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Thread for NRFL Men's Div 1 and Div 2 (Premier League now covered in the national league thread).
Opinion Privileges revoked
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Let's make ourselves a target of making discussion in this thread much more useful and interesting than on the wretched hive of anonymous scum and villainy known as the Northern League Forums, lol
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Games this weekend in the NRFL Div 1:

Waitemata FC vs East Coast Bays
I hear Mata have a lot of injuries and Bays have beaten a few Prem teams in pre-season so money is on Bays in this game.

Ellerslie vs Takapuna 
This was both teams last games in 2020 before the league was abandoned, it was a comfortable win for Ellerslie but with Chris Milicich now at the helm at Taka this could be a different ball game.  Ellerslie by 1.

Manurewa vs MAP
Cracking game first up - bit of a shame it's being played at Jellicoe Park, would have been an amazing game to open the league on a Friday night at Anderson Park - Rewa have recruited what looks to be a strong team and MAP only dropped max points once last season - Can't split these teams, picking a score draw.

Waiheke vs Tauranga
crap draw for Tauranga to get this tricky away trip first up, it's a long day!  Don't know much about the status of Waiheke but assume any new players from overseas have been hard to get in the current environment so they might struggle with depth, Tauranga on the other hand have had great results at U17 and U19 nationals levels so must have some young talent in their teams.  Tauranga to take it by 1 or 2 goals

Metro vs Bucklands
Both Metro and Bucklands have lost some players - Metro have the same coach and were flying high last season when the league stopped - lots of questions about Bucklands but the first week of games will give us some answers.  Picking Metro to edge it by 1.
Starting XI
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Great summary mate. Agree Doloras, there's got to be a better NRF hub than that place...

Bucklands have been decimated by the looks of it. Last year's team is spread all over the NRFL and I struggle to see how they won't go down. Metro have lost a lot of talent too, though should have enough left in the tank to battle the likes of Waiheke, Waitemata, Taka etc. for mid-table.

Waiheke had two real outfield stars last season, both of who played professionally in South America - Juan Cruz Canay's stayed on, but Nico Bobadilla's gone to Bay Olympic who are quietly building a fantastic team. I think most of the Argentine contingent's stayed though I struggle to see how they'll meet foreign spot rules.

Finally, strongly doubt Taka will be the easy-beats again. Albany, by contrast, might struggle.
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mrsmiis
Great summary mate. Agree Doloras, there's got to be a better NRF hub than that place...

Bucklands have been decimated by the looks of it. Last year's team is spread all over the NRFL and I struggle to see how they won't go down. Metro have lost a lot of talent too, though should have enough left in the tank to battle the likes of Waiheke, Waitemata, Taka etc. for mid-table.

Waiheke had two real outfield stars last season, both of who played professionally in South America - Juan Cruz Canay's stayed on, but Nico Bobadilla's gone to Bay Olympic who are quietly building a fantastic team. I think most of the Argentine contingent's stayed though I struggle to see how they'll meet foreign spot rules.

Finally, strongly doubt Taka will be the easy-beats again. Albany, by contrast, might struggle.

I was sure foreign player limits don't apply in Div 1?
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chopah
mrsmiis
Great summary mate. Agree Doloras, there's got to be a better NRF hub than that place...

Bucklands have been decimated by the looks of it. Last year's team is spread all over the NRFL and I struggle to see how they won't go down. Metro have lost a lot of talent too, though should have enough left in the tank to battle the likes of Waiheke, Waitemata, Taka etc. for mid-table.

Waiheke had two real outfield stars last season, both of who played professionally in South America - Juan Cruz Canay's stayed on, but Nico Bobadilla's gone to Bay Olympic who are quietly building a fantastic team. I think most of the Argentine contingent's stayed though I struggle to see how they'll meet foreign spot rules.

Finally, strongly doubt Taka will be the easy-beats again. Albany, by contrast, might struggle.

I was sure foreign player limits don't apply in Div 1?

Ah sorry, my bad. Wasn't aware
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chopah
mrsmiis
Great summary mate. Agree Doloras, there's got to be a better NRF hub than that place...

Bucklands have been decimated by the looks of it. Last year's team is spread all over the NRFL and I struggle to see how they won't go down. Metro have lost a lot of talent too, though should have enough left in the tank to battle the likes of Waiheke, Waitemata, Taka etc. for mid-table.

