Pre-season training began this week for WaiBOP United, the newest franchise in New Zealand’s ASB Premiership, and it signals the start of an intense seven week period as the franchise builds up to the first match of the 2013/14 season.
WaiBOP United’s Head Coach, Peter Smith (pictured above), has broken his pre-season period into two distinct parts. The first four weeks will see him working with a wider training squad that includes not only the players he’s already signed but also a large number of trialists. During the first week of training Smith and his coaching staff have worked with between 25 and 30 players per session
“We’ve cast our net pretty wide and have uncovered some interesting prospects,” explains Smith. “It’s important we have a good look at everyone, both in the training environment and also in a match situation. I need to make sure we have the right mix of players in the squad, both in terms of ability and attitude, so this period is critical.”
Smith has scheduled a closed door match on October 5 and will take on the Waikato Bay of Plenty Federation League All Stars at Cambridge on October 12. “By the time we’ve finished with the match in Cambridge I’ll have a very good idea who will be playing for WaiBOP United this season. I’ll then name a squad of 20 players and we’ll head to Auckland for a weekend training camp.”
The training camp will be held at the Oceania Football Confederation’s facilities from October 18 to October 20. “The players will arrive on site on the Friday evening and we’ll work hard until late on the Sunday afternoon,” says Smith. “Without giving too much away, we intend getting a lot done over those two days and everyone – players, coaching staff and management – should come out the other side buzzing and ready for action.”
Smith will use the final three weeks of pre-season training to work on all the necessary technical and tactical details required to have WaiBOP United ready to go come kick-off for their first game against Canterbury United in Rotorua on Sunday November 10. “The guys are here for three sessions a week, and we’ll also have games against Hawke’s Bay United and another Premiership side, which we’re still waiting for confirmation of, during the final lead-up period, so we won’t be able to say we’re underprepared,” says Smith.
Photo: Enzo Giordani.
WaiBOP United’s Pre-Season Games
Saturday October 5: closed door game.
Saturday October 12: Waikato Bay of Plenty Federation League All Stars versus WaiBOP United, John Kerkhof Park Cambridge, 2pm kick-off.
Friday October 18 – Sunday October 20: Pre-Season Training Camp. OFC facilities, Auckland.
Saturday October 26: WaiBOP United versus Hawke’s Bay United, Crown Park, Taupo, 1pm kick-off.
Saturday November 2: Opponents and venue still to be confirmed.
Sunday November 10: WaiBOP United versus Canterbury United, ASB Premiership Round 1, Rotorua International Stadium, 1pm kick-off.
For more information please contact:
Peter Smith, WaiBOP United Head Coach
Dwayne Barlow, Communications Manager, WaiBOP Football Federation