Hard work poised to bring rewards for Melville

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Hard work has been evident inside the Melville United camp this season, with the WaiBOP-based side set to take home the title with only a handful of matches remaining in the league.

Melville United Co-Coach, Sam Wilkinson is not only pleased with the growth and development of his players, but also the focus and concentration of the team, which has been best illustrated by their achievements of only tasting defeat once in all competitions so far this season.

“We’re not there yet, but our goal when we came into this club short term-wise was promotion, we feel as a club we belong in the NRFL Men’s Premier League” Wilkinson said.

“We missed it last season, but nothing changed coming into this season and we retained the core of the squad from last season, we had a goal to achieve and that was to gain promotion.

Melville United Co-Coaches, Michael Mayne (L) and Sam Wilkinson (R) – Photo Supplied by Melville United

“A lot of people are already talking about us winning the title, but our focus is solely on preparing for this game like we have done all season. We are obviously very pleased with how the season has gone so far, but we’ve got to go and win another tough game this weekend.”

Standing in their way is an in-form Forrest Hill Milford United side, who look to be back to winning ways following a change of management, with young coach, Nathan Cranney taking to the throne.

The last time the pair clashed swords, the might of Melville was too strong for Forrest Hill and the side from the North Shore crashed and plummeted as they fell to a 6-0 thrashing.

But with the odds all in favour for Melville as they look to seal the title this weekend with a victory against Forrest Hill, the pressure still bares down on what’s at stake as Saturday’s opponents are seeking glory to not only end the undefeated reign of Melville, but to also boost their chances of a possible return to the 2019 Lotto NRFL Men’s Premier Division.

“We’ve played Forrest Hill before and while we had a great result against them last time around, we know it’s going to be a different type of game this time around” Wilkinson said.

“I must admit, a lot of people expected that with Clive leaving FHM, the club would fall away, but to their credit, they’ve actually re-grouped and put together a really strong run of results.

“They’ll be little bit harder to beat than they were earlier in the season and they jumped a few placings on the league table, so they’ll have a bit of confidence behind them.”

“To add to that we’re playing at their ground on their pitch, which is a really tough place to go and get a result. We’re expecting a tough game, we have to make sure we keep doing the things we’ve been doing all season – imposing our game style on the opposition and defending with organisation and concentration.”

The match is scheduled to kick off at 3pm at Becroft Park

Other Lotto NRFL Men’s Division One Fixtures:

Ellerslie AFC v Waiheke United AFC – Michaels Ave Reserve
Waitemata FC v Tauranga City AFC – McLeod Park
Hibiscus Coast AFC v Mt Albert-Ponsonby – Stanmore Bay Park
Manurewa AFC v Oratia United – War Memorial Park
Fencibles United v North Shore United – William Green Domain

Lotto NRFL Men’s Division One League Table: