Team ‘has what it takes’
Western Suburbs Football Club’s under-15 side will represent the region in the Nike Cup, after they saw off rivals Miramar 2-1 in the Wellington final recently.
The annual Nike Cup involves teams around the world trying to qualify for the finals tournament at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United.
Wests will now have to beat the best Auckland and Christchurch have to offer, before the winner takes on Australia’s best.
Wests first knocked out Petone 3-0 in their Nike opener, before taking on Karori at Te Whaea in Wellington on February 17. Despite going behind early, Wests commanded possession for the rest of the first half and scored on the stroke of half-time through Nathan Perkins.
Sam Gillespie struck the winner in the second half, a beautifully timed shot from outside the box.
The final with Miramar was always going to be a tight affair.
The first half closed at 0-0, but a brilliant move, starting in Wests’ midfield, broke the deadlock in the second spell. Josh Rogerson rounded a defender before squaring to Dalton Wilkins to tap in and Wests took a deserved lead.
The second goal was an individual effort – Xavier Green beating four Miramar players before finishing. Miramar pulled a goal back in the late stages.
Wests play the Christchurch champions next month, with the winner to take on the best Auckland side.
Wests coach Pete Gillespie says although this team is one of the most talented to come through the club’s junior ranks, it is important they keep their feet on the ground.
‘‘The lads have been brilliant, absolutely brilliant. They are capable of amazing things when they play together as well as they have, but they’re only as good as their last game. I believe they have what it takes.’’