Three Kings ready for semis


Three Kings United are ea­ger to make his­tory, be­ing two wins away from hold­ing the Chatham Cup.

For one thing, it would mean a chance to win New Zealand’s old­est and most pres­ti­gious win­ter club com­pe­ti­tion for the very first time. They came close in 2009 in the fi­nal but were dis­ap­pointed by Welling­ton Olympic 2-1.

For the other - and the most im­por­tant ac­cord­ing to coach Neil Sykes - it would mean a lot for the four years of de­vel­op­ment of largely home grown play­ers.

‘‘It would be very im­por­tant for the club to achieve suc­cess with a team con­sist­ing of largely home pro­duced play­ers,’’ he says.

‘‘We have made great progress over the last four years, de­vel­op­ing a num­ber of home grown play­ers and over­see­ing their pro­gres­sion into the premier team.

‘‘This sea­son, the squad has played some ex­cel­lent football at times and shown great char­ac­ter once again. How­ever, the semi­fi­nal will be very chal­leng­ing against such a strong op­po­si­tion.’’

That comes in the form of Waitakere City FC at home, who have had a much bet­ter record in the com­pe­ti­tion than the Keith Hay Park-based team. Waitakere FC have won the Chatham Cup three times con­sec­u­tively from 1994 to 1996.

‘‘We have watched them a num­ber of times this sea­son and they are an ex­cel­lent side full of ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers.’’

Three Kings have had an il­lus­tri­ous out­ing in the NRFL, be­ing just four points be­hind lead­ers Cen­tral United.

Sykes says the side have con­sis­tently pro­duced per­for­mances of high qual­ity and come Sun­day, they look for­ward to a vic­tory.

‘‘Ev­ery­one is fo­cused on a dif­fi­cult semi against an in form Waitakere City side.

‘‘We have just been re­in­forc­ing ta­ble our phi­los­o­phy and fine tun­ing ar­eas that have been suc­cess­ful for us so far this sea­son. For­tu­nately we are at near full strength and look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge.’’

The Three Kings Utd v Waitakere City FC semi­fi­nal match kicks off at 2pm on Au­gust 28, at Fred Tay­lor Park. 2015: East­ern Sub­urbs 2014: Cash­mere Tech­ni­cal 2013: Cash­mere Tech­ni­cal 2012: Cen­tral United

2011: Wairarapa United 2010: Mi­ra­mar Rangers

Three Kings Utd have never won the Chatham Cup since the com­pe­ti­tion be­gan in 1923.

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