The players who will look to fire their clubs to glory in the ISPS Handa Premiership have been revealed after the official naming of the squads for the upcoming season.
The action gets going on Sunday with a clash between defending champions Auckland City and Team Wellington, a repeat of last season’s ISPS Handa Premiership final which doubles as both the opening fixture of the new campaign and a chance to lift some silverware with the Charity Cup up for grabs.
The first round proper takes place a week later on October 20 to 21 when all 10 teams will be in action.
There is plenty of top talent for fans to look forward to watching with a raft of notable names in the squad announcements.
The competition tagline of ‘Where All Whites Are Made’ certainly rings true with Cameron Howieson, Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi (both Auckland City), Jake Butler (Waitakere United), Tim Payne, Andre de Jong (both Eastern Suburbs), Cameron Lindsay (Hawke’s Bay United), Justin Gulley and Henry Cameron (both Team Wellington) all having been capped for New Zealand.
There is also a sprinkling of international experience outside of those who have played for the All Whites with the Auckland City trio of Brian Kaltak (Vanuatu), Micah Lea’alafa (Solomon Islands) and David Browne (Papua New Guinea) joined by Hamilton Wanderers’ Tommy Semmy (Papua New Guinea), Team Wellington’s Roy Kayara (New Caledonia) and Tasman United’s Ronaldo Wilkins (Vanuatu) in representing their country at senior level.
The lure of the ISPS Handa Premiership around the world has proved strong with players from 25 other countries set to line up alongside the finest local talent in New Zealand’s male national league. Among the more interesting backgrounds of these is Markus Fjortoft, son of English Premier League cult hero and former Norway international Jan Age Fjortoft. The defender has spent time on the books of Major League Soccer (MLS) outfits New York Red Bulls and Seattle Sounders but has swapped the bright lights of America for Southern United.
The imports will look to set an example for the wealth of young home grown talent spread throughout the league, which includes many youth internationals and a group of hugely promising players harbouring hopes of entering the professional game by starring for the Wellington Phoenix Reserves.
The squads for the upcoming ISPS Handa Premiership season are listed below (nationality is New Zealand unless stated otherwise).
For the draw and other information please click here
2018/19 ISPS Handa Premiership Squads
Auckland City: Enaut Zubikarai (GK) (Spain), Hayden McHenery, Takuya Iwata (Japan), Mario Bilen (Croatia), Angel Berlanga (Spain), Brian Kaltak (Vanuatu), Cameron Howieson, Albert Riera, Javier Lopez (Spain), Micah Lea’alafa (Solomon Islands), Fabrizio Tavano, Dylan Manickum, Jordan Vale, Daniel Morgan, Yousif Ali, Reid Drake, Ruben Parker (GK), David Browne (Papua New Guinea), Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, Maro Bonsu-Maro, Alfie Rogers
Coach: Ramon Tribulietx
Waitakere United: Danyon Drake (GK), Luke Jorgensen, Kohei Matsumoto (Japan), Ben Gordon (United Kingdom), Alec Solomons, Dylan Burns, Oscar Browne, Sam Burfoot, Alex Connor-McClean, Eder Franchini Pasten (Chile), Sanni Issa (Nigeria), Matt Conroy, David Parkinson, Jake Butler, Oliver Bassett (United Kingdom), Andrew Abba (Solomon Islands), Silvio Rodic (GK) (Croatia)
