Young guns sign for WaiBOP

WaiBOP United is pleased to announce the signing of Scott Hilliar, Alfie Rogers and Louie Caunter for the 2015/16 ASB Premiership season.

Hilliar, who has just turned 21, will need no introduction to WaiBOP United fans having been involved with the franchise for the past two seasons. After making his ASB Premiership debut off the bench at the start of the 2013/14 season, the midfielder went on to become a mainstay of the side, making eleven appearances including five starts. He made a further substitute appearance in 2014/15 before heading to the USA for a stint in college football.

Rogers, 20, a defender, made his WaiBOP United debut at the end of last summer, before becoming an integral part of the Hamilton Wanderers back four during the 2015 NRFL Premier League. He’s been a regular at left back for the WaiBOP United youth team over the last two summers.

Caunter, 22, is a goalkeeper who joins WaiBOP United from 2015 NRFL Division 1 champions, Forrest Hill Milford. He was, in the words of Forrest Hill coach, David Mulligan, “unstoppable in goal” for his club team during the winter. Prior to that he was part of the Auckland City set-up and travelled as part of the squad that finished third at the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup.

WaiBOP United Head Coach, Peter Smith, is pleased with the signing of these three exciting young players. “I expect Scott, Alfie and Louie to play a major part for us this season,” said Smith. “They’re all pretty young, being in their early 20’s, but have plenty of football behind them.

“Scott’s a natural athlete who had an excellent time of it in the States, before coming home and performing well again for Melville United over the winter,” said Smith. “He’s a versatile player too, which is the sort of thing, as a coach, I love. I have in mind a particular role for him this season and I think it will help him emerge as a key performer for us and a player to watch.”

Smith coached Rogers as a youngster and, years later, handed him his ASB Premiership debut. “That was pleasing, on a personal level, but also a reflection of the work Alfie’s put in over his career and all the other coaches he’s worked with,” explains Smith. “He’s done superbly with Wanderers over the winter and is now a senior first team player. I’m sure he’ll be putting plenty of pressure on me to pick him this summer.”

Caunter is a good goalkeeper who Smith likes the look of. “I’m certainly not afraid to give a young goalie an opportunity, as evidenced by Danyon [Drake] last season,” said Smith. “Anyone who’s been involved in the Auckland City set-up is going to be a quality player and that’s what Louie is – a quality keeper who I expect will be pushing me to make him my number 1 this summer.”

Further player signings will be announced in due course.

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