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Well.. what a week! With Auckland going into level 3, and the rest of the Federations in level 2, there has been a lot of discussion of how this will affect Football South members and players.
Please see our recent article on our website and Facebook page for a full update of the current status. All games and training will go ahead until further notice.
In the WPL this week we have the unbeaten Dunedin Technical AFC hosting Green Island AFC at the Turf on Friday evening.
“The first round showed us that Green Island is a very good defensive side, and we have been working on ways to combat this.”
Emily Morrison is still out of play this week, but everyone else will be up for selection.
Ellis Park will see Roslyn Wakari vs Otago University AFC.
Roslyn head coach Hamish Philip is looking forward to facing Uni on their “version of a turf, Ellis number 1!”
Should Holly Johnston take the field this weekend, it will be her 100th game in the Premier League for Roslyn Wakari. Philip says the team aims to mark it with a solid performance.
“The team has continued to work extremely hard for each other, understanding every match is as important as the last.
“Focus this week is all based on ourselves, each starting XI we can put out offers something different, the variety is ideal.”
In Philip's words..... “Giddy up!!”
Uni head coach Stuart Moffatt said the team have worked hard in training this week, based on the video from the Tech game.
"We are back to the drawing board and this result is a pointer that we may be on the right track. We are looking to further improve from each game this time round."
Otago University 2nds are back on the Turf against Mosgiel AFC. Both teams will be trying to secure those three points to stay off the bottom of the table. It will be a tight game, with each week becoming more about team work and playing as a unit.
Queenstown AFC have the round two bye this week, eagerly returning next week with an away game to Otago University AFC.
Upcoming weekend fixtures are the last round for the SPL before we split into top-4 and bottom-5.
Top-4 will be home and away against the other three teams in the top-4.
Bottom-5 will play two teams at home and two teams away. All points and cards will carry over. More information next week once the table is finalized post round-9.
This weekend in the SPL, Wanaka AFC will host Otago University AFC at the Recreation center.
Wanaka are looking forward to hosting a University team who play one of the more attractive styles of football they have seen in recent seasons.
Bell says Uni coach Darren Hart is a much-respected coach and has a proven track record with his futsal back ground. Darren has transformed University's 11-a-side game over the last four years, lifting them to title contenders in 2019 and 2020.
"They have talented players across the park and I believe there is no weak link in their armour." said Bell.
"For us we have put our top 4 chances in our own hands" - a scenario Bell and assistant coach Thomas Van Hees would have happily taken given the option 7 weeks ago.
"Consistency is a word we use a lot and it's definitely part of our game we need to improve.
"Saturday's home game will be a big test of our ability to handle pressure when playing a top team.
"For us it's about winning a game of football and securing a possible 3rd equal place on the table. That's definitely our goal."
Bell welcomes back the youth Levi Fletcher, Toa Roode, Michael Gealogo, Lukas Schafer and son Weston to his game day squad along with veteran Allan Carmichael.
The players are really looking forward to the game, says Bell.
Queenstown also have a home game in Central, hosting top-of-the-table Green Island AFC at the QT events centre.
Jamie Whitmarsh, Queenstown head coach, said the “task couldn’t be greater.”
“Green Island are defensively strong, and are scoring goals for fun.. that shows they are a very good side.
“They will be coming to QT to try complete a perfect first round.”
Whitmarsh is aware they naturally have a lot to play for, and is expecting a tough, physical encounter that they are all looking forward to.
Mosgiel AFC head coach Cam McPhail is looking forward to a competitive game vs Dunedin Technical AFC.
“We are aiming for three points to end the first round, and put ourselves in a good position to begin our top-4 campaign,” McPhail said.
“Tech will be looking to bounce back after last weekend's defeat to Queenstown, so I think we will have to be top of our game right from kick off.
Mosgiel have lost Cody Brook to Petone FC in Wellington, with the other players having to step up and carry the goal scoring burden.
Roslyn Wakari AFC vs Caversham AFC will be played at Ellis Park 1.
Roslyn head coach Terry Boylan said the team are looking forward to hosting Caversham at home this week, and they know by their results that they are starting to hit their strides now.
"We are very vary of the attacking threats that they have, along with some very experienced players as well.
"The week off came at the right time, with players having injuries to rest, and others trying to push their way back into first team football."
Boylan said the group have been excellent to date, and he has asked a lot of them.
"I am very happy with the trainings we are having, and we are anticipating a very hard game from Cavvy."
Northern AFC have the bye, and round-10 fixtures will be released following the results of this weekend.
- Olivia Marshall