Much may be made of the return of a number of ex-Waitakere United players for this weekend’s ASB Premiership fixture, but WaiBOP United head coach, Peter Smith, would prefer to focus on the here and now.
His team travels to West Auckland in confident mood after a good performance last time out. “We’re very much focused on what we’re doing this season and, to this point, I think we’ve done a good job,” explains Smith. “We won last week, which is great for us, but that’s gone. We have to go out now and try to do it again. That’s what I’m focused on.”
Smith is happy to have scored a second win of the season last Saturday but he’s wary of the challenge ahead. “After picking up the three points against Southern United I feel the squad’s in a good place and feeling positive,” says Smith. “The win was important as it keeps us in the mix. Now we must steel ourselves for an entirely different challenge as we travel to Auckland to take on the defending champs.”
Fred Taylor Park has been a graveyard for teams from this region in the past. “Like most teams Waikato FC struggled there in the past,” says Smith. “And there’s a very good reason for that: Waitakere is one of the most successful teams in the league. I have a lot of respect for the club, for how they’re set up and what they’ve achieved over the last decade, along with Paul as a coach. So it will be really tough. But for us, this match is another exciting opportunity to show we can mix it with the big boys.”
The match is at Fred Taylor Park in West Auckland and kicks off at 4pm.