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St Paul's Football Report
Photo by St Paul's Collegiate School

Football round up for 2021

St Paul's Collegiate School —

Colts B

Coaches: Dr Mike Simmons and Mr Fraser Wilson

Captain: Sam Forward

Vice Captain: Finn Rayner

The boys all trained and played hard against a variety of teams from the Waikato. It was great to see the support from parents and family members on the sidelines each week when Covid-19 permitted! During the season we had some superb performances and what made it a memorable season was a squad where every member had an unfailingly positive attitude, a willingness to learn and the respect we showed our opposition and indeed each other. Our team Captain, Sam Forward and vice captain, Finn Rayner, exemplified the spirit of the team with superb performances week in and week out. This year we have had another wonderful season, we had a lot of fun, improved our soccer and had some impressive results.

Most Improved Player: Isaac Luxton
Most Valuable Player: Sam Forward

Colts A

Coach: Mr Brad Rea and Owen Comber

Manager: Mr Bryan Summerfield

Captain(s): Jay Benefield and Sam Fletcher

The Colts A were off to a strong start, and a lot of credit was to the incumbent year tens who showed their experience and tenacity. George O’Callaghan, Christian Churton and Jim Lim showed their fight early on and played across many positions. Their physicality was an excellent example for the year nines to follow. Similarly, Oliver Hooper and Jake Dewar set a great benchmark for being agile and hardworking at the front of the paddock.

After the first three games, the Colts A were in a strong position: qualifying for the second division and the third round of the knockout cup. This was also due to the fantastic connection moving the ball from defence to attack. Jay Benefield was an unstoppable force utilising his fitness and foresight in implementing attacking football. David Chen and Daniel Dawbin got stuck in all facets of the game in midfield, Roy Zhu played positive football and directed the structure, while Arthur Keidann was an imposing force who kept getting better.

Bailey Mackwood was the dominant left-footer, and Max Bates classically worked the channels in attack. After recovering from breaking his arm in trials, James Nguyen showed the same character with his blistering speed. Jarrod Visser was also a threat up front, with some of the best technical work. Midway through the season came a destabilising factor as the year tens switched due to the Tihoi intake. The momentum needed to be restored, and the ability to keep the head up and contest for the next challenge was essential. This came from the defenders. Sam Fletcher and Jack Kingston showed their leadership and decisive influence.

Jack Walsh and Tian Subsompon were versatile and tenacious in their efforts. Jacob Xu and Joshua Toon also bolstered the attacking half, who upped the tempo with their pace. The turnaround with the new dynamic was observed in the game against Hamilton Boys High 9B. They were several places above us, yet Colts A held the lead until a narrow draw in the last minute. The foundation of the team was based on the year nines. Eddie Bell was a revelation, moving from the midfield to centre back. He was confident on the ball and still kept his playmaking role. Matt Taylor grew physically but also mentally; fearlessly contesting for the ball against bigger players than him. Lastly, Fletcher Sefton as goalkeeper for his first year was impressive; taking on the many skills and tactics while keeping a cool head.

Most Improved Player: Matthew Taylor
Most Valuable Player: Eddie Bell

Senior Gold

Coaches: Mr Kelvin Hogg and Mr Paul Cakebread

Captain: Alfie Goldfinch

Vice Captain: Kiel Kleuskens

We were placed into division 6 of the WSSFA Senior Boys league of this Covid-19 afflicted season. Unfortunately, we had to forgo our final three matches of the season; the rearranged schedule conflicted with our academic Benchmark Examinations. Combining pace with skill we managed a total of 33 goals from our seven games. These were a good mixture of headers, tap-ins, goalmouth scrambles and 20-yard screamers.

Top scorer and one of our most valuable players, Hunter Doull, averaged around 2 goals per game, he was a constant source of menace for the opposition. Special mention to Cole Brennan, a novice to the game; his powerful running at left-wing gave defenders a headache. Our midfield was kept in order by the marauding Matthew Reusch and the adaptable Cory Goodwin. Cory was rewarded for all his hard work with a goal in our final match of the season, which he celebrated by “shushing” the overly excited crowd of 7 people. Vice captain Kiel Klueskens and Nick Evison provided other important midfield work, closing opposition and holding our structure. Kiel chipped in with a surprise hat-trick midseason, much to the delight of his teammates.

In the centre of defence were the industrious James Kolver and Seetharam Jandhyala. Cory Gao, on the right side of the defence, had the benefit of frequent support from his father which allowed for regular instructions to be shouted at him. Rohit Rajan made the left back spot his own, with many masterful displays. Special mention to Jack Thomas who played in almost every position outfield thisseason. Our goalkeeper, Jack Tournier built upon his exploits last year and again served as a confident and vocal performer. He held the command of his 18-yard box with swagger and improved in his organisation of his defensive players. His lightning reflexes produce some spectacular saves.