Waiheke had two real outfield stars last season, both of who played professionally in South America - Juan Cruz Canay's stayed on, but Nico Bobadilla's gone to Bay Olympic who are quietly building a fantastic team. I think most of the Argentine contingent's stayed though I struggle to see how they'll meet foreign spot rules.

Finally, strongly doubt Taka will be the easy-beats again. Albany, by contrast, might struggle.

I was sure foreign player limits don't apply in Div 1?
I wonder if Waiheke get promoted whether they might even consider turning it down, as they would essentially have to break the whole team up to comply, thinking back they might have only one or two non-South Americans. Similar situation to Greenhithe Catimba on the Shore in Div 2
Opinion Privileges revoked
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My sister in law plays for MAP so they're my sentimental faves for this year
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Bucklands 3-0 down at the half vs Metro - looks like my hypothesis might be right...

Good coach on their hands imo, but their lack of talent is striking compared to last year. Rudy Mozr brought so much to the club
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mrsmiis
Great summary mate. Agree Doloras, there's got to be a better NRF hub than that place...

Bucklands have been decimated by the looks of it. Last year's team is spread all over the NRFL and I struggle to see how they won't go down. Metro have lost a lot of talent too, though should have enough left in the tank to battle the likes of Waiheke, Waitemata, Taka etc. for mid-table.

Waiheke had two real outfield stars last season, both of who played professionally in South America - Juan Cruz Canay's stayed on, but Nico Bobadilla's gone to Bay Olympic who are quietly building a fantastic team. I think most of the Argentine contingent's stayed though I struggle to see how they'll meet foreign spot rules.

Finally, strongly doubt Taka will be the easy-beats again. Albany, by contrast, might struggle.
I've seen the report that NRF put out about the squads. 

Albany United look soo stacked. I am just not sure what Clive Campbell is like as a coach. 

Big names that returned to Albany are the Beguely brothers, Marc Porter, David Masters (who trialled at Crewe Alexandra when he was younger), Samoan International Andrew Mobberley, Ben Semple, John Curwen, Dan Campbell and Alex McTiernan - Who I rate pretty highly.

They've also signed Benji Roberts (Northern Rovers - Forrest Hill), Trent Hayes (Hibiscus Coast AFC), James Lawson (Former Birkenhead United player and came from Lynn-Avon I think?), Jay Bracken, Aj O'Toole and Tommy Webb (Northern Rovers - Glenfield)

I don't think Albany will get promotion, but they'll be up there, alongside the likes of Metro FC, Manurewa AFC, East Coast Bays and maybe....Mt Albert-Ponsonby (Who don't look as strong as they were last year, but could easily turn things around). 
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ECB is my local team, they started of well. But unfortunately to many injuries have slid down the table. Playing a lot of youngsters,  were down to 10 men in the chatham cup against Hamilton W and were 3-0 down and managed to come back. Eventually lost out on pens but not bad from the side.
Opinion Privileges revoked
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NHpeter
ECB is my local team, they started of well. But unfortunately to many injuries have slid down the table. Playing a lot of youngsters,  were down to 10 men in the chatham cup against Hamilton W and were 3-0 down and managed to come back. Eventually lost out on pens but not bad from the side.
We played your women's social team in the Knockout Cup last week. First time I'd been to your manor. They said nice things about my keeping.
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Seems like the Northern League forum has sucked a lemon so maybe time to get all the sane people from that site on here instead. 

Selfishly I really wanted to have a bit of a gloat after our relegation battle on Saturday with Bucklands Beach where we were picked by the NL Forum experts to be beaten but we managed to get a narrow 7-0 win, including 5 goals for Ryan Morrow!  Quite a performance.
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This is the current table for those interested:
image.png 29.65 KB

A pretty tight race at the halfway point with everyone bar Ellerslie (sad face) and Bucklands Beach in the running for promotion.  
Interesting fact that Waiheke don't qualify for the Premier league based on their current squad and so far this season they have been through now 3 coaches to make sure they comply with the license regulations - for their last game Kevin Fallon was in the "coaches" seat.  Pretty laughable way they are skirting the rules. 

