Fresh talent ships into Gower

Melville have gained significant reinforcements just before the transfer deadline, with three new signings shipping in for the club's northern league team.

The influx comes ahead of an away derby against Wanderers Sports Club at Porritt Stadium on Saturday (with a call on whether the match can go ahead due to be made early Saturday morning - and with Melville into the final 16 in the Chatham Cup for the sixth successive time after a 1-0 away win over Takapuna last week.

Shiloh O'Connor, 20, is of Jamaican heritage (though born in England) and has been signed from Guildford City in Surrey (Combined Counties League Premier Division South) and was previously at Molesey (Combined Counties League Division One).

From ages 8-14 he played for Brentford FC. O'Connor plays as a left winger or attacking centre midfielder and can be fast, skilful, unpredictable and explosive. Sadly he is a Manchester United fan.

Sean McDonnell, 21, is from Molesey, where he played alongside O'Connor and plays anywhere in the frontline. He was previously at Westside FC and Bedfont FC and considers his pace and finishing ability as his key playing attributes.

O'Connor and McDonnell's signing was facilitated through former Melville committee member, Ian Richards. His son Ethan played alongside McDonnell at Cobham FC a few seasons back.

"This is a good opportunity to learn and to gain experience,"  McDonnell said. "It's something new for us and a challenge.

"I hope to score against Wanderers and make their lives hell."

Melville coach Jarrod Young is delighted to have added to his squad, given a host of injuries and suspensions (Sean Liddicoat is both injured and suspended, while Ethan Richards is suspended, and even Aaron Scott is under an injury cloud.)

"It’s been fantastic to have Shiloh and Sean come over from England to boast our squad for the back end of the season," Young said. "They have impressed so far even with jet lag still in the their legs. They both have fitted in well with the group on and off the pitch. Both technically sharp and have an eye for goal."

Meanwhile 27-year-old Jack McGovern arrived at Gower Park under his own steam, having previously been a goalkeeper at AFC Liverpool. However after several training sessions Young was impressed by his prodigious ability to score goals more than stopping them, and he may also earn game-time as a striker.

"Jack has fitted in like he has been here the whole season," Young said. "He's a strong striker looking to cause defenders a lot of trouble."

# Melville premier women had their away match against Lakes FC abandoned when leading 3-0 at half time. It was a frustration for a young squad, but coach Tarena Ranui hopes her team will accrue enough points to be in a position to forfeit any rescheduled match and still win the league. Should Melville win the W-League they then play-off against the winner of the Auckland third division to get into the northern league championship for next year 

Article added: Friday 23 June 2023


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