» Trio signal attacking intent

WaiBOP United is pleased to announce that three attackers, Maksim Manko, Dylan Stansfield and Marc Evans, have signed for the 2015/16 ASB Premiership season.

Manko, an attacking midfielder, will be no stranger to WaiBOP United fans. He played seven games for the franchise during the first half of the 2013/14 season, scoring four goals. Included amongst those strikes was the winner in WaiBOP United’s 2-1 victory over Canterbury United, the team’s first ever ASB Premiership match, as well as a fine long range goal against Auckland City at Kiwitea Street. Manko played for NRFL Premier League side Three Kings United during the later stages of the 2015 winter season, after a stint in Chile.

Stansfield, a centre forward, was involved with WaiBOP United during the second half of the 2014/15 ASB Premiership, after transferring in from Canterbury United. He made two starts and three other appearances from the bench, before playing for East Coast Bays during the 2015 NRFL Premier League season.

Evans, a striker, arrived in New Zealand midway through the 2015 winter season to play for Melville United. He has so far scored eleven goals in thirteen games in all competitions for Melville and became the focal point of the team’s rousing NRFL Premier League survival story. This was after scoring 31 goals for Welsh club Llandudno FC as they became the 2014/15 Welsh second tier champions.

WaiBOP United Head Coach, Peter Smith, is pleased with the signing of these three players, saying they will provide his side with variety and balance in attack. “We need our attacking unit to be productive in front of goal this summer, and in Maksim, Dylan and Marc we’re getting three very different players who’ll give our opponents three very different sets of problems,” said Smith.

“Fans who saw Maksim during the first half of our first season know how good he can be,” said Smith. “He can play up front or in a number 10 role and offers creativity as well as an eye for goal. I was disappointed when he joined Waitakere midway through our first season, but I could understand his reasons for moving at the time. But he phoned me up a wee while ago and it took us less than half an hour to agree a deal. He enjoyed the culture here during his last stint and wanted to come back.”

“Dylan was carrying a bit of an injury when he came to us last summer, so probably didn’t get as much game time as he’d have liked,” explains Smith. “But he’s a good lad, a hard worker and a strong number 9. I think we’ll see plenty from him this summer.”

Smith is looking forward to unleashing Evans on the ASB Premiership. “Marc’s a goal scorer and any coach in the league would be delighted to have him,” said Smith. “Local fans at Melville have seen what he can do in front of goal and he had a superb record in the UK. I can’t wait to see what he can do to ASB Premiership defences. Marc had some very good offers to head back to Wales but has chosen to stay here in New Zealand after doing so well for Steve [Williams, Melville United coach]. I’m sure that will continue for us.”

Further player signings will be announced in due course.

Photo: Maksim Manko playing for WaiBOP United in the 2013/14 season (Grant Stantiall).

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