Call for league to expand to two rounds

Dunedin Technical coach Tony Martin is urging the new Southern League be expanded to two rounds next year and said it can only help the sport in the south.

Dunedin Technical will have its second derby match of the season when it takes on Queenstown at Tahuna Park this afternoon.

The Southern League match was set down to be played tomorrow at the Caledonian Ground but has been shifted to the ground by the beach today because of a  better playing surface.

Dunedin Technical had last week off — as did most teams in the league due to the Chatham Cup — and rested some tired bodies.

Technical, which sits fifth in the league, has two games left. It will  head to Nelson next week for its final game of the season.

Martin said the rest did the side well and, although there had been some comings and goings from the team over the past six weeks, the players were raring to go today.

Tech has lost attacking midfielder Tim McLennan, who went overseas last month.

Martin said the league had been set up to be a bridge between the local league and the national league and it was doing exactly that.

"We have already come away from the games with a lot of learnings.

"You can get away with mistakes when you play in the local league that you can’t in the next league up," he said.

"We need to be playing more games at this level."

Players were enjoying competing at the higher level and many coaches and players he had spoken to were keen to expand the league.

Finance would obviously be an issue but clubs would be committed to the concept.

Queenstown sits bottom of the ladder and is coming off a 11-1 hiding by Coastal Spirit in its most recent game.

It has not been able to train for a month as its training ground at the Queenstown Events Centre has been closed because of the weather.

It was missing key players in the disappointing loss to the Spirit but is committed to putting on a good effort at Tahuna Park.In  other games today, Coastal Spirit takes on Ferrymead Bays in Christchurch while Nomads meet

Cashmere in a top-of-the-table clash.

Southland United will play Nelson, which has made the long journey to Invercargill.

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