Tasman United's Tinashe Marowa scored twice but the youth team went down 6-5 in an end-to-end encounter with Canterbury United at Saxton Fields on Saturday.

Tasman United get ‘free hit’ at Canterbury in opener


A jovial Tasman United coach Richard Anderson has described how his team are desperate to earn three points in their opening Stirling Sports Premiership match against Canterbury United this Saturday.

Tasman United coach Richard Anderson. Photos: Chris Symes/Shuttersport.
Tasman United coach Richard Anderson. Photos: Chris Symes/Shuttersport.

Richard had plenty of lighter moments in his speech at the team launch on Saturday night, including suggesting Paul Ifill was asking for a transfer, wanting to finish top in the league and gaining qualification for the OFC.

Light-hearted moments aside, Richard says he knows the team is desperate for victory, despite a tough start.

“I’d love to know who made the draw at NZ Football so I could send them a box of chocolates to say thanks for giving us three of last year’s top four teams to start.

“Having said all that, we know we have a free shot against Canterbury and a free shot against Auckland where nobody expects us to challenge them.

“I know the preseason results haven’t gone our way but we are close to a top performance.”

In announcing his squad and them coming up to receive their foundation pins, Paul Ifill and Ermal Hajdari shared a hug and a smile, a positive sign they have gelled as Tasman will rely on their goal scoring contributions and attacking flair as a partnership throughout the campaign.

Guest speaker at the launch, Kevin Fallon, who coached Nelson to Chatham Cup glory in 1977, urged the team to play freely and work hard.

“I really hope you guys have a crack,” he says. “It’ll be hard, but you have some talented players and if you work hard then anything is possible.”

Kevin says Tasman would need to become “a hard team to play against”.

“If you guys battle for possession and grind out tight results… that’s the best way to do it, hold on for those 1-0 or 2-1 results and take the game deep.”

Tasman United play Canterbury at English Park on Sunday at 2pm.