Spain enjoying challenge of midfield

Southern United youngster Jordan Spain takes a break at Logan Park turf yesterday. PHOTO: PETER...
Southern United youngster Jordan Spain takes a break at Logan Park turf yesterday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Teenage talent has been evident through Southern United this season.

An experienced core remains, but there have been several youngsters step in and impress.

Jordan Spain has been as prominent as any of those and will hope to be so again today against Waitakere United at Logan Park.

The 19-year-old has been a constant on the right side of the park this year, both as a defender and lately in the midfield.

Having come south from Christchurch, he is enjoying his time with the team.

After playing for Canterbury United youth last year, he played alongside Southern striker Garbhan Coughlan at Cashmere Technical in the winter.

That link had proven a useful lure, while recently departed head coach Paul O’Reilly had been key in securing the youngster.

"Paul was really keen to get me down," Spain said.

"His interest of having me playing and to keep playing me each week was really key in me coming down. Paul was a huge part of that.

"I played with Garbhan in the winter season and he said the environment and the set-up now with the turf and the physiotherapy, the gym stuff was top-notch.

"So that was a big motivator in coming down."

While young, he brought plenty of experience with him.

Spain had been involved in several national set-ups at age-group level.

That included going to the Under-17 World Cup, for which he moved to Auckland for his final year of school.

He has also played for New Zealand at under-20 and under-23 levels.

It was something he said was a privilege and he hoped to continue to be involved at that level.

Recently, he had shown versatility too, having pushed further up the pitch.

"I’ve been a midfielder the past few games.

"I’ve sort of been challenged with the more going-forward side of it, the attacking side of it, which is good because as a right back I like to be an attacking-minded right back.

"Sometimes in the system we don’t get to do that. So having a bit of a stint in right midfield has been good, definitely.

"But if I was to prefer one I would probably say right back."

He is expecting a tough game against Waitakere today, the Auckland side having hit a good run of form.

t has won its last four games, including a 1-0 win over Eastern Suburbs last week.

However, Southern claimed a 5-2 win last time the sides met and Spain hopes it can achieve another positive result.

Kick-off is at 4pm.


National premiership

Southern Utd v Waitakere Utd
Logan Park Turf
Today, 4pm


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