2020 Season: Here we go

As we approach the end of June, Melville’s 2020 northern premier league season finally gets underway with a home game against Central United (3pm, June 20, Gower Park, Reserves 12.30pm).

While Melville have enjoyed an unbeaten and protracted pre-season (which started in February and ended last week) there is no doubt that Melville will be rank underdogs against an extremely talented Central United squad.

While the home draw will assist Melville, the good Gower Park surface will hardly undermine a Central squad littered with players who would appear good enough to also be playing for Auckland City in the forthcoming O League.

It will also be the first competitive match for Melville’s new coach, Sam Wilkinson, who will be anxious to live up to the achievements of the 2019 coaching team which last year took Melville to a Chatham Cup final.

As with every season there are a number of new faces at Melville. Among those we welcome to the first team squad are:

# Sean Liddicoat, a well-regarded 23-year-old right-sided utility signed from Canterbury United (and now living in Tauranga).

# Riku Soejima, a Japanese striker previously with Waikato Unicol.

# Dominick Edwards, 25, back from the UK where he was most recently with Inverness Athletic.

# Jack Portegys, 20, a former Cambridge and Hamilton Boys High defender.

# Owen Comber, 18, who was with Eastern Suburbs last season and has a mother and father who both played for Melville.

# Harry Mason, 19, who was with Hawke’s Bay United over the summer.

# Reserve keeper, 15-year-old Joe Knowles, son of Shane Knowles.

# Also Kieran Richards is back from a successful freshman year at East Tennessee State University in the US.

Finally veteran Steve Kipchoge (previously known as Steven Holloway) is back after almost 3 years recovering from a back injury.

# Melville have been hit hard in the current economic environment, with sponsorship and community grant funding decimated by the Covid-19 impact.

As a result here will be either a gate charge or collection at every home game this year to try and recoup costs that would previously have been covered by other means. We also ask that you support club raffles or others fundraising initiatives.

Melville’s 2020 draw:

20.06.2020 Melville United v Central United Gower Park 1
27.06.2020 Eastern Suburbs v Melville United Madills Farm 1
04.07.2020 Melville United v Auckland United Gower Park 1
11.07.2020 Wanderers v Melville United Porritt 1
18.07.2020 Melville United v Manukau United Gower Park 1
25.07.2020 Bay Olympic v Melville United Olympic Park 1
01.08.2020 Melville United v Waitakere City Gower Park 1
08.08.2020 Western Springs v Melville United Seddon Fields
15.08.2020 Melville United v Forrest Hill Milford Gower Park 1
22.08.2020 Melville United v North Shore United Gower Park 1
29.08.2020 Birkenhead United v Melville United Shepherds Park

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