Message from the chairman
Melville is currently riding a wave of success as a club both on and off the field, and as chairman I thought it was time to comment.
Our 120-strong Melville Academy has welcomed many new youth players from U-11 through to U-16, and they are competing in Waibop or Waikato youth leagues.
A special thank you to academy directors Sam Wilkinson and Michael Mayne, because none of this would have been possible without their hard work and coaching expertise. Their ethos around results at youth level not being as important as the way the game is played needs to be applauded.
It is easy to forget at times how much goes into making this a success and they have assembled a great team around themselves to take our Academy. I encourage any prospective coaches and players alike to look at the sessions that are being run and to see just how skillful our youth players are.
Sam and Michael also have another job at the club as our first team coaches, and this season has started with a bit more pressure than their first year.
At this level, performance is definitely results-based, and they have set their own targets of gaining promotion back to the Northern Premier League. Looking from the sideline and judging from conversations with the playing group, it feels like the squad has a bit more depth than last year.
This is partly due to the blooding of a number of youngsters last year. A year older and wiser these players will continue to grow with the coaching they are receiving. Although there are a few older heads like Aaron Scott this is still a young squad with a number of schoolboys and U-20 players.
Our total squad, including coaches, players, managers and team staff need to be congratulated on what is so far a great start to the season with the team unbeaten in first place, after 8 of 22 matches and 5 points clear of second. Seriously well done to all.
The structure of having an U-19 team and U-23 team is also starting to pay dividends with the U-19’s playing in the Northern Reserve league and the U-23s playing in the Waibop Federation Premiership.
Our U-19s continue to be competitive each week and this is a great league for players to be blooded in senior football whilst training alongside and with the first team.
Our U-23s have also had a good start and currently are unbeaten in first place in the Waibop Premiership although Papamoa who are the early favourites do have a game in hand. Both these squads have seen a number of new players join the club and the professionalism shown by coaches and players alike is exactly why we needed to go to this format. Players from both squads have a genuine pathway through to the first team should they want it.
There are five other men’s teams at the club and while considered slightly more social leagues they are by no means less competitive. These teams have by and large got a great culture of playing with mates or players who are still finding their feet in senior football.
In amongst these teams there will be another gem that has not yet been properly unearthed and with a large number of these players being in the teens and early 20’s we look forward to them being long term club men. It’s early days, with five rounds having been played, but The Waikato A Nobs are second. In the B division the Melville Mighty B’s lead the league and the B52’s are fourth. The Old boys are well old and currently mid table in fourth. Our D division team is battling a little which is to be expected with many of the players playing together for the first time and only getting together about a week before the start of the season.
Our Premier Women’s team are currently second in Waikato A. In June the top three teams in Waikato A will be combining with the top three from the Bay of Plenty into a Federation league. Our Development team and Epics in Waikato B are both in the top half of the table with mixed results. All three teams are steadily improving in game play and having seen all of the teams play its great to see the level of football being played by all. As with the men, there are a new crop of youngsters making their mark at Melville.
Every club is only ever going to be as successful as the people involved. While as new chairman it’s great to see this season’s success, we should not forget it due to the hard work of the many people involved. A big thank you to all the coaches and managers associated with all of the teams.
As volunteers you are crucial to our success. A special thank you also to the current management committee, many of whom have been there for over a decade. We are looking for a couple more portfolio managers to join the committee or even sit outside the committee to assist. Please let one if us know if you are able to give up a small amount of your time to assist.
Once again a big thank you to everyone. The clubrooms are buzzing with activity and its great to see the aftermatches being so well supported. Good luck for the rest of the season.
Chairman, Melville United AFC.
# Melville have been drawn away to Ellerlsie in the second round of the Chatham Cup on Monday June 4 (Queen’s Birthday). Melville also draw Ellerslie away last year. (And face Ellerslie at home this Saturday at 3pm, Reserves at 12.30pm.)
Melville U23s (Federation league) are away to Waikato Unicol on Saturday, after a 5-5 home draw v Matamata Swifts last weekend.
In Waikato Cup matches at Gower Park on Saturday the Old Boys face Huntly Thistle at 12.30pm and in the plate it’s Melville D v Cambridge and B52s v Claudelands Rovers (both 2pm).
The Nobs are away to Northern United and the Mighty Bs to Claudelands Rovers.
On Sunday Melville Premier Women are at home to Wanderers Classics (1pm) and Melville Development face Te Aroha (11am) in the Cup. The Epics are away to Huntly at 11am.