Drury and Franklin join forces
Drury United’s best junior prospects will soon be playing in the Northern Region Football League.
This follows an agreement which will see the club’s best playing premiers, reserves and under-19s for Franklin United, the Pukekohe-based club that succeeded Waiuku in the northern league last year and which finished seventh in the 11 team competition.
The opportunity arose when Waiuku AFC pulled out of an agreement with Pukekohe AFC, an arrangement which constituted Franklin.
Drury president Martin Strange said the decision to step into the breech was a no-brainer. ’’It took us less than month to make a decision that is necessary and so exciting for Drury.
‘‘We’ve been working on a pathway for our players for some time and when this opportunity presented itself it was a very quick and easy decision.
‘‘The club has seen significant growth and investment in recent years and has more than doubled it’s membership in five years. We as a club are committed to the development of players . . . We subsidise Coerver coaching for our juniors and have been involved for some years with the South Auckland Elite academy run by former All White Mark Atkinson.
‘‘We have helped our players grow their skills and now we have an outlet for talent at the top of the club,’’ he says.
Strange said the arrangement was a big step for Drury and foot- ball in South Auckland. ’’Franklin United was set up to attract and keep talent in the south and to stop the exodus of talent north to clubs in Auckland.’’
Strange said Drury United players were already taking advantage of the link up. ’’We have a number of players trying out for the Franklin team already. They’re really enjoying the experience of playing with and against players from the northern league. For those who miss selection, the experience they pick up will benefit our senior side.’’
Franklin play Ba, a team of former Fiji players living in South Auckland, in a pre-season match at Drury United on March 6. Kick off is 7pm. Drury trials continue February 28 and March 1-2.
Franklin United chairman Michael Lieshout, left, and Drury United president Martin Strange signing up to an exciting new football venture.