Goalie keeping up appearances

Southern United goalkeeper Liam Little at Logan Park yesterday ahead of tomorrow's game against Team Wellington. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Southern United goalkeeper Liam Little at Logan Park yesterday ahead of tomorrow's game against Team Wellington. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Southern United's best start in years has one of its most experienced players in good spirits.

Goalkeeper Liam Little has played for several teams in a career which has taken him to Scotland, Australia, Auckland and the Olympics.

However, it has been Southern - and previously Otago - United that the 31-year-old has kept coming back to over the years.

Having played every game for the side since the start of last season, he has been key to this year's impressive start.

Southern finds itself on 10 points and well among the congested mid-table a week before the Christmas break, leaving Little happy with how things were going.

With a tough match, away against Team Wellington, looming tomorrow, he said there was a positive feeling in the group.

''That's it,'' he said when asked about being among the contenders eight weeks in.

''We've not done that for years, so if we can keep that up for the rest of the season and give us a good shout of maybe making the top four . . .

''But if we don't, if we make top six, I think that's a good step for us and good going forward for the club.''

The start was particularly impressive, given last year it had just one point at this stage in the competition.

Little felt this year's team had become more resilient, although the key was having better squad depth.

''I think we've got a lot of new players and the competition for places is a lot better than last year.

''So I think that's why we're doing so well.

''Everyone's fighting for a spot and there's a lot more players coming off the bench that can do a job, which has really helped us.

''We've got quite a lot of goals quite late in games and that's really helped us so far this season.''

This week would be the team's last match until January 7.

However, Little did not have much planned for the break, with a full-on work schedule next week.

The owner of the Dunedin branch of Playball - a company which coaches youngsters in sports and movement - he enjoyed his job and planned to stick with it.

He hoped to continue with Southern as long as he could, thinking he might be able to get another four years out of his body, should he stay injury-free.

For now his focus was on Team Wellington, which leads the league alongside Auckland City on 16 points.

He was expecting a tough game and said Southern would be happy if it could emerge with a draw.

Wellington was a team with players known in the South, with former Dunedin players Tom Jackson and Joel Stevens, as well as last year's striker, Eric Molloy, in the squad.

Southern hopes to see the return of Danny Furlong, who has missed the past month with a hip injury.

Add a Comment