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It is new territory for most of his players, but Dunedin Technical coach Mike Fridge can call on recent experience to know what to expect in today's Chatham Cup final.

Of the Technical squad that has headed to North Harbour Stadium to play East Coast Bays, only veterans Blair Scoullar and Aaron Burgess have played in major finals.

Fridge was in the management team of Ross County when it won the Scottish Challenge Cup two years ago, and also helped brother Les win the North of Scotland Cup with Nairn County.

"Cup final days are fantastic. You've got to enjoy the occasion," Fridge said.

"In New Zealand, this is as big as it gets, and I want the boys to make the most of it."

Fridge was apologetic for offering a predictable response but he said the club had made a concerted effort to prepare for today's final as if it was just another game.

He had tried to keep his players grounded and focused to avoid them becoming overawed by the occasion.

"That could happen, I suppose. I've said to them this week we want them to stay relaxed and not even think about the game.

"I don't want boys sitting there stressing about the final. We want them to relax and let the game take care of itself," Fridge said.

It is hardly fair to highlight two players before such a game, but anyone with a skerrick of knowledge of Dunedin Tech knows the importance of Scoullar and Burgess.

Scoullar has played everywhere - both around the world and on the field - and what he has lost in pace he has gained in knowledge, while Burgess is one of the classiest finishers in the country.

"People forget Blair's been there before, back in the 1998 final.

And of course Burgess was there a year later and won it with Tech," Fridge said.

"The two of them have been in the final. They're the two most experienced players in the squad and I'm sure they'll have a wee word with the other players before we go out."

Technical fans have been nervously monitoring the fitness of Burgess since he suffered a hamstring injury three weeks ago.

The marksman has not played since then but has trained this week and Fridge believes he will be fine.

Burgess has scored a remarkable 29 goals in all competitions this year.

Nine years ago, he won the Jack Batty Memorial Trophy for player of the Chatham Cup final as he scored one of Tech's goals in its 4-0 thumping of Waitakere.

"The one thing with Aaron is that he knows where the goal is. A guy like that is worth his weight in gold," Fridge said.

Dunedin Technical is in the odd situation of not being the best club in its own city, but having the chance to be a national champion.

Tech only managed third in the competitive Soccersouth premier league, though if it had turned just one of its three losses into a win, it would have claimed the league title.

Fridge said the defeats in the league had acted as motivation to get on a Cup run.

And playing great rivals Caversham and Roslyn-Wakari in the southern league had hardened Tech for games against northern opposition.

The coach is Scots through and through, but has learned how passionate Technical is about its club and the chance to win a second Chatham Cup.

"A lot of our players have been with Dunedin Tech for years or have family ties. It's great to have that connection.

"I've actually been quite surprised since I came here. I didn't know the history of the Chatham Cup but I've found out just how much it means to our club.

"People still talk about the 1999 final and to get back to the final is great. Hopefully, we can bring it back to Dunedin again."

Fridge has talked to people in Auckland to get some scouting reports on East Coast Bays and is prepared for a stiff challenge from the North Shore club.

WeeNix
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The 81st Chatham Cup finalists are doing their best to defuse the pressure of Saturday's winter football showpiece, although one of them is trying to keep part of the build-up a little bit special.

After six months and 130 matches on the road to North Harbour Stadium, Dunedin Technical and East Coast Bays get the chance to add their name to those already on the 85-year-old trophy.

However, both clubs admit the history and tradition of the competition can be a burden as much as a motivator.

"We've set the Chatham Cup as our goal from day one this season" said East Coast Bays captain Leigh Kenyon, who picked up a winners medal with University Mt Wellington in 2001.

"On one hand we're treating it as just another game but on the other hand trying to use the history and what the Chatham Cup means to football in New Zealand to inspire us.

"Every time we've played in the Chatham Cup this year there's been a different buzz about it."

Saturday will be the first Chatham Cup final for East Coast Bays and Kenyon applauded the club's support for their Cup run, which included hiring a bus to transport the squad on the five minute journey from their Bay City Park home to North Harbour Stadium.

"We're meeting at the club in the morning and will travel to the stadium by coach, which adds a little more prestige to the day."

Meanwhile, Dunedin Technical coach Mike Fridge said his approach has been to push tradition aside in an effort to keep preparations low-key but focussed.

"We're trying to keep the build-up as normal as possible. Everybody says it, but that's what's how we're treating it."

