WaiBOP United is pleased to announce the signing of Andrew McNeil for the ASB Premiership season.
McNeil is a goalkeeper who hails from Scotland. He is 26 years of age and has played for several professional clubs in his native country.
McNeil spent two years at Hibernian, who play in Scotland’s Premier League. During his time at Hibs, McNeil played in the Scottish League Cup final. He was also involved in a pre-season friendly in July 2008 against a Barcelona side that included Lionel Messi. More recently, McNeil spent the last two seasons at Livingston in the Scottish Championship (Scotland’s second tier). He started his career in England when he joined Southampton’s academy as a sixteen year old.
McNeil played for Scotland at the UEFA U–19 Championships. He was the first choice goalkeeper as the young Scots reached the final, only to lose 2–1 to Spain. Due to their performance in that competition, Scotland qualified for the FIFA U–20 World Cup hosted by Canada. McNeil was selected for all Scotland’s matches in the tournament.
WaiBOP United Head Coach, Peter Smith, is naturally delighted to have secured a player with such a pedigree. “I’ve been in regular contact with Andy over the last few months and he’s buzzing about the new challenge that faces him here in New Zealand,” says Smith. “Andy is a good keeper, which is what we need of course, but equally important is the leadership and professionalism he’ll bring to the playing group. With Andy on board our defensive unit, which is the basis of any competitive team, is shaping up nicely.”
WaiBOP Football Federation CEO, Cam Mitchell, is pleased to have McNeil involved with WaiBOP United. “Andy will be an important presence in the team and he’ll also become well known across the region as he’ll be working on WaiBOP Football’s FTC programme. I’m sure our best young keepers will benefit greatly from his experience,” says Mitchell.