NRFL

Long Journey and Hard Work Paid Off for Taka

Photo supplied by www.phototek.co.nz

Three years of pain, hurt and suffering for Takapuna has loomed largely over the heads of the North Shore based outfit. But after an emphatic season, with the team in yellow remaining undefeated in the Lotto NRFL Men’s Division Two this far in the campaign, the progress into the next step has welcomed Joe Daw and his men into the realm of the Lotto NRFL Men’s Division One for 2019.

Earning promotion to the next level, the journey took three long years for the club to execute but doing so in style has seen the team thrive in even the most challenging of situations.

With the rebuild commencing three years ago during the appointment of Daw, the birth of a new era was introduced for Takapuna, showcasing the makings of a force to be reckoned with.

Takapuna’s coach Joe Daw. Photo: David Joseph / www.phototek.nz

“It’s been a long journey, when I took over at the club, that was the aim three years ago, to get promotion and we’ve been quite close to getting that the last couple of years” Daw said.

“It takes a while to actually learn the dynamics of Division Two, the league has its own complexes, but this year, we’ve absolutely nailed it and got it completely right from the players, right through to the board.”

Moving forward, the club has set a clear path on achieving top spot in the league. With the mentality of taking each match as it comes, the formula has certainly worked for Takapuna as they have one final piece of the puzzle to complete.

“With the playing squad and staff, we sat down and had a look at the nine games left and we divided those last nine games into three pools and took three games at a time, aiming to get at least seven points from each pool, which would give us 21 points” Daw said.

“On the outcome, I am over-ecstatic with how it’s going at the moment, we’re over exceeding our goal.”

“But it all comes about in small steps and small pieces; the focus needs to be on each game as it comes and we’re hoping it all goes well.”

Forward Tommy Miller has been the centre of attention all season, with the man from Leeds sitting firmly in the spot light, amassing an impressive 22 goals so far this season.

Takapuna’s Tommy Miller has scored 22 goals so far this season. Photo: David Joseph / www.phototek.nz

Daw is pleased with the development and character his side has shown so far this season, particularly in the competitiveness throughout his squad, including a number of reserve players.

One player progressing through the ranks this season is twenty-year old, Matt Hawke, who’s wriggled his way into the first team, despite kicking off with the reserves at the start of the season.

“He’s an absolute example to all people who are at reserves level, to act like he did and to show me what he was worth in the reserve games, he is outstanding and when he’s come on board into the first team and been incredible” Daw said.

Takapuna’s Matt Hawke in action. Photo supplied by Takapuna AFC

“It’s always a plus when you’ve got players in reserves knocking at the door to get into the first team and that’s what you want, that competitive edge.”

“That’s what’s driven us really, having a squad that are always knocking at the door to start all around the park and I am very happy with how the seasons gone.”

Takapuna will face Metro on Friday night at 7:30 pm at Phyllis Street Reserve.

Other Lotto NRFL Men’s Division Two Fixtures:

Northland FC v Franklin United – Tikipunga Park
Bucklands Beach AFC v Cambridge FC – Lloyd Elsmore Park
Papakura City FC v Claudelands Rovers – McLennan Park
Onehunga Mangere United v Ngongotaha AFC – Mangere Domain
Albany United v Te Atatu – Rosedale Park

All matches are scheduled to kick off at 3pm.

Lotto NRFL Men’s Division Two League Table: