Fresh structure for Melville senior men’s teams

Melville are tweaking the organisational structure of their top men’s teams for 2018, with an added emphasis on contesting the WaiBop Premiership (Federation League).

Under the new structure Melville’s division one northern league team will be fed by two teams: A reserve team which will primarily be youth-focused (U-19), and a rejuvenated WaiBop Premiership team which will be largely U23-based, but with provision for experienced over-age players.

The federation team (WaiBop Premiership) will essentially become a shadow version of the first team, and very performance-based.

The Reserves will be more of a youth development side with the youngsters in this squad reaping the benefits of working hand in hand with the first team on a daily basis.

The move is designed to cement Melville’s status as the leading senior club in the Waikato, where it competes in three ‘travelling” leagues: Northern League, Reserves, and WaiBop Premiership, on top of Sunday age-group teams.

Merv Williams and Wytse Bouma have been appointed WaiBop Premiership team coaches for 2018, after having led Melville Reserves to the northern league premier reserve title in 2016, and runners-up in the Northern Reserve Division One in 2017.

Simon Tyndel, signed from Perth Glory, will coach Melville Reserves Youth.

Chairman Bruce Holloway said the federation league was arguably a tougher competition than the Reserve league and the new model would address this as well as several other things.

“Having a group of slightly more senior players in it will be a better fit and make this side more competitive and more performance-based,” he said. “The Reserve group will become slightly more development-orientated.

“We believe this will give us a more effective club alignment and also assist cross-team communication.

“Having two feeder teams working closely to achieve success in their own leagues as well as the ultimate success of the northern league team offers the potential for huge gains.

“The club has a great depth of talent at youth level and also the next tier up. We want to retain all these players at the club, training and playing with the best players, coaches and facilities in the region. Broadening our base at the top end allows us to achieve exactly this result”.

Northern league co-coach Sam Wilkinson said the new model was a good fit for players and coaches.

He envisaged player movement at different stages of the season between teams when injuries or unavailability dictate, and saw the Reserves eventually becoming an extension of the Melville Academy.
“It will enable me and Michael Mayne to eventually continue the development of the Academy players during a really key stage as they transition from youth football into senior football,” he said.

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