They are the best team on the field in the league though to be fair.
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Great result for you guys Chopah. Must say I also enjoyed my day out at Albany with the boys.
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Thanks for this, would absolutely love to see more Northern League discussion happening. Takapuna certainly showing Milicich's value in Div 1, and Murphy (coach and man I always rated since his days at Grammar) getting the best out of OMU in Div 2. Think they'll be more than comfortable in Div 1 with a few midfield/defensive reinforcements.

Curious on two rumours I saw on the forums before they shark the bed; 1), Kaltak heading to the A-League, and 2) Greive leaving Birkenhead for Europe, possibly to St. Mirren with whom of course Birko just formed a partnership. Anything to these at all? Haven't heard a word
Getting paid to be here
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mrsmiis
Thanks for this, would absolutely love to see more Northern League discussion happening. Takapuna certainly showing Milicich's value in Div 1, and Murphy (coach and man I always rated since his days at Grammar) getting the best out of OMU in Div 2. Think they'll be more than comfortable in Div 1 with a few midfield/defensive reinforcements.

Curious on two rumours I saw on the forums before they shark the bed; 1), Kaltak heading to the A-League, and 2) Greive leaving Birkenhead for Europe, possibly to St. Mirren with whom of course Birko just formed a partnership. Anything to these at all? Haven't heard a word
Two is true. Believe there's definitely interest re: one.
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andrewvoerman
mrsmiis
Thanks for this, would absolutely love to see more Northern League discussion happening. Takapuna certainly showing Milicich's value in Div 1, and Murphy (coach and man I always rated since his days at Grammar) getting the best out of OMU in Div 2. Think they'll be more than comfortable in Div 1 with a few midfield/defensive reinforcements.

Curious on two rumours I saw on the forums before they shark the bed; 1), Kaltak heading to the A-League, and 2) Greive leaving Birkenhead for Europe, possibly to St. Mirren with whom of course Birko just formed a partnership. Anything to these at all? Haven't heard a word
Two is true. Believe there's definitely interest re: one.

That’s good, hopefully he lands somewhere he can get a foot in the door for gametime, and also explains why they went after Issa who was a weird signing at the time 
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Franklin Utd (NRFLD2) having a good week - first they announced they are playing in Navigation Homes Stadium on Saturday (home ground of Counties Rugby) and now they are teasing a new signing at 3pm.

image.png 606 KB
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chopah
Seems like the Northern League forum has sucked a lemon so maybe time to get all the sane people from that site on here instead. 

Selfishly I really wanted to have a bit of a gloat after our relegation battle on Saturday with Bucklands Beach where we were picked by the NL Forum experts to be beaten but we managed to get a narrow 7-0 win, including 5 goals for Ryan Morrow!  Quite a performance.

Ahh my old youth team Bucklands Beach, such a shame they don't play much/at all at Rogers Park anymore, although I'm sure it comes down to ground availability/pitch quality. Anything the other side of the Gills Road roundabout is Fencibles turf!

Have been following results on Tribe, but alas, as I live in New Plymouth I'm not too much up with the play on the intricacies and news coming out of the league. Will definitely be tuning in a bit more.

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YoungHeart
chopah
Seems like the Northern League forum has sucked a lemon so maybe time to get all the sane people from that site on here instead. 

Selfishly I really wanted to have a bit of a gloat after our relegation battle on Saturday with Bucklands Beach where we were picked by the NL Forum experts to be beaten but we managed to get a narrow 7-0 win, including 5 goals for Ryan Morrow!  Quite a performance.

Ahh my old youth team Bucklands Beach, such a shame they don't play much/at all at Rogers Park anymore, although I'm sure it comes down to ground availability/pitch quality. Anything the other side of the Gills Road roundabout is Fencibles turf!

Have been following results on Tribe, but alas, as I live in New Plymouth I'm not too much up with the play on the intricacies and news coming out of the league. Will definitely be tuning in a bit more.


Rogers Park - nice location, infact lovely location - average pitch and I think the amenities are in a bit of a state.  At Lloyd Elsmore they use the Howick Pak clubrooms and changing rooms which are pretty good and the field to be honest was in great nick.
Starting XI
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chopah
YoungHeart
chopah
Seems like the Northern League forum has sucked a lemon so maybe time to get all the sane people from that site on here instead. 

