Nobs eye cup glory
Melville Nobs (New Old Boys) go in quest of cup glory when they face Otorohanga in the final of the Waikato Knockout Cup at Gower Park at 2.30pm on Saturday (August 25).
With Melville’s federation team also at home, the final will be played on either pitch 2 or pitch 5, whichever is least affected by the Waikato monsoon season.
With Otorohanga having pipped Melville by two points in winning the Waikato A Division, the match represents the Nobs’ only chance of collecting silverware this season.
Last season Otorohanga knocked Melville out of the cup at the semifinal stage and went on to win it, so will be looking to defend the trophy and complete the double.
Nob head Raj Naidu said his team was confident of its ability, even though in reality it is Otorohanga’s first team shaping up against Melville men’s fourth team.
“We have a lot of experience in the squad, with a number of players who have won trophies at much higher levels, so we are not without confidence,” Naidu said.
Last week the Nobs warmed up for the final with a 4-3 win over third-placed Claudelands Cavaliers, while Otorohanga hammered Te Awamutu 6-0.
Otorohanga beat the Nobs 4-0 back in June, a victory which proved decisive in winning the league.
But Naidu, 40, said his team would not be cowered by that loss and were philosophical about their prospects.
“For some people experience is simply the name you give your mistakes, but we never view our challenges as a disadvantage,” he said.
“Our experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of our biggest strengths.
“As (player-coach) Gavin (Douglas) said at training this week, ‘no man ever steps in the same river twice – for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man’.
“With the Nobs there’s a certain appreciation for football you have at our age that you don’t have when you’re younger. It makes every accomplishment feel so much better, and that will fuel our endeavours.
“We have a saying in the Nobs: ‘It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop’.
“When it seems that our goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals – adjust the action steps.”
The Nobs will have a full squad to choose from, with leading goalscorer Kieran Frewan recovered from a foot injury. Meanwhile defenders Gavin Douglas, 43, and Justin Harden (real name) will pose a big threat to Otorohanga with their goalscoring potential.
Meanwhile Melville Feds host Tauranga Blue Rovers (2.45pm) as they seek to improve upon their fifth placing in the federation league.
And in the B Division third-placed Mighty Melville entertain league leaders Claudelands Rovers Wallys at 12.30pm.