How we rate Hamil­ton foot­ball teams

The north­ern premier league has wrapped up for an­other sea­son with a share of joy and de­spair for Hamil­ton's three main clubs. re­porter has graded the five top teams on their sea­son.

Hamilton News - - SPORT -

Hamil­ton Wan­der­ers

After a range of coach­ing changes in the off sea­son, Wan­der­ers set­tled with Kale Her­bert to fix their for­tunes in the premier league, after two sea­sons of rel­e­ga­tion scares.

They fin­ished the sea­son in sixth place, but three weeks ago they were in­volved in a top of the ta­ble clash against Birkenhead United.

In­con­sis­ten­cies costed them cru­cial points in the long run, but this was a sea­son where Wan­der­ers needed to show they can still com­pete at the top level, which un­der the eyes of Kale Her­bert, they did.

Tommy Semmy proved piv­otal for Wan­der­ers with a large chunk of the goals, while Will Stephen emerged from the re­serves to make a case that he de­serves a start­ing spot within the first team.

Grade: B+

Key player: Tommy Semmy

Most Im­proved: Will Stephen

Melville United

Last sea­son Melville was close to pro­mo­tion to the Premier League. This sea­son they ran ram­pant in divi­sion one to se­cure that goal. Coaches Sam Wilkin­son and Michael Mayne have de­vel­oped a style of ex­cit­ing foot­ball at the club, while also cre­at­ing a path­way for young play­ers in the Waikato.

Their only slip-ups came against Fen­ci­bles in a 1-1 draw and a 2-1 de­feat to Wai­heke United. A shin­ing mo­ment for the team came in their third to last game of the sea­son, when one of their academy play­ers, Leslie Kivolyn, scored a hat-trick against Tau­ranga AFC.

Liam Hayes con­tin­ues to be a grow­ing force in the mid­field for the side, while Flynn O'brien is grow­ing in to a ca­pa­ble leader at the back for when­ever stal­wart Aaron Scott de­cides to hang up his boots. Grade: A

Key player: Liam Hayes

Most Im­proved: Flynn O'brien

Claude­lands Rovers

Claude­lands coaches Mark Cossey and Shane Comber first sea­son with Rovers can be con­sid­ered a suc­cess. They missed out on pro­mo­tion but cre­ated a squad that was able to chal­lenge for the top of the league for a part of the sea­son, fin­ish­ing third.

It was in­con­sis­ten­cies, and a poor start to the sea­son that lost them a chance of com­pet­ing in divi­sion one next year, but to­gether they cre­ated a squad that when it clicked, played some of the best foot­ball in the league.

Owen Comber was the star of the side, scor­ing sev­eral im­por­tant goals, while show­ing com­po­sure that wouldn't look out of place in the premier league, while Kyle Kirsten was able to hold his own in de­fence. Grade: B

Key player: Owen Comber

Most Im­proved: Kyle Kirsten

Hamil­ton Wan­der­ers premier women

At the cost of their city ri­vals, Wan­der­ers flipped the bal­ance of power in women's foot­ball in Hamil­ton. Two pre­vi­ous sea­sons of be­ing in­volved in rel­e­ga­tion bat­tles, Wan­der­ers were in­volved in an early ti­tle chal­lenge this sea­son, while also mak­ing the quar­ter fi­nal of the Kate Shep­pard Cup. They were able to pick up big wins against even­tual cham­pi­ons Glenfield Rovers along the way.

Kelli Brown led the way in goals for Wan­der­ers, while Lilly Mus­pratt in her ap­pear­ances for the first team side did no harm to her chances at fur­ther ap­pear­ances in the first team. Grade: B+

Key player: Kelli Brown

Most Im­proved: Lilly Mus­pratt

Claude­lands Rovers premier women

It has been a tough sea­son for one of the league's old­est teams. After los­ing half their squad to Hamil­ton Wan­der­ers, Rovers were left with an in­ex­pe­ri­enced side for the 2018 sea­son. They were only able to pick up one win against Pa­pakura AFC, but also man­aged a draw against their ri­vals Hamil­ton Wan­der­ers in the fi­nal weekend of the league.

De­spite the poor re­sults, the team still kept push­ing to im­prove, which showed with their later re­sults. Un­for­tu­nately their last place fin­ish means they are now rel­e­gated from the premier league. Tiana Hill was a vi­tal player who re­mained be­hind with the cur­rent squad, and put 100 per cent into ev­ery game she played. Stella Neems and Olivia Schuler in the full back po­si­tions both rose to the oc­ca­sion and grew as more com­plete play­ers as the sea­son wore on.

Grade: D

Key Player: Tiana Hill

Most Im­proved: Stella Neems and Olivia Schuler

Photo / Grant Stan­tiall

Hamil­ton Wan­der­ers fans watch on as Tommy Semmy beats a Manukau United de­fender to the ball.

Photo / Pete Davies

Claude­lands cap­tain Tiana Hill bat­tles for the ball against Shae Brady.

(Above): Ja­cob Robb bat­tles for the ball in Claude­lands game against Cam­bridge FC.

Photo / Pete Davies Photo / Grant Stan­tiall

Hamil­ton Wan­der­ers Kim Maguire reaches out to con­trol the ball as the rain pours down.

Photo / Marc Mc­mul­lan Photography )

Melville United coaches Sam Wilkin­son and Michael Mayne.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.