Squad on a roll

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By MEL­LISA CH­ESTER­MAN

The soc­cer sea­son is al­most un­der way and for the newly formed Toko­roa As­so­ci­a­tion Foot­ball Club Youth Team it prom­ises plenty.

The Toko­roa youth team formed by for­mer first team play­ers Dar­ren Man­thy and Bryan Ch­ester­man aims for a higher level of com­pet­i­tive soc­cer for its play­ers.

Fol­low­ing the end of the 2011 soc­cer sea­son, co- coach Bryan Ch­ester­man formed a rep­re­sen­ta­tive youth team for a one- off game against a strong Toko­roa re­serve side. Ch­ester­man said the aim was to ‘‘ show­case lo­cal tal­ent who had im­pressed through their foot­ball sea­son’’. The team turned heads with a 2-nil win­ning per­for­mance and as a re­sult, with the sup­port of Toko­roa AFC, the team of­fi­cially en­tered un­der the Toko­roa AFC ban­ner in the se­nior men’s league.

Com­pris­ing stu­dents from Pu­taruru Col­lege and For­est View and Toko­roa high schools, the youth team have been train­ing solidly and shown im­pres­sive form, de­feat­ing the Pukekohe un­der 17s 3-1 in their first pre-sea­son game. Fol­low­ing this per­for­mance the youth team dis­played great de­ter­mi­na­tion and ef­fort when they beat the Toko­roa Re­serve team 1-nil two weeks ago.

Ul­ti­mately the aim of the youth team is to ‘‘pre­pare these young men for the cal­i­bre of soc­cer which awaits them in club foot­ball’’, said Man­thy.

He said the youth team would en­able fu­ture Toko­roa soc­cer de­vel­op­ment.

The soc­cer sea­son, start­ing in April, will give the team a chance to ex­er­cise their tal­ent. With promis­ing early form, the coaches are con­fi­dent the boys will be more than com­pet­i­tive in the se­nior men’s league.

With out­stand­ing par­ent sup­port and man­age­ment the team have al­ready dis­played su­perb form. Their third pre-sea­son match against Ro­torua U19s was a top ef­fort. Af­ter dom­i­nat­ing the first half 2-1 the final score was 4-2 to Ro­torua.

SOUTH WAIKATO TAL­ENT: Tal­ented youth soc­cer stars from around the dis­trict make up the newly formed Toko­roa AFC youth squad.

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