North Harbour holds happy memories for Tech after a victory in the 1999 final over Waitakere City but Fridge said that made it even more important to focus on other things, at least for now.

"I know how important the Chatham Cup is and what it means to the club and its supporters but because of that we need to be relaxed," Fridge said.

"The players have been told to switch off outside training and not to think about it. There'll be plenty of time for that when we get to the ground.

"I want the players to enjoy the occasion, some may never get the chance to play in a cup final again. After all it's the top cup competition in New Zealand."

While the last two finals -- won by Western Suburbs and Central United -- were decided on penalties after goal-less encounters, the goal scoring ability of both sides may provide for a more prolific affair on Saturday.

East Coast Bays have banged in 27 goals in their six-game cup run, with Aaron Burgess -- the winner of the Jack Batty Memorial Trophy for player of the final in 1999 -- in sensational form with 29 goals in all competitions this year.

Path to the 81st Chatham Cup soccer final for Dunedin Technical and East Coast Bays:

Dunedin Technical

Semifinal: Dunedin Tech 3 Glenfield Rovers 2

Quarterfinal: Dunedin Tech 2 Miramar Rangers 1

Round 4: Dunedin Tech 3 Caversham AFC 2

Round 3: Northern 0 Dunedin Technical 4

Round 2: Dunedin Technical 8 Northern Hearts 0

Round 1: Bye

East Coast Bays

Semifinal: East Coast Bays 2 Nelson Suburbs 1

Quarterfinal: East Coast Bays 6 Waitakere City 0

Round 4: Metro 0 East Coast Bays 4

Round 3: Eastern Suburbs 1 East Coast Bays 2

Round 2: Mt Albert Ponsonby 1 East Coast Bays 5

Round 1: AFC Fury 1 East Coast Bays AFC 8

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en tech were dominant first 20 mins
Now they've dropped a gear
45 up

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East Coast bays 1-0 up curtosey of a own goal,ball of the cross bar player tries to clear and kicks it in off side of leg and keeper stands still,
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rained, tech goalie spilt 2, 2 corners to ECb & 2 set pieces, no. 12 for tech is quite a threat. 10 mind on clock

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tech free kick on box, 3 shots on goal, cleared
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aother free to tech cleared, fouls both sides, 2 mind

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Good crowd - not sure of exact figure but probably 3000.Good support for Bays - should be seeing Stadium is in their back yard ! Dunedin seemed to have a good travelling crew.
Bays worthy winners - Tech didn't seem to have much up front. Not a lot of chances.
Having not watched much regional football this year due to work commitments and the farce that they call US1 Premiership , what was apparent was the huge gap between the top of our club football and NZFC.
More worrying if I was an Otago supporter was that ECB probably had 2 / 3 at most players who will be playing NZFC , but would suspect that Tech had 4/5 that will be turning out for Otago. looks to me like they will struggle again.
Was Burgess fit ? He looked the most likely.
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so much for this iPhone, the predictive text is rubbish compared to the up ipaq. It's like writing with a brick.
AnywayEast Coast Bays 1-0 over Dunedin Technical.
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<!-- google_ad_section_start --><!--paging_-->
Click photo to enlarge
Dunedin Technical defender Blair Scoullar (second left) scores an own goal in the Chatham Cup final against East Coast Bays at North Harbour Stadium on Saturday. The other players are (from left) Jack Beguely (East Coast Bays), Tech keeper Nick Tarrant and Sam Jasper. Photo by Rab Smith.
An own goal cost Dunedin Technical dearly as East Coast Bays won the Chatham Cup final 1-0 at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland on Saturday.

The 34th-minute goal came from a long throw-in by Ryan Zoghby. In a mass attempt to clear at the near post, the ball was deflected across goal to where Blair Scoullar was stationed.

At the far post, Scoullar spun in the air to try and volley the ball clear but only made partial contact to send the ball into the roof of his own net.

Since he dropped back into central defence, Scoullar has been a model of consistency, and his partnership with fellow central defender John Chisholm had been one of Tech's stronger combinations.

"Blair was gutted," coach Mike Fridge said. "It was such an unlucky goal to concede, but these things happen in football."

Fridge praised his side's efforts but said it had played better in earlier rounds of the Cup, and in many ways Saturday's was a flat performance.

Yet in the opening minutes Tristan Prattley made a couple of runs up the left wing that had Technical's massed support roaring encouragement.

