Murray aiming high for new team

 Richard Murray at Tahuna Park yesterday as he prepares to take charge of the newly formed South...
Richard Murray at Tahuna Park yesterday as he prepares to take charge of the newly formed South City Royals FC. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
Richard Murray has big aspirations for Dunedin’s newest football team.

The 45-year-old has been announced as the premier men’s head coach of the newly named South City Royals FC.

The team will represent what is being dubbed as the "hub" in a relationship involving Caversham, Dunedin Technical, Melchester and Hereweka.

A combined team will play in the premier men’s grade, as well as in Football South’s two newly formed development leagues.

Other grades will continue to play as separate clubs, although the premier women’s team remains a possibility to play under the South City banner.

It comes after a major revamp in which New Zealand Football’s national league will now be club-based and qualified for via regional leagues.

For southern teams, the first step is finishing in the top three of the local league, before needing a top-two finish in the South Island league.

Murray, who coached Caversham last year and has formerly coached Otago United, is aiming high.

"In this level you play to win," he said.

"Obviously, you set your bar right at the very top. You want to win the national league and you go from there.

"First and foremost it’s to win the local league and quality for the South Island league — that sets us up for next season.

"But we want to go out there and win all our games, as simple as that.

"If you’re not in it for that reason, that’s what social grades are for."

Murray, who works as a teacher at Big Rock Primary School, said the team would consist largely of the existing Caversham and Tech squads.

He said the there was plenty of quality in those two teams.

Between them it would be able to form a very competitive side.

While some new students may come to the club, he said he was not a fan of poaching from other clubs.

Combining two teams will potentially have teething issues, particularly as the season start date of March 10 is not far away.

However, Murray said it was not dissimilar to pulling a representative team together from different clubs — something with which he has plenty of experience.

"I’m sort of taking the approach of it being a representative side between the two clubs, for now.

"From that we build a team.

"The culture’s going to be the big thing in building that foundation and having everyone on the same page.

"It doesn’t normally take too long for players to click, being a university town we’re used to new students coming in all the time.

"But we’ve got strong senior players in there, they sort of set the standard and we go from there. I don't see it was too much of an issue."

He said while there would be pressure, Caversham and Tech were both used to having a target on their backs.

Aside from a rough past two seasons, the two sides had dominated the local scene for the past 20 years so were used to teams bringing their best for them.

Comments

Good luck but remember there will only be 2 South Island teams and Chch is also stepping up. No mergers there yet but that will happen.
Sadly this daft idea from NZ Football will only last a few years and fall over like it did last time. For those in the provinces (Southland, Central, Timaru etc) pack up and play tennis.

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