Week 19 - 12/06

Week 19 - 12/06

Our recent Chatham Cup triumph over North Shore United produced the worst penalty shoot out I have ever witnessed. Our 2-1 winning margin meant seven of the ten penalties were either saved or missed the target.

Compare that to a result from my past involvement in the Chatham Cup in similar circumstances on 13th July 1986 when Gisborne City beat Nelson United 12-11 on penalty kicks at Childers Road Gisborne. The unfortunate player to eventually miss for Nelson that day was Paul Probert.

Penalty kicks are a real test of nerve and confidence. Often the players you expect to take penalties shy away. Conversely there are no shortage of volunteers to take the first five kicks. Often I find the ones who jump in are often defenders or goalkeepers players who technically are not the best but have heaps of belief.

The hero's for us on the day were our goalkeeper Rodrigo Vasquez, who saved two penalties and the other two efforts from North Shore were blasted wide. Further plaudits go to Shaq Nazeem and super cool Andre Estay, who both converted their spot kicks. Andre's one was the vital decider that won us the game.

We had not officially practiced penalty kicks but we will prior to our next Chatham cup game versus Bay Olympic, here at Walter Massey Park on June 25th Kick off 2pm. The first five penalty takers will include Shaq and Andre plus three others. All to be selected from the successful takers of the staged contest.

Another statistic I came across is; if possible take the first penalty and make your opponents play catch up. A study had been done and the first team to take the kicks wins more often than the team going second. (We were second on the day!)

Our next Chatham Cup opponents Bay Olympic are a Premier League team and no doubt hot favourites to progress to the last sixteen. For us it's where we want to be in two years time. The game will give me a good indication of which of my players can foot it at the top winter level.

Another penalty shoot out scenario concluded the final of the Oceania Confederation Cup play off series in Port Moresby. All the talk has been about how the All Whites are not playing well, the poor or non existent passing, no support play, in fact there has been very little to praise about the games.

I have news for you, it will all be forgiven now we have progressed to Russia to play against the Football Worlds top nations. My prediction of Tahiti coming through the group to contest the final was wrong they went out on goal difference.

In PNG the All Whites faced a team who put their bodies on the line with great home support and possessing the odd player with flair. Chris Woods was a loss not that he was playing well but he was a presence. For me no one had a outstanding tournament apart from goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic. But who cares now we have qualified we pick up some much needed prize money and are guaranteed some cost free, top end, international games.

More news out of the All White camp was the confirmation of Rory Fallon as player coach of Truro City, the Cornwall team who play in the National League South. He will be working with team manager Lee Hodges who he knows from his Plymouth Argyll days. Now 34 and a qualified Euro A License coach, Rory is at the right age to start his coaching career. The two year appointment will no doubt see the winding up eventually of his playing days. Bringing the curtain down on what has been a magnificent career. No Kiwi born football player has surpassed the longevity and gained the all round experience that Rory has accomplished.

Leaving these shores as a sixteen year old he has made over five hundred football league appearances over nineteen years taking in The Scottish Premier League, The English Championship, Division One and Division two also playing in European competitions. Internationally he has appeared for England gaining caps at under sixteen and youth level plus World Cup experience for New Zealand in South Africa 2010 where he played against the World Champions Italy and the team returned home unbeaten. Further World Cup experience in the disappointing 2014 campaign and now there looms a Confederation Cup final series in Russia. What a stellar career he has achieved all he set out to do when he was first trained by me as a six year old. We set goals and the number one aim was to have a professional career and make a living from the game.

Well done Rory you have certainly achieved your goals and "Good Luck" with your coaching career. If Mourinho can succeed in coaching with his background of being an interpreter and Leicester City can win the football league you can advance your coaching career. All things are possible to him that believes.

It's all go too here at Manukau City we have managed to strengthen the first team squad and have a youthful looking bench now with ex Central United players Ben Robinson and Pachok Abba, both teenagers and 24 year old midfield player Mocha Adam, ex Mount Albert. Welcome to Walter Massey Park. Good news also that goalkeeper Iona Lupena is back in training and looking to make his return to playing.

Yesterday's second round clash with Onehunga Mangere took the wind out of our sails. The 4-2 home defeat was a major set back. After having time to reflect on our performance it still is a major disappointment. When Andre Estay gave us the early lead it looked like another victory on the way. Onehunga /Mangere equalised prior to half time and from their onwards it was all downhill.

Our biggest set back was the loss at half time of our classy central defender Paul Day. Minus him our defence was in tatters at times. Often making the mistake of pushing forward and leaving massive holes behind them that Onehunga exploited. In a matter of minutes we were 3-1 down. I must add that all the substitutes I used added to the game which was a pleasing factor for these youngsters no doubt will be the future of the club. There were few opportunities to score for the visitors but how they finished what few they had with their lightening counter attacking raids.

So we start our enforced break with no game until the home Chatham Cup fixture versus Bay Olympic here at Walter Massey on June 25th kick off 2pm. It will give us a good opportunity to regroup, get over any injuries and work on our shortcomings.

Hello to Ex National Coach Ken Dugdale who contacted me from Finland. Ken enjoys the blog and I will bring people upto date with his whereabouts shortly. Also more greetings to ex Sligo Rovers teammate Johny Brookes who is in South Africa. More about both in future posts.

Am reading D H Lawrence "Twilight in Italy." Not an easy read. Almost a series of nine short stories rather than a travelogue. First published in 1916. Lawrence was a rarity in those far off days traveling around the world looking for adventures and new experiences in times when travel was not easy. He rocked the literary world with his controversial book "Lady Chatterleys Lover" almost the "Fifty Shades of Grey" of it's day. Enjoyed the story San Gaudenzio a mountainous village of Northern Italy where the people were chiefly land workers or peasants. Their life started improving with the trips to America for work in the Californian gold mines. Separated from home and family they toiled for five years or more to improve their lot. Their world was changing no more the simplicity of a piece of land, a cow, lemon trees, polenta, soup and olive oil. They wanted more realising that money was often the difference between your standing in the world. The story hammered home the body may be in America but the soul and mind were still in Italy.

Have just returned a fabulous album of rock legend Eric Clapton entitled "Slow hand at 70." It's great value two CDs and a DVD of the show from the Royal Albert Hall in London. It's bluesy it's rock it's ballads the show had everything including some class backing from musicians and the two punchy, backing girls. Great to hear the legendary tracks Layla, You are so beautiful, Tears in heaven, Wonderful tonight and Cocaine. Clapton has still got a fine voice and he was always a master on the guitar. Possibly the best album I have heard this year.

WOW word of the week is Dreich. Unless your from Glasgow you will not have heard that one. I took a picture of Mount Albert mountain with dreich reference to the weather. The Scottish word is an adjective meaning dull, dark, dreary, miserable. I was given a full explanation by my Ngongataha, Glaswegian friend, Chris O'Donoghue who hails from the home of her favourite football team Gladgow Celtic. Pronounced dreek and of Scandinavian origin.

POW phrase of the week is a biblical one "All things are possible to him that believes." A reference for Rory to take into his coaching career.

Exciting times get behind the club on its mission to push South 
Auckland football to the top.

Posted: Sun 12 Jun 2016