Coach: Chris Milicich
Eastern Suburbs: Andrew Withers (GK), Alexander Clayton, Kelvin Kalua, Nando Pijnaker, Adam Thomas, Harrison Moss-Edge, Tim Payne, Owen Parker-Price, Andre de Jong, Mohamed Awad, Elijah Just, Dalton Wilkins, Dominic Woolridge, Michael Built, Patryk Misik (Canada), Tinashe Marowa, Justin Biega (GK) (Australia), Hayden Johns
Coach: Danny Hay
Hamilton Wanderers: Matthew Oliver (GK), James Hoyle (United Kingdom), Joseph Nottage, Agustin Contratti (Argentina), Gensei Nakamuru (Japan), Bradley Whitworth (United Kingdom), Rhys Ruka, Martin Bueno (Uruguay), Jordan Shaw, Hiroki Toyokawa (Japan), Tommy Semmy (Papua New Guinea), Paul Clout, Joseph Terry (United States), Hamish Smylie, Aaron Bayliss, Derek Tieku (United Kingdom), Xavier Pratt, Jonathan Mannes (GK)
Coach: Ricki Herbert
Hawke’s Bay United: MacKenzie Waite (GK), Anders Erikkson (Sweden), Liam Schofield (United Kingdom), Cameron Lindsay, Joseph Zupo (Canada), Daniel Allan, Cory Chettleburgh, Sam Mason-Smith (United Kingdom), Sho Goto (Japan), Maxime Oliveri (France), Ben Lack, Birhanu Taye, Dilan Nanayakkara, Jordan Lamb, Bjorn Christensen, Karan Mandair, Jorge Akers, Alex Britton (GK)
Coach: Brett Angell
Wellington Phoenix Reserves: Zac Jones (GK), Dino Botica, Liam Moore, Kieran Richards, Calvin Harris (United Kingdom), Willem Ebbinge, Sam Sutton, Oliver Valentine, Noah Tipene-Clegg, Stephen Sprowson, Ronan Wynne, Ben Waine, Tuyishime Byamana, Maximilian Batchelor (United Kingdom), Owen Smith, Caleb Emmens
Coach: Paul Temple
Team Wellington: Scott Basalaj (GK), Justin Gulley, Scott Hilliar, Mario Ilich, Liam Wood, Taylor Schrijvers, Eric Molloy (Ireland), Henry Cameron, Tom Jackson, Nathanael Hailemariam, Mario Barcia (Argentina), Andy Bevin, Roy Kayara (New Caledonia), Jack-Henry Sinclair, Angus Kilkolly, Alex Palezevic, Ross Allen (Guernsey), Hamish Watson, Marcel Kampman (GK)
Coach: Jose Figueira
Tasman United: Corey Wilson (GK) (Ireland), Sam Ayers, Ed Sillars, Tom Hickey (United Kingdom), Fox Slotemaker, Bertie Fish, Corey Larsen, Matt Tod-Smith, Ronaldo Wilkins (Vanuatu), Kiernan Hughes-Mason (United Kingdom), Alex Ridsdale, Ahmad Othman (Syria), James McClay (Northern Ireland), Ryan Worrall (United Kingdom), Max Winterton, Ben Kiore, Chester Gaskin, Nick Stanton (GK), Jordan Yong (United Kingdom), Keegan Smith (GK)
Coach: Andy Hedge
Canterbury United: Edward Ashton (GK), Lewis Gordon (GK), Conor Tracey (GK), Daniel Terris, Aaron Spain, Brock Messenger, Tom Schwarz (United Kingdom), Reese Cox, Sean Liddicoat, Andreas Wilson, Gary Ogilvie (United Kingdom), Luke Tongue, Adam Thurston (United Kingdom), James Pendrigh, Cory Mitchell, George King (United Kingdom), Maksym Kowal (Canada), Stephen Hoyle (United Kingdom), Juan Chang Urrea (Guatemala), Seth Clark, Byron Heath, Lyle Matthysen (South Africa)
Coach: Willy Gerdsen
Southern United: Liam Little (GK), Conor O’Keeffe (Ireland), Jared Grove, Markus Fjortoft (Norway), Stephen Last (Ireland), Danny Ledwith (Ireland), Omar Guardiola, Tony Whitehead (Ireland), Abdulla Al-Kalisy, Garbhan Coughlan (Ireland), Ben Wade, Liam MacDevitt (United Kingdom), Ben Deeley, Riley Anderton, Erik Panzer, Blake Weston, Nick Treadwell (United Kingdom)
Coach: Paul O’Reilly