Sunday December 13, 12 noon
Memorial Park, Palmerston North
The 2015 ASB Youth League has two rounds to go and it’s still anyone’s to win. Our heart-breaking, last moment, defeat to Canterbury last Sunday made our chances much tougher, but we still have a mathematical chance, so will head to Palmerston North looking for our sixth win of the season.
For youth team head coach, Michael Built, the Canterbury defeat was extremely tough to take, but he’s now focused on getting his side up for their next test. “Yep, that defeat was shattering, particularly after we showed enough character to grab a late equaliser that would have meant a world of difference on the table. But we were on the other end of things the previous weekend. That’s the way this game can be sometimes,” said Built. “All we can do now is look ahead, take the game to Manawatu this weekend, do all we can to get a result and go from there. Two wins in our final two games would give us an outside chance at the title, so where there’s life there’s hope.
“Manawatu had an excellent victory over [2014 champions] Nelson Marlborough last weekend, and they started the season well so this will be another tricky match. As we found against Wairarapa and Auckland United, the lower placed teams in this season’s league are still extremely competitive. So our focus will be total. Once it’s over we’ll then look at the other results and see what they mean for us. But if we don’t win then none of the other stuff will even matter.”
It’s a little too early to start looking back over the season, but Built has been pleased with the work put in by his side. “We definitely go out to win every game, but this team is also very much about developing players for first team football,” he explained. “We’ve had moments when we’ve been a bit naïve but there has been a lot of good stuff too. That’s what’s good about this league. It’s competitive and it gives our region’s best young players the opportunity to work together for an extended period and gain experience against some pretty good teams. They’ll benefit from that in future seasons.”
Click here for the current ASB Youth League standings.