» WaiBOP United announce three more player signings

WaiBOP United is pleased to announce three further player signings ahead of the 2013/14 ASB Premiership season.

These players are:
Maksim Manko (Bay Olympic), pictured centre.
Milos Nikolic (Central United), pictured right (photo: Enzo Giordani).
Johnny Konings (Hamilton Wanderers), pictured left.

This brings WaiBOP United’s confirmed playing squad to ten.

WaiBOP United Head Coach, Peter Smith, is pleased to have been able to add a couple of attacking options in Manko and Nikolic to his squad, while also including Konings, who has had a fine NRFL season at the back for Hamilton Wanderers.

“Both Maksim and Milos have played a lot of football despite being relatively young,” explains Smith. “They are the type of players we need to help bring a cutting edge to the solid squad we’re building here at WaiBOP.”

Manko and Nikolic will be familiar faces to fans in the Waikato as they played for Waikato FC in the 2010/11 ASB Premiership season.

“Maksim will give us the sort of creative spark we need when the games are close, and he’ll also bag his fair share of goals,” says Smith. “He’s a well-travelled player who has performed in a variety of conditions, both here and in Latin America, and I believe he comes to us as the complete package. That will be of massive benefit to the squad if we are to be a force in our first ASB Premiership season. Maksim will help make us a good side.”

Manko has had a couple of spells overseas, playing in Argentina and Costa Rica, and has also spent time at the ASB Premiership’s ‘big two’ clubs, Auckland City and Waitakere United. He scored the winner for Waitakere United in last season’s opening fixture, the ASB Charity Cup, against Auckland City. He scored once in the 14 games he played for Waikato FC.

“Milos is a goal scorer, pure and simple, which is a quality every side needs,” says Smith. “I believe he’s now at the level where he can become a key performer for one of the top sides in the ASB Premiership and I’m pleased that he’s chosen to bring that ability here to WaiBOP United.”

Nikolic has also played for Auckland City and Waitakere United in the ASB Premiership and has scored 16 goals in 36 games in the league, including 9 goals in 12 games during his season with Waikato FC.

Smith has been impressed with the development of Konings over the course of the 2013 season and had no hesitation asking him to join the squad. “Johnny has had a good season and has become a mainstay of Wanderers’ back four this season,” says Smith. “I’m familiar with Johnny as he played for me when I coached the Waikato FC youth team several years ago and I’m pleased that he’s now reached the level where he can push for 1st team selection. Our defensive unit is shaping up well.”

These three signings help add quality and depth to WaiBOP United’s squad ahead of the franchise’s first ASB Premiership season. “The squad is shaping up well and I’m delighted with the players we already have on board,” says Smith. “It’s a very good start to what will be a challenging season for the players and coaching staff.”

WaiBOP Football Federation CEO, Cam Mitchell, is pleased with the way WaiBOP United is developing. “In these guys we have another three good signings. It’s great to see quality players like Maksim and Milos return to the region, while I’m also pleased to see a young player like Johnny coming through the grades locally,” says Mitchell.

For more information please contact:

Peter Smith, WaiBOP United Head Coach

Cam Mitchell, CEO, WaiBOP Football Federation

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