Selwyn United ready for premier level
Selwyn United Football Club (SUFC) Men’s Premier head coach Lee Padmore says his side is ready for the challenges ahead in their first year in the top game.
The club earned their promotion to the Mainland Premier League (MPL) after dominating the Canterbury Championship League last year.
‘‘This is our fifth year now. This [promotion to the MPL] is the culmination of four years of hard work and development,’’ Padmore said.
Playing on the same field as experienced MPL teams for the first time would be the major challenge, Padmore said.
‘‘We’re up against players who are youth internationals, full internationals, league players. We’ve got none of that.’’
But that newness to the league could play in the club’s favour as it gave them the element of surprise, he said. While well known players like Aiden Barber-Ryan or top five MPL goal scorer Dan Ede would be known by the other teams, Padmore said there was a lot of other good players that people did not know.
‘‘They don’t know how good they are and that’s just fine by me.’’
Padmore said they would approach the season in the same manner as the last.
‘‘They don't know how good they are and that's just fine by me.’’
Lee Padmore of his less known midfield pack.
‘‘We’re head down, get on with it. After each game I say ‘next’. We’re always looking forward to the next thing.’’
For the season, Padmore said, they had brought three more players into the team: ‘‘young ambitious lads’’ — two locally developed players and one who had moved from Wellington.
The qualifying match against Christchurch United in August last year had been unbelievable game, Padmore said, made even better by the club’s growing fan base.
‘‘There was about 300 people there, that was awesome. When I first got here we were playing to just a man and his dog.’’
Having the winning goal of the 2-1 victory come off Joe Arnott’s boot in the 91st minute had made for ‘‘a hell of a night’’, Padmore said, and a great feeling for the club. He said he was especially pleased to have club stalwarts Gerard De Rooy and Martin Allen there to see the promotion.
SUFC was the second biggest sporting club in the South Island and the only one to have achieved Quality Club Mark (QCM) 2-star status with New Zealand Football.
— Selwyn United FC’s first premier season kicks off at 2:30pm, Saturday March 17 at Foster Park against East Christchurch’s Coastal Spirit.
Selwyn United celebrate their promotion to the MPL last year.