Although outnumbered in a crowd estimated at 3000, the "maroon army" made its presence felt.

Then it was Bays' defence looking shaky, as Aiden Gwilt was slow to a back-pass and striker Aaron Burgess almost made first contact, then had to hurdle the diving keeper.

But the well-oiled Bays machine - unbeaten this season - settled and started to string passes together as Jeff Campbell, Jack Beguely and Jason McKeown set up little triangles of possession that tested the Technical backline.

Keeper Nick Tarrant was well protected by some robust tackling across the penalty area as Tech defended in depth, but the youngster still had to make a superb full-length dive to deny Beguely.

The battle in midfield became a concern for Fridge as his team challenged for, but rarely collected, second-phase ball, despite the best efforts of Andy Coburn and Sam Jasper.

Up front, Burgess and Ross McKenzie struggled to make any impact as many passes forward were too high, which played to the strengths of giant Solomon Islands international centreback George Suri, who dominated proceedings in the air.

Referee Michael Hester handed out several yellow cards for what looked like ordinary tackles, and possibly took the "cup tie" nature from the game, as Technical tried to lift the tempo.

Fridge remained calm at half-time: "We only need a goal to get back into this match," he told his team.

His players responded, with Coburn barrelling forward and launching shots, then Scoullar making runs from the deep, obviously trying to make amends, which had the crowd on its feet.

In fluid play, Technical failed to press home its advantage, with final passes overhit or intercepted, giving Bays good counter-attacking options.

Another problem for Technical was the poor delivery of passes at free kicks and corners.

With only one goal in it, the tension mounted as full-time approached. Richard Smith and John Lange came off the bench to bolster the attack, Technical forced Bays backwards and generated some high-pressure play that had been lacking until then.

Fridge later said: "We should have been playing like that the whole game. We let them play too much, and should have been more 'in their face'."

"They're a good side and they played some good football, but if I'm honest I don't think they caused us too much trouble in the last third.

"But, at the end of the day, it's about putting the ball in the back of the net, and in the end it was a Tech player that did it for East Coast Bays.

"It was disappointing. But you can build even on disappointment, and those players with good attitude will come back all the stronger and keener to improve next time."

 

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So were the hilites on WOF? And how long/good were they?
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Yep we got 4 sec total, well woth the wait.
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Any updates.
North Shore must be finding it hard to maintain a team to play Miramar?
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Blew.2
Any updates.
North Shore must be finding it hard to maintain a team to play Miramar?

especially with the coach done as soon as the cup run ends.
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Blew.2
Any updates.
North Shore must be finding it hard to maintain a team to play Miramar?

NZF have been speaking to clubs and should be something out today 
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30th Oct Miramar V Shore
The JourneyFan
Blew.2
Any updates.
North Shore must be finding it hard to maintain a team to play Miramar?

NZF have been speaking to clubs and should be something out today 
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From New Zealand Football facebook page:
New Zealand Football have today confirmed the path forward to play the National League, Chatham Cup and Football Foundation Kate Sheppard Cup competitions following numerous delays to the season due to the current COVID-19 lockdown. 

The plan is designed to maximise the chance of playing and completing competitions without having to exclude teams from the Auckland region. Following a period of feedback, the chosen model was overwhelmingly supported by the clubs and federations involved. 

For the National League Championship, both the women’s and men’s leagues will be split into two hubs: one featuring Auckland teams (the Auckland Hub) and one featuring teams from the rest of the country (the South Hub). Teams will then compete within their hub in a single round robin competition before the top sides from each meet at the end of the season. In both women’s and men’s competitions, the South Hub is currently set to start the weekend of 6-7 November, with the Auckland Hub beginning 20-21 November. 

In the women’s competition, the Auckland Hub will feature three teams (Eastern Suburbs, Western Springs and Northern Rovers), with the South Hub featuring the remaining five sides from the league (Hamilton Wanderers, Central Football, Capital Football, Canterbury United Pride and Southern United). The winner of the South Hub will qualify for the Grand Final. The winner of the Auckland Hub will host a preliminary final against the runner-up in the South Hub for a place in the Grand Final. 

