Western Springs march on un­de­feated

Central Leader - - PUBLIC NOTICES - SAMHEWAT

Western Springs’ pre­mier men’s foot­ball side have con­tin­ued their un­beaten streak in the North­ern Re­gional Foot­ball League (NRFL) Di­vi­sion One com­pe­ti­tion with a 2-0 vic­tory over Tau­ranga City on Satur­day.

The win was their ninth from as many games and they now sit four points clear at the top of the ta­ble with a game in hand.

They’ve given up just seven goals so far this sea­son, the least across all three NRFL di­vi­sions.

Springs’ as­sis­tant coach Liam Mul­rooney said the side’s strong de­fen­sive record was a tes­ta­ment to the style of foot­ball they were try­ing to play.

‘‘We play a pos­ses­sion-based game,’’ Mul­rooney said.

‘‘We keep the ball well and when the other team don’t have it, they can’t score.’’

Mul­rooney made no se­cret of the side’s main fo­cus this sea­son - gain­ing pro­mo­tion back into the NRFL Pre­mier League af­ter they were rel­e­gated last year.

Nor­mally, the two top sides from Di­vi­sion One re­place the two bottom sides from the Pre­mier League, how­ever, last sea­son’s Pre­mier League was an ex­panded 13-team com­pe­ti­tion mean­ing an ex­tra side was to be moved down.

With just one point in it on the ta­ble, Springs were on the re­ceiv­ing end of that tech­ni­cal­ity, and they’re show­ing this sea­son they be­long back in the top flight.

For Mul­rooney, the un­de­feated tagline is one they’d like to hang on to.

‘‘It’s a bit of a goal to get through that first round with­out los­ing a game,’’ he said.

Springs de­cided to change things up this sea­son, opt­ing for a mix of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence. In the past, they’ve been well-known for field­ing strong, young ta­lent, but have strug­gled to gar­ner the ser­vices of vet­er­ans who know how to lead and take con­trol of a game.

Two new ad­di­tions in Adam Dickinson and Chris Bale - both high pro­file foot­ball play­ers in Auck­land - has bol­stered the squad and they’re now reap­ing the re­wards.

Dickinson leads Springs’ goalscor­ing tally and said he was happy with where his team was head­ing.

‘‘When we’ve got con­fi­dence the goals just seem to hap­pen,’’ he said.

‘‘I think in any sport con­fi­dence is just mas­sive and we’ve got mo­men­tum. But I think we can still go up another gear to be hon­est.’’

PHOTOTEK

Western Springs’ Ge­orge Deben­ham in ac­tion against Eastern Suburbs in last year’s NRFL Pre­mier League.

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