» WaiBOP United v Auckland City – ASB Youth League Rd 11

Sunday December 10, 1.35pm
FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton

The 2015 ASB Youth League comes to an end on Sunday when we host high-scoring Auckland City in our final match of the summer.

For youth team head coach, Michael Built, it’s a case of so close, yet so far for his team after a sterling ASB Youth League campaign. “We’ve had a good ride this summer but came up just a little bit short at key moments,” said Built in summarising the efforts of his side. “The aim was to stay in the mix for as long as we could and I guess you could say we did that. As a competitive person, it’s tough to head into a game like Sunday’s knowing we can’t win the league, but on the flip side a victory could push us as high as second, so we’ve still got a lot to play for.”

Built doesn’t need to look far to know what the main strength of this weekend’s visitors is. “They’ve been banging the goals in and, in recent weeks, have battered some good teams. I mean, they stuck seven past champions, Team Wellington. That would have taken some doing!

“Their form could be intimidating, if we let it, but really it just means we have to be smart in how we set up for Sunday’s game, while also being true to the style of football we’ve developed over the course of the season. Everyone wants to finish the summer well, go out on a high note, so we can enjoy our Christmas and reflect on a job well done.”

With the season all but over, Built took some time to reflect on his team’s achievements over the last three months. “It’s been a pleasure for me to coach this talented group of lads who have shown time after time incredible character when the odds have been stacked against them and a huge willingness to work for me and [assistant coach] Pete [Davies] and each other on and off the pitch,” said Built in summing up the season. “For a team that had little preparation going into the season we have truly become a tight unit and have performed exceptionally well. If we had had that little bit more preparation going into the start of the league I have no doubt we would have been going into this weekend’s game either with the league wrapped up or fighting still to take it out.”

Click here to read our ASB Youth League match day magazine.

Click here for the current ASB Youth League standings.

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