Alberto Garcia dispute...
Dunedin Technical’s Rhys Quarrell (left) and Southland United’s Angel Alberto Garcia tussle for possession. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Winter football begins today in the form of the Southern Premiership. Neville Watson takes a look at the 10 sides.

After winning the Southern Premiership last year, Dunedin Technical has undergone massive changes in both the coaching and playing personnel.

The coaching team of Tony Martin, Nick Cooper and Gavin Wheeler have stood aside and in comes a new coach, Welshman Paul Phillips. Phillips has experience in the United Kingdom - Birmingham, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Cardiff are some of the clubs in which he has been involved .

Players to have departed include the strike force of Alistair Rickberby and Tim McLennan, and goalkeeper Tom Fitall and Luke McKay are among others leaving.

George McCall and Rhys Quarrell will lead the line and with the experience of David Hayman and Andy Coburn, Technical should be competitive.

Wanaka is new to the league and has a multinational squad. The captain will be Thomas Van Hees, formerly from Ter Leede FC in Holland, and with an experienced spine in veteran Blair Scoullar, Allan Carmichael, Mark Kane, Barry Grehan and Steve Pleskun.

The side will be coached by Ian Bell.

Rosyln Wakari is again coached by Colin Thom but has lost Nick Treadwell and Kristian Gibson and the talented O'Farrell brothers, Tim and Ben who have transferred to University.

Jak Stevenson has moved up from the youth grade and Swedish import Victor Pekkari will be looking to get among the goals.

Cam McPhail has taken the challenge to lead Mosgiel in a player-coach role and has had a busy preseason with recruitment, bringing in the likes of Alex Cox from Roslyn and Aiden Barbour-Ryan, who has previously played for Southern United in the national league. Long-term locals Riley Anderton, Morgan Day, Regan Coldicott and Rory Findlay provide some good quality.

Jamie Whitmarsh is again coaching Queenstown and as per usual the side has had quite a few changes of players.

Being able to retain gloveman Daniel Bocatios along with the very skilful Jan Kumar and Carlos Hermann will mean Whitmarsh's aim of improving on last year's strong showing is possible. It narrowly missed out on the title by one point to Technical.

After missing out last year, Caversham will be looking to get back on top and has brought back Richard Murray as head coach, ably assisted by Tim Horner and Craig Ferguson.

The club has signed Eden Souter-Napier, Raven August and Callum Flaws while Ben Wade, Jared Grove, Ben Kiore and Andrew Ridden will be back again.

Michael Hogan has gone to Christchurch and there are a couple of other departures.

Northern is into its second year of coach Luiz Uehara's five-year plan and will be looking to continue on from last year's late surge.

Many from Grants Braes have moved to Northern which will help it out.

Southern United's futsal coach Darren Hart once again leads the students who have strengthened their ranks with Oban Hawkins, who was in the Birkenhead team that won the Chatham Cup in 2018.

Along with signing the O'Farrell brothers from Roslyn, it has gained the the Caversham duo of Allan McBride and Tom Durkin. University will surely be a stronger force this year.

Southland has a new coach at the helm in Greig Evans, replacing Luis Paiva. The squad will be a blend of imported players, foreign students, and local youth keen to establish themselves. Coming off a good pre-season and having retained the services of Miguel Ortiz, Southland is looking to repeat its top-three finish from last year.

Richard Kerr Bell and Kevin Scoullar continue to coach Green Island and have kept the majority of its squad from last season. Cody Robinson returns as captain to lead a very young team in which the Milton brothers, Tom and Matt - while still young - will be a couple of the older hands.

Liam Carrington and Ryan Fleming have come over from Caversham.

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