Greenhalgh signs for Melville

Robbie Greenhalgh, a former Waibop United national league player and two-time northern premier league winner with Bay Olympic, is joining Melville United for the 2017 season.

Greenhalgh played a season and half of national league with Waibop in 2014-16 after winning northern premier titles with Bay Olympic in 2011 and 2012. In earlier years he was also with Three Kings and Central United, where he started senior football as a right back, before later becoming better known as a midfielder.

Last winter he had the season off, apart from coaching St Peters’ second XI in schoolboy football, but in 2014 and 2015 he was player-coach at Cambridge. Greenhalgh works in Hamilton as product manager for TRT Transport, dealing in parts for the construction and heavy transport industry.

The 31-year-old played alongside Melville co-coach Michael Mayne for a number of years at Bay Olympic, and that connection played a role in attracting him to Gower Park.

The experienced Robbie Greenhalgh has shipped in to Gower Park

The experienced Robbie Greenhalgh has shipped in to Gower Park

“Melville have good coaches, respected backroom staff, a pitch which is one of the best in the country, and the club has a similar atmosphere to what we had at Bay Olympic,” Greenhalgh said.

Asked to describe his playing strengths, Greenhalgh said: “I’m not a flowery sort of player. I’m one of those players whose presence gets noticed more when I am not there.”

Mayne hailed Greenhalgh as a player who brought excellent pedigree to Melville and would play a key role in midfield or defence.

“Robbie is of national league standard, and has a great record of success at previous clubs,” Mayne said. “He adds experience, is solid and robust, and is very good at breaking play up.

“He’s a player who knows what it takes to get results and how to push through in a long season. Having players who have been through that is invaluable on the pitch and in the dressing room.”

Greenhalgh has also shown a keen eye for goal over the years.

# Melville pre-season training officially kicks off at 6pm on Thursday February 2 at Gower park for both men and women, with an informal barbecue to be run outside the clubrooms following training.

All current and intending members are invited to attend. Women’s training will switch to Wednesdays after the completion of Melville’s summer 6-a-side on February 22.

Melville expect to be entering a minimum of eight men’s and three women’s teams in senior competition this year, as well as a number of youth teams, which kick-off later in the season.

Melville’s northern league campaign is due to kick off with a home game against Waitemata on Saturday March 25.

Melville subscription fees for 2017 will be announced before February 2.

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