Selfishly I really wanted to have a bit of a gloat after our relegation battle on Saturday with Bucklands Beach where we were picked by the NL Forum experts to be beaten but we managed to get a narrow 7-0 win, including 5 goals for Ryan Morrow!  Quite a performance.

Ahh my old youth team Bucklands Beach, such a shame they don't play much/at all at Rogers Park anymore, although I'm sure it comes down to ground availability/pitch quality. Anything the other side of the Gills Road roundabout is Fencibles turf!

Have been following results on Tribe, but alas, as I live in New Plymouth I'm not too much up with the play on the intricacies and news coming out of the league. Will definitely be tuning in a bit more.


Rogers Park - nice location, infact lovely location - average pitch and I think the amenities are in a bit of a state.  At Lloyd Elsmore they use the Howick Pak clubrooms and changing rooms which are pretty good and the field to be honest was in great nick.

Ahh, this takes me back to my younger days. I always thought Lloyd Elsmore was a terrible football park growing up. Hard and uneven in dry conditions and an absolute bog in the winter when it counted. Excellent for cricket however, although not very well spaced out, but I digress. 

I think William Green Domain just opposite Pakuranga College is a fantastic facility now that they've put the money into upgrading the facility in general. Although that is Fencibles territory too (I did play for them too, but that's another story).

It's a shame about Rogers Park if that is the case. Drainage will always be an issue there due to the proximity of Eastern Beach, and what I would suspect is a relatively high water table for the area. But it would be very disappointing for me if the facilities had become run down over the years.

That aside, relegation looks a near certainty for my former club. Seems like a relatively inexperienced side, with a lot of personnel changes from a curtailed season last season.
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chopah
Franklin Utd (NRFLD2) having a good week - first they announced they are playing in Navigation Homes Stadium on Saturday (home ground of Counties Rugby) and now they are teasing a new signing at 3pm.

image.png 606 KB
Who was announced?
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Andy O'Donoghue - had been playing at Manukau United and previously at Eastern Suburbs and also college football in the states.

more here:
image.png 476.85 KB
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Connor Probert signed for Hamilton Wanderers just before the deadline
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Ok some updates.

Bucklands Beach with a new coach - Juan Ramon appointed midweek and took charge in their 5-1 loss to ECB.

Waiheke held to a draw against Waitemata which was a shock result to be honest and on Sunday Albany held on against Manurewa to win 3-2 and stay 2nd.

image.png 39.92 KB

Still not really sure what Waiheke's plan is should they win?  refuse to take it and stay in Div 1 - meaning the race for third place might be super important.
Getting paid to be here
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chopah
Ok some updates.

Bucklands Beach with a new coach - Juan Ramon appointed midweek and took charge in their 5-1 loss to ECB.

Waiheke held to a draw against Waitemata which was a shock result to be honest and on Sunday Albany held on against Manurewa to win 3-2 and stay 2nd.

image.png 39.92 KB

Still not really sure what Waiheke's plan is should they win?  refuse to take it and stay in Div 1 - meaning the race for third place might be super important.

Top six separated by six points, potentially five if Rewa were to win their game in hand. Wild.
Opinion Privileges revoked
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chopah
Ok some updates.

Bucklands Beach with a new coach - Juan Ramon appointed midweek and took charge in their 5-1 loss to ECB.

Waiheke held to a draw against Waitemata which was a shock result to be honest and on Sunday Albany held on against Manurewa to win 3-2 and stay 2nd.

image.png 39.92 KB

Still not really sure what Waiheke's plan is should they win?  refuse to take it and stay in Div 1 - meaning the race for third place might be super important.

Why do you think Waiheke don't want to go up? They seemed pretty insistent on Twitter that they're in it to win it
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chopah
Ok some updates.

Bucklands Beach with a new coach - Juan Ramon appointed midweek and took charge in their 5-1 loss to ECB.

Waiheke held to a draw against Waitemata which was a shock result to be honest and on Sunday Albany held on against Manurewa to win 3-2 and stay 2nd.

image.png 39.92 KB

Still not really sure what Waiheke's plan is should they win?  refuse to take it and stay in Div 1 - meaning the race for third place might be super important.

