Tasman United has secured its first ever signing ahead of its maiden National League campaign this summer – goal keeper Coey Turipa.
Coey played for Canterbury United in last year’s competition and the franchise understood to be keen to retain his services. But Nelson Pine LVL Tasman United has pulled off a coup by signing the Nelson Suburbs shot-stopper.
Tasman’s head coach Richard Anderson rated Coey as one of the top keepers in last year’s competition and says it was vital to “get Coey on board early”.
“We believe Coey to be one of the stand out goalkeepers in the league, and he also has a great deal of potential to tap into. It is not an understatement when I say I believe he can become the outstanding goalkeeper within the competition.”
Coey has previously played for the Nelson Marlborough Falcons in the national youth league and currently plays for Nelson Suburbs in the Mainland Premier League.
Nelson Bays Football general manager Clive Beaumont says it was a bit of a battle to prise Coey away from Canterbury, which finished in the top four of last year’s competition.
“There were a number of interested franchises for Coey’s services and it is fantastic for our young franchise he has chosen us. Coey has come up through the grades in Nelson, and being a local player with the immense standing he commands, Coey will be a talisman for this side.”
He says he was “delighted” to get Coey’s signature on paper.
“It was the measure of the man that he felt a lot of loyalty to his current team [Canterbury] for the opportunity that they had given him, but in the end the pull of family and playing for his local region won out.”
A raft of local players are also expected to sign in the coming weeks.
Nelson Pine LVL Tasman United will play their inaugural season in the national league commencing October 2016.