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Leading into the second to last week for the SPL top-4 fixtures, Mosgiel AFC has another home game hosting Otago University AFC.
Mosgiel are currently sitting second place on the table, only one point ahead of Uni. This match will likely decide on who secures that second to top spot.
Mosgiel are aware it will be an interesting match, after Uni’s 6-1 win against league winners Green Island at the turf last weekend.
Both teams have taken one game each so far this season, with Mosgiel winning 5-2 at Memorial park, and Uni winning 2-1 at the turf.
“As was the case last weekend vs Wanaka, we have a couple of players ruled out through injury and another couple who are 50/50 as to whether they can play;” said Mosgiel head coach Cam McPhail.
Wanaka AFC play at home hosting Green Island AFC, who will be looking at getting their groove back after their first loss of the season last weekend.
Wanaka is currently forth on the table, however will no doubt be giving it their all after seeing the performance Uni put out against GI last week.
This round is the final fixtures for the SPL bottom-5. Caversham AFC is only one point ahead of Queenstown Rovers, making for a great game to decide who takes fifth spot.
Cavy head coach Richard Murray and the team are looking forward to hosting Jamie, Steve and their Queenstown Rovers side.
“It what has been a tricky season, both clubs will be disappointed with not making the top 4, but be hoping to finish on the right note;” said Murray.
“Our first round class was for us a turning point in our season, while for Rovers it was probably the opposite.
“We know they will want to atone for that and will be fired up to prove a point.”
“Having younger players step up is great for our future, and proof that the development systems we have in place are paying dividends. Even more pleasing as at one stage it didn't look like we would get any games this season.”
Roslyn Wakari AFC are back on Ellis park hosting Northern AFC, to which Roslyn head coach Terry Boylan is “looking forward to the challenge.”
“We know that under Aaran they have become a hard to play against team now, we are definitely not taking them for granted or think that they are easy beats.
“We are very wary of the challenges ahead of this game, and just need to focus on ourselves, making sure we start well.”
Boylan said there are some aspects of the season that they are happy with, like including younger players in the squad. Other parts of the season, not so much however, they will continue working hard at trainings which is a great.
Dunedin Technical have the bye, meaning they are finished for the 2020 season.
Title winners Dunedin Technical AFC play Otago University A’s on the Turf Friday evening, and are aiming to keep their consecutive win streak to make it 104 games.
Tech head coach Craig Johnston has had an enjoyable season, although trying due to the Covid-19 situation.
“Uni A will be a touch challenge, although as their play centres around Amy Hislop, if we starve her of the ball this will assist our cause.
“The battle with Hannah Mackay-Wright and Rose Morton taking care of Amy should be a great watch.”
Johnston would like to mention Rose Morton who has “clearly been the best player in the 2020 league.”
Uni A head coach Stu Moffatt sends his Congratulations to Tech for taking out their eighth consecutive title. “It really sets a high benchmark for us and all the other clubs in the region to live up to.
“I know there was talk of them seeming vulnerable this year, but that certainly wasn’t the case, if anything they have been emphatic;” Moffatt said.
He suggests this years championship title could be considered especially well earned as what might have been seen as; “a chink in the armour, the introduction of new blood to the side, was accomplished smoothly and efficiently.”
“Craig Johnston probably doesn't get enough credit as a coach that he deserves. As an ex-Tech Man myself, having played alongside him and coached alongside him I know he is both highly intelligent and an extremely canny operator.
“We don't expect them to be resting on their laurels, they will be wanting to send a message to us (and the other clubs) about what it is to be Champs, so we will be expecting this fixture to be even tougher than the 1st round fixture.
Uni hopes they will be up for the occasion and be able to point to the performance gap closing between them.
Otago University 2nds vs Queenstown AFC was played at an earlier date in the season, meaning both teams are finished for the season. Uni 2nds ending on three points, and QT on 17.
Green Island AFC are looking forward to playing at the home soil of Sunnyvale to wrap up what has been a great season of development and teamwork. They will host Mosgiel AFC and are hoping to replicate the first halves passing and movement from last weekend, and just enjoy playing football together.
“We have received a number of goals this season, and learnt the gaps between aspiration and achievement;” said GI head coach Richard Kerr-Bell.
“With new coaches, the players have been very patient!”
Roslyn Wakari have the bye, finishing on 24 points for the season.
Best of luck to all teams and have a fun final fixture! Next week we see the two top-4 SPL fixtures to complete the SPL for 2020.
- Olivia Marshall