Why do you think Waiheke don't want to go up? They seemed pretty insistent on Twitter that they're in it to win it

Well their current squad doesn't come close to qualifying in the current rules - they somehow managed to get a exemption for 2021 due to covid to not have to meet the U23 rules for Reserves which they are unlikely to get again and to be honest their facilities don't meet the recently published criteria for a Northern League/National League club.  

EDIT: Sorry also why wouldn't you be all up for it on Twitter - that's just PR, not reality.

So that's why I think that.
Opinion Privileges revoked
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I find it interesting that Waiheke's social media people would be name-searching themselves on Twitter (I certainly didn't tag them) to smack down any suggestion that they weren't really keen on promotion if they're just going to have to eat those words at the end of the year. But of course it's possible that no-one told the social media guy what the real situation is. So we shall all see.
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Doloras
I find it interesting that Waiheke's social media people would be name-searching themselves on Twitter (I certainly didn't tag them) to smack down any suggestion that they weren't really keen on promotion if they're just going to have to eat those words at the end of the year. But of course it's possible that no-one told the social media guy what the real situation is. So we shall all see.
 never seen that thread before - good to have seen it.  I don't think they have any chance of challenging the rule - but hey it's NZF, they do more backflips than Tony Hawk.
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Hey Chopah ,

Can you see your 5 goal Hero kicking on this week that was impressive and he gave the Pen away for what could’ve been he 6th? 
Manurewa after having a week off might be tough but you guys have had a week off right so good rest now kick on ?

Will Beach Boys new coach be able to plug those defensive holes 7 then another 5 last week (his first game ) they do seem on a hiding to nothing but think Ellerslie need to just find points from some more games and have a decent 2nd half of the season .

Agree with the Waiheke theory’s but do they they aim for top 2 and try sort themselves in offseason but with that Under 20 rule in Prems to rise to 3 maybe and them unable to have a legit U23 Ressies this year that would seem too hard let alone the Visa player rules .
So does mean 3rd place could get an off season surprise of promotion if WUtd can’t make it happen (and yes the CLicense regs for a coach do seem to be testing them big time )
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I do expect that Waiheke may retrospecitively be deducted points for failing to have a qualified coach on the bench. I see they now have Kevin Fallon listed as head coach and on the team cards. They are just taking the piss .... Last weeks U23 game, they had 2 x 16 year olds and the rest were well over age. 3 in their 30s.
Justafan
Hey Chopah ,

Can you see your 5 goal Hero kicking on this week that was impressive and he gave the Pen away for what could’ve been he 6th? 
Manurewa after having a week off might be tough but you guys have had a week off right so good rest now kick on ?

Will Beach Boys new coach be able to plug those defensive holes 7 then another 5 last week (his first game ) they do seem on a hiding to nothing but think Ellerslie need to just find points from some more games and have a decent 2nd half of the season .

Agree with the Waiheke theory’s but do they they aim for top 2 and try sort themselves in offseason but with that Under 20 rule in Prems to rise to 3 maybe and them unable to have a legit U23 Ressies this year that would seem too hard let alone the Visa player rules .
So does mean 3rd place could get an off season surprise of promotion if WUtd can’t make it happen (and yes the CLicense regs for a coach do seem to be testing them big time )
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CoachAndFan
I do expect that Waiheke may retrospecitively be deducted points for failing to have a qualified coach on the bench. I see they now have Kevin Fallon listed as head coach and on the team cards. They are just taking the piss .... Last weeks U23 game, they had 2 x 16 year olds and the rest were well over age. 3 in their 30s.
Justafan
Hey Chopah ,

Can you see your 5 goal Hero kicking on this week that was impressive and he gave the Pen away for what could’ve been he 6th? 
Manurewa after having a week off might be tough but you guys have had a week off right so good rest now kick on ?

Will Beach Boys new coach be able to plug those defensive holes 7 then another 5 last week (his first game ) they do seem on a hiding to nothing but think Ellerslie need to just find points from some more games and have a decent 2nd half of the season .

