Coaching and player changes as sides shape up for premiership season

Mosgiel set what is believed to be a premier league record when it beat Northern 20-0. Photo:...
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The men’s southern premiership and women’s championship football leagues start today and there have been some movements in what looks to be a tight competition this season.

Defending men’s premiership champions Mosgiel have a new coach in Max Frear, who was previously with University, after Rory Crow stepped down.

They have retained most of their squad but are bolstered by the return of Javier Langley to their defence line.

Roslyn have also had a change at the helm with Kris Ridley — who coached Southern United to their first National League women’s final last year — taking over from long-serving coach Terry Boylan.

There have been some changes among the playing group, but Ridley has retained experienced goalkeeper Tom Stevens, who also helped Southern United goalkeepers, and last season’s golden boot Nathan Wilkie, who scored 17 goals for the season.

Green Island makes a welcome return to the premiership after playing in the Southern League the past few seasons.

Jared White and Zane Green will coach the team. Several players have moved on, but they are still tipped to be in the mix.

University and Dunedin City Royals have made promotions within their clubs for their coaches this season.

Rob Mitchell (University) brings his experience from the club’s reserve side, as does young Damo Moss (Royals) who takes over after winning the Fletcher Cup last year.

Northern are the only team to retain their coaching staff from last year. Arran Wilkinson will again lead the group. They look to be the ones to watch having signed Sam Cosgrove and Zac Baird-Hodge from Roslyn.

Wanaka’s player-coach Blair Scoullar has moved to Dunedin to run the Royals academy and has been replaced by long-serving player Thomas van Hees, and Queens Park will be strong again under Paddy Murphy.

In the women’s championship, Queens Park, coached by Leeann Duston, joins the league this season after winning four consecutive Kolk Cup titles and finishing their last three season undefeated in Southland.

Graeme Smaill is back to lead the Royals, as are Grace Teah with Northern and Arnon Tapp with Roslyn.

University, coached by Hamish Philip, had a great preseason win against University of Canterbury, and former Mosgiel premier and Royals reserve coach Malcolm Roberts has taken over as head coach for Green Island.