» WaiBOP United v Canterbury United – ASB Youth League Rd 9

Sunday December 6, 12.30pm
Porritt Stadium, Hamilton

As the 2015 ASB Youth League enters its final stretch, up to seven teams are still in with a shout of claiming the title, and WaiBOP United is right in the thick of it. We currently sit in fourth, two points behind Team Wellington and Waitakere United and one behind Sunday’s visitors, Canterbury United.

That means Sunday’s match, which has been transferred to Hamilton’s Porritt Stadium (from St Peter’s School, Cambridge) is make or break for both sides.

Both teams enter the match on the back of excellent, if contrasting results. Canterbury thumped fifth placed Southern United 5-0 last weekend to move above their southern neighbours, while our young lads survived all manner of travel nightmares to claim an injury time winner in a 3-2 victory at Heartland Wairarapa.

For youth team head coach, Michael Built, the Wairarapa match was a test of character for his side, while the visit of Canterbury is all about putting in a performance. “Last Saturday was roller-coaster ride, for sure, but the boys came through it and will be stronger for the experience,” said Built. “This week, at home, we don’t have any excuses. The surface at Porritt will be excellent and we can all roll out of bed at our normal times… so it’s all about performing. As individuals, from the starting eleven to the subs to the coaching staff, and as a team we need to be sharp, make good decisions and trust each other. If we’re at our best we’ve got a good chance.”

A win will ensure we keep pace at the top of an extremely tight 2015 ASB Youth League table. “I love a good football cliché, but there’s no doubt this is a cup final for us, one of three we have left this season,” said Built. “It’s a great opportunity to see how the players have improved over the course of the summer. Can we put in a performance and get a result against one of the big boys when it really matters? Can we handle the pressure? It’s an exciting test for me, as a young coach, and this talented playing group.

“With the way Canterbury are playing they’ll probably be the strongest team we’ll play this season. It’s important we don’t get ahead of ourselves. There’s no point in looking past Sunday afternoon yet. We just have to focus on Canterbury and do all we can to get the job done. We’ll think about moving on after the final whistle on Sunday.”

Click here for the match day magazine for WaiBOP United versus Canterbury United.

Click here for the current ASB Youth League standings.

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