In the men’s competition, the Auckland Hub will feature four teams (Auckland City, Auckland United, Eastern Suburbs and Birkenhead United), with the South Hub featuring the remaining six from the league (Wellington Olympic, Miramar Rangers, Wellington Phoenix Reserves, Western Suburbs, Cashmere Technical and Selwyn United). The winner of each respective hub will host a semi-final against the runner-up in the opposite hub with the two winning teams progressing to the Grand Final. 

For both National League Championship competitions to take place the Auckland region must have returned to an Alert Level where full contact training is possible by 3 November. 

For the cup competitions, due to the few games left, New Zealand Football will look to be flexible with scheduling once play is possible. 

For the Chatham Cup, with Cashmere Technical already qualified for the final, the remaining semi-final, Miramar Rangers v North Shore United, will be scheduled once travel outside of the Auckland region is possible and a sufficient return to play period for North Shore United has been undertaken. 

For the Kate Sheppard Cup, due to players and clubs competing in cup and league competitions, both remaining semi-finals must be played before 31 October. New Zealand Football is actively working with Hamilton Wanderers ahead of their semi-final against Coastal Spirit to see if it is possible to play weekend of 16-17 October pending the Alert Level in the Waikato. 

Potential dates for the finals of both cup competitions will be scheduled once the viability of semi-finals is confirmed. Should it not be possible to complete the competitions by the end of the year, New Zealand Football will look to see if they can be completed in early 2022. 

Daniel Farrow, New Zealand Football General Manager, Football wanted to thank the football community for their help and flexibility in a challenging situation:

“We know the last few months have been hugely difficult for our football clubs, especially in the Auckland region. 

“With this plan we feel we have put forward a solution that allows competitions to continue but also crucially buys us time when Auckland teams may not be able to leave the region. 

“We know this is an evolving situation but I want to thank the football community for their help and input into this plan as well as their ability to work in an ever-changing landscape, as we have over the last few months.”


Article added: Friday 08 October 2021

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Sounds reasonable given the circumstances. Means the national championship has a chance of happening even if Auckland's border isn't open (until the finals anyway).

Classic NZ Football, wise enough to gibe a hard and fast cutoff date in once instance: "where full contact training is possible by 3 November"

But don't have the foresight to prevent issues like: "a sufficient return to play period for North Shore United has been undertaken"... why not give an exact number of days that constitutes a sufficient period to play?
Getting paid to be here
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Sounds reasonable given the circumstances. Means the national championship has a chance of happening even if Auckland's border isn't open (until the finals anyway).

Classic NZ Football, wise enough to gibe a hard and fast cutoff date in once instance: "where full contact training is possible by 3 November"

But don't have the foresight to prevent issues like: "a sufficient return to play period for North Shore United has been undertaken"... why not give an exact number of days that constitutes a sufficient period to play?

Well, between the Nov 3 deadline and the Nov 20 start date for the 'Auckland Hubs' you can figure it's roughly two weeks. But it they keep trying to keep that Chatham Cup semifinal alive into December (which would be rough on Cashmere Technical if the NLC doesn't start) it would mean longer time away from training and they would likely need a longer return-to-play period.
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andrewvoerman
20 Legend
Sounds reasonable given the circumstances. Means the national championship has a chance of happening even if Auckland's border isn't open (until the finals anyway).

Classic NZ Football, wise enough to gibe a hard and fast cutoff date in once instance: "where full contact training is possible by 3 November"

But don't have the foresight to prevent issues like: "a sufficient return to play period for North Shore United has been undertaken"... why not give an exact number of days that constitutes a sufficient period to play?

Well, between the Nov 3 deadline and the Nov 20 start date for the 'Auckland Hubs' you can figure it's roughly two weeks. But it they keep trying to keep that Chatham Cup semifinal alive into December (which would be rough on Cashmere Technical if the NLC doesn't start) it would mean longer time away from training and they would likely need a longer return-to-play period.

Alternatively NZF could schedule the Miramar vs North Shore semi-final to be held on October 30th and if North Shore cannot travel, Miramar progress by default. Play the final in either Wellington or Christchurch. Tough on North Shore but Covid has made life difficult and some difficult decisions need to be taken. NZ Rugby was able to make such decisions when removing the three northern provincial sides from both the Farah Palmer Cup and the NPC. The Chatham Cup 2021 Regulations give NZF complete licence to make such a decision under the force majeure criterion (Clause 22). Will they step up?
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Better we actually have a final even if it’s tough on Shore. Two years in a row without a Chatham Cup winner would be sharke.

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