Top of the ASB Youth League’s southern conference by one point, New Zealand King Salmon Nelson Falcons head coach Davor Tavich believes the side’s confidence is playing a big part in the successful beginning. “I think there will be some teams taking notice of us now.”
Speaking just moments after the Falcons dispatched YoungHeart Manawatu 8-0 at Trafalgar Park in front of another healthy crowd, Davor says the team will look to play in a similar vein in Wellington this weekend. “They’re all tough games but we’re just going to take another positive approach into this weekend and hope for a result,” he says.
During our short post-match discussion, Davor was handed a blank certificate for man of the match and there were no surprises as to who the award was going to. “Dan [Grimshaw].” After scoring five goals to make him the competition’s leading goal scorer, would you blame him? “Anybody that scores five goals is going to be man of the match in my books.”
The Falcons forward had bagged four of his five goals in the opening 33 minutes and could have scored more had he not picked up an injury while putting his fifth past the opposition keeper.
Blenheim’s Tore Waechter scored two goals after another impressive showing in the middle of the park while Niall Young knocked in the eight goal after an initial shot from substitute Sam Maxwell.
Davor says the side looked to pick up the intensity after a slow start against Canterbury United last week. “We applied a lot of pressure on Manawatu from the first minute and that was the plan. Any mistake they made, we wanted to use it against them. We were very strong at the back yet again. Obviously they didn’t score a goal and I’m really proud of that actually.”
He didn’t think Manawatu was a particularly poor side, he just thought the Falcons punished every mistake that was made. “Once you go 1, 2, 3 goals up it’s really hard for them to come back. I think any any game scoring eight goals is a big achievement, especially in a national league.”
For the second week in a row, Davor and his assistants will have to make a decision on who will replace a departing centre-back, with Fox Slotemaker heading back to Auckland. Last week Erik Panzer played his first and final game for the club. It will be a tough ask with Davor highlighting Fox as a standout from Sunday. Vice captain Harry Tod-Smith seems the obvious choice after he replaced captain Mark Johnston in the second half. However, the team to travel to Wellington would not be officially signed off until later in the week. After beating Canterbury United 4-2 on Sunday, Team Wellington should be a much tougher opposition than Manawatu.