Lloyd's review of the 2011 season
Our new first team coach, Lloyd O'Keefe, reflects on the 2011 season.
Shane Rufer was installed as Head Coach for the 2011 season. He took over from Dutchman John Kila who returned to Europe at the conclusion of the 2010 season and has since become the Technical Director of Feyenoord Fetteh Academy in Ghana.
Shane was assisted by Lloyd O’Keefe (Assistant Coach) and Ken Hill (Manager) and was focused on re-building a team of youngsters which produced some excellent football. At one stage there was a real possibility that Wests could challenge Miramar Rangers for the title having only been a few points a drift, but a late season drop in form saw their push for the title falter.
Shane persuaded Trent Watson to return to the club after a stint with Wellington United and having represented Team Wellington. As the most experienced player in the squad, Trent captained the team and provided the guidance and leadership the team required. Matt Wilson (Bung) continued his long association for Wests having represented the club from the junior grades. Bung had another excellent season appearing in the majority of the matches and always maintaining high standards.
Two English imports were recruited to bolster the squad. Both had football league experience in the England. Stevie Hindmarch had played for Shrewsbury Town and Carlisle United. Connor Tinnon having signed with Carlisle United. Both had joined Wests from the Northern Conference League having represented Workington Town a former football league side. They both proved to be excellent additions to the squad and have since moved to Hawke’s Bay United to play National League during the summer months.
Shane also added two Japanese lads to the squad Junya and Naoki Hotehma who both were excellent additions. Kieran Purcell’s form up to the business end of the Central League campaign was key to Wests excellent run of results. Losing him to injury at Redwood Park whilst appearing against Tawa was a major turning point in our season. Ryan Cain also appeared again for Wests after a successful run in Colombia at the Under 20s World Cup. Ryan is planning on moving to the US for 2012 having picked up a US scholarship at a top University.
Wests defensive line was stabilised with Fraser Colson and Matt Smith. Fraser is busy chasing a cricketing career this summer having completed another successful season with Wests. Matt Smith’s physicality was crucial in many of the fixtures he appeared in. He is currently playing in England. Billy Scott was acquired from Nelson Suburbs and was a fantastic addition to the squad. He had played previously in the Mainland competition and he adjusted to the demands of Central League very effectively. Jarrod Bloor and Josh Chettleburgh were constants in the team and these Palmerston Boys played crucial roles through-out the campaign. Josh chipped in with 4 excellent goals.
Michael Fraser was also included in the squad and received U19s player of the year. He finished top scorer having scored 6 league goals including a hat-trick against Maycenvale. Finally Shane offered opportunities to a number of youngsters including Josh, Finch, Jordan Valentic Holden, Patrick O’Keefe and Alex Rufer during the season. All equipped themselves well. Finishing 4th in the league was an improvement on the 6th position secured in 2010.
2011 LOTTO MENS CENTRAL LEAGUE
|Napier City Rovers||18||10||4||4||30||19||34|
|Lower Hutt City||18||5||6||7||25||26||21|