Return of a club legend

Former Melville captain Steven Holloway is set to return to the club where he made his northern league debut back in 2001.

Melville co-coaches Michael Mayne and Sam Wilkinson this week announced Holloway, who captained Melville to the 2009 northern premier league title, as their first signing for the 2017 northern league division 1 campaign.

Holloway scored 74 goals in 130 major appearances for Melville between 2001 and 2010, and was the goalscoring force that powered Melville to the Chatham Cup final in 2003.

In 2011 he moved to Auckland and duly collected northern premier league winners medals with Bay Olympic (2011, 2012) and then division one and premier league winners medals with Glenfield Rovers in 2013 and 2014.

“It’s the return of a club legend that should excite all Melville supporters,” Wilkinson said. “We have a specific role in mind for Steve in the top third of the pitch, and the only condition of his signing was that we not disclose his age.”

Holloway is looking forward to returning to a club where he began his senior career.

“I recently went on holiday with Jason Chewins and Gav Douglas and they made me feel really, really young again,” he said.

Aged Melville legends Jason Chewins and Gavin Douglas, above, played a key psychological role in bringing Holloway back to Melville.

Aged Melville legends Jason Chewins and Gavin Douglas, above, played a key psychological role in bringing Holloway back to Melville.

“Then I read somewhere that I was only 10 goals behind Mark Cossey as Melville’s top scorer of all time, so thought something needed to be done about that.

Steven Holloway is feeling very, very young after holidaying with Jason Chewins and Gavin Douglas.

Steven Holloway is feeling very, very young after holidaying with Jason Chewins and Gavin Douglas.

“I’m really excited about coming back to Melville. My old man is still chairman, two of my closest mates are coaching and we have probably the best pitch in the country and some exciting signings.”

Holloway has played a lot of football with Mayne and Wilkinson over the years – but never been coached by them.

“However I have a lot of close, experienced friends that played for Mayney at Waitemata and they all raved about the job he did there. And Wilko is probably the highest qualified coach in the Northern League and one of the best.

“It’s like a slightly more diverse and stable version of Nikko and Declan – and we made a Chatham cup final (2003) with them.”

Meanwhile Mayne said it was important to have players in the squad who have a proven history of success.

“Steve’s presence will also be invaluable from a leadership point of view. There are not a lot who fit his profile around the region in terms of quality on the ball in the top third.”

Further signings will be announced over the next three weeks.

Melville’s pre-season training will start on Thursday February 2, at 6pm.

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