Agree with the Waiheke theory’s but do they they aim for top 2 and try sort themselves in offseason but with that Under 20 rule in Prems to rise to 3 maybe and them unable to have a legit U23 Ressies this year that would seem too hard let alone the Visa player rules .
So does mean 3rd place could get an off season surprise of promotion if WUtd can’t make it happen (and yes the CLicense regs for a coach do seem to be testing them big time )

They probably have an exception from NRF for the coaching thing - they have one for the over 23 players in Reserves - wouldn't surprise me.
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Do we do Unqualified Guesses on YFF ?
With a few sides out of league action due to Cup games leaves only 4 Round 14 games 
Albany win over  v Metro 
MAP also Win v Bucklands Beach
Tauranga just Win over a resurgent Waitemata but could see this reversed .
And Rewa to take Ellerslie if goal machine is away ??
Good Luck to Waiheke in Cup no rules to breach v Nth Shore 

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Albany get a mini break but only just I see it was a late winner over Metro who seem to be able to go with these top sides for longer spells can they take some points off others soon ?(Probably )

Bucklands still with revolving door policy at the back conceding 8 v MAP to go with the 5 and 7 from previous 2 games can’t see any light there they’ve got the better teams to play still just a hiding to nothing .
Sorry to say Ellerslie were indeed without Morrow but reports say they were still well in it and played ok Rewa tho job done 3-1 and 3 more points to keep in the promotion mix .
Ellerslie get ECB at home on the turf feels Like they haven’t been at home for ages Bays might like having a week off and be fresh and raring to go ?
And Waitemata also continuing to climb away from the bottom 3 that’s a good win over Tauranga 

But we see Albany v Waiheke clash this week on Sunday afternoon a top of the table sort out got to be a good game to catch 
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Sorry abit late to the races missed getting last nights Metro home game score in v Manurewa  but have seen a few games at Phyllis Street on a Friday over the years and this time of the year it’s for the hardy .
On last weeks results I would have tipped an upset for Metro (who had a good game v Leaders Albany only to concede with a few mins left ) so that seemed like some form (v top tier) as well as home ground advantage v Rewa over 2nd bottom Ellerslie .
I read from Metro social media at Fulltime some push and shove with the Metro coach and Rewa Keeper old ties or just some player specific banter ??
So that claws Metro up into the Div 1 pack albeit the lower end of it and halts Rewa for a week, this Divison proving very tight and whilst the the top sides play each other today there’s still probably 7 teams who fancy themselves of top 2 spot with that * on what Waiheke could do player wise still meaning 3rd place may have a stiff .
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Metro won 2-1 I should of mentioned .

So other games 
Albany host Waiheke in 1v2 this weather is looking dodgy maybe by Sunday it might have eased off (not what the forecast is saying )so going for could be a lottery in what on a better day should have had a few in attendance I guess drums and flares still work in the rain ?
Fancy a 3-3 type score regardless of weather and coaches Kevin Fallon v Clive Campbell is a time travel moment these 2 locking horns back in the 70s on the pitch .

Taka with a result to be well up there v Tauranga whose form has tapered at Taharoto in heavy rain you’re in the clubrooms looking at the window football won’t be pretty 1-0 Taka .

I might go for an abandoned game unplayable on the turf at Ellerslie too much water ,ECB suitably cheesed off and maybe a midweek replay under the lights ?
Ok so they do play Bays back from a week off v Ellerslie with players back has to be Bays with a tag on the weather making it tough to play for both sides and we get a draw ?

Waitemata v Bucklands 
Do Bucklands try defending ?
Waitemata pace on the wet slick pitch still sees them win it (you just can’t give BBch anything right now unless new coach os getting a new message through and understood ?)
Went ok with the guesses last week and you’ll have to trust me on the Metro score ,take a Brolly!!




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Went to Albany v Waiheke. 4-1 to waiheke after 0-0 at half time. Albany had a penalty saved in the first half. All Waiheke in the second half. Albany got more and more frustrated - Waiheke very good at pressing the man in possession. Albany down to 10 in the last 20 minutes or so. Waihekes 4th an absolute peach. Good crowd in miserable conditions.
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Well I think this week shows that Div1 is likely to replace one North Shore team (Northern Rovers ) with another when we see Albany ,Takapuna and East Coast Bays all in the top 4 along with Waiheke  not saying much for those south of the bridge in Div 1 this year anyways .

As for picks well I got a draw until half time in Albany /Waiheke but then didn’t that change .
Bays ,Waitemata and Taka seemed easy Win picks I did (true) think Metro were also a good at home side pick for Friday so 4 out of 5 is a pass .


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