WaiBOP United head coach, Peter Smith, is looking forward to his third season at the helm of the ASB Premiership franchise. The aim for the 2015/16 season is simple, with Smith wanting to build a side that can make the play-offs after finishing one place and four points out of the top four last season.
Smith believes this coming season has the potential to be the league’s most competitive in a number of years. “Everyone has a bit more money to spend so it will be interesting to see how that influences player recruitment as well movement between the teams,” said Smith, who’s well into his own recruitment drive. “It’s a challenge for franchises such as ourselves, but knowing the standard is going to be better is something that drives me to try to get WaiBOP United to be better as well.”
WaiBOP United could have quite a different look to the squad this summer. “We know we don’t have the largest budget in the league and, given our relative success last summer, I’m fully aware that some of our players will be on the shopping lists of the Premiership’s big hitters,” explained Smith. “That’s life. My job is to build the best playing squad I can, with the resources available, and then create a culture within that squad that gets the players to work hard for each other. That gives us the best chance of picking up results.”
Smith is optimistic of building the squad he needs. “What I do know is that only a maximum of 14 players can make it on to the field for each team each weekend,” he said. “With one team less involved in this season’s ASB Premiership, that means there are 14 less spots available. While we can’t offer fat signing on bonuses we can offer opportunities for good players to play, along with the chance to play at some first class venues within this region.”
WaiBOP United has made steady progress on the field during the first two seasons in existence. The franchise was in the play-off mix at the business end of the 2014/15 season and aims to crack the top four during the coming summer.