Most Improved Player: Hunter Doull
Most Valuable Player: Jack Tournier

Development XI

Coach: Mr Brad Rea

Manager: Mr Bryan Summerfield

Captain: Alessio Lane

Vice Captain: Neelay Mistry

Being placed in Senior Division 2 meant that we were challenged by other school’s 1st teams. Coaches were impressed with the pool of talent on offer and the maturity with which the squad, despite the obvious obstacles of our young age. Running a large squad across both the Development and 1st XI teams, meant that there were players who were always pushing for higher honours and who were consistently on the fringes of the 1st team. Players of note who will be pushing for 1st team selection next year are; Riley Binnie, Lucas Hale and Tom Yetsenga, Alessio Lane, Gurnick and Jae Benefield. These lads certainly embody a maturity beyond their years. Other players of note were Tri Phan, a tenacious player who, despite being pitched against bigger and stronger players, seemed to get the best of them.

Nikau Veitch, Christiano Sarich are two players also of mention, who constantly put their bodies on the line, certainly epitomising what it means to be a team player. With such a young squad consisting of predominantly Year 9 and 10 players, it was crucially important that the few senior players that we did have were able to offer their expertise when needed. To that end, the ‘anchoring’ presence of senior players Jakob Williamson, Robbie Crawford and Neelay Mistry provided both stability and a calm presence and they are to be thanked for their contribution.

As always, the presence and support of the parents were very much appreciated. Special mention must also be made to parent James Gurnick, an experienced referee, was able to officiate at the majority of our games. Although the season did not pan out the way that the lads probably envisioned, they can certainly hold their heads high and confidently claim that from the minute they set foot on the pitch to the moment they stepped off it, they played with heart, enthusiasm and with passion!

Most Improved Player: Lucas Hale
Most Valuable Player: Tri Phan

Girls' First XI

Coach: Mr Keegan Stewart

Manager: Miss Nicole Schollum

Captain(s): Kacy Monkly and Kate Overdervest

This year the girls have improved so much since the start of the year which was seen with winning our last three games of the season. It has been a tough season in this division, but the girls have continued to put their best foot forward and have never given up. Lolkje has played for the girls first XI since year 11. She is comfortable in either the defence or midfield and is defined by her hard work rate and the shift she puts in when on the field. She sets high standards at training which sets a great example for the newer team members. She is always reliable and a complete asset to the team. Kacy also has been in the team since year 11 and is a central defender. She is adept at reading the game and stifling opposition attacks. Her communication and leadership have been a key reason for the success of theteam.

A huge thanks to Keegan Stewart for coaching the girls this year, he has been crucial in their ongoing improvement. Thank you to our senior girls who led the team by example. You will be missed, but I wish you the best of luck with all your future endeavours. The rest of us will hold down the fort for 2022!

Players Player: Lolkje de Boer 
Most Valuable Player: Harriet Pearson

Boys' First XI

Coach: Mr Kale Herbert

Manager: Mr Ainsley Robson

Captain(s): Laurence I’Anson and Joel Marsh

Alas 2021, like the year before was a season cut short because of the Global Pandemic. Simply getting on the field and playing some football must feature as a highlight. Coach Kale Herbert put together a talented but extremely young squad. In all, nine Year 10’s and one Year 9 student represented their school’s football First XI this season. The future of St Paul’s footballer is an exciting proposition considering the level of talent residing through its junior school. Coach Herbert’s job was to find a game plan that allowed this group of skilful but young players to remain competitive against the older and physically demanding opposition.

Seniors like Lawrence I’Anson, Reuben Laurence, Joseph Grigg, Didi Lawson and Guy Ludbrook, all in their final year had to step up and be dominant figures, on and off the field. And that they did, showing real grit and determination and setting a wonderful example for the younger players to aspire to. Similarly, Year 12’s Joel Marsh, Fergus Williams, Eddy Ludbrook and Reuben Crum were instrumental figures within the team. Joel took on the captaincy after Lawrence suffered a long-term injury and did an admirable job, leading both through his actions and his calm measured words. Reviewing all games played, friendlies, league and cup the team finished with an 8-win 3 draw 7 loss record. A highlight includes a seven-week run holding onto the Challenge Shield which started with a 4-0 win over St Peter’s and a 1-1 draw with the table-topping St John’s.
Overall, the season finished on a neutral note. There were moments when the team clicked, and the fluidity and accuracy of play was on par with the best in the country. However, careless errors, in part due to inexperience, cost us in key moments. The team was good enough to win the competition, so a 6th placing leaves many frustrated about the missed opportunities. That said, the young average age of the team means there are some exciting times to come.

Recognising the Year 13’s who have played their last game for the first XI:

  • Guy Ludbrook: 16 games, A dominant presence in the defence, strong, physical on the ball, competitive with a big work rate. Fantastic team man.
  • Joseph Grigg: 16 games, one of the biggest improvers this year, a utility player, his skill set allowed him to adapt easily and offer real value in defence and attack. An extraordinarily high work rate, no one in the team worked harder. Finished the season as a guaranteed starter and arguably one of the most consistent performers.
  • Reuben Lawrence: 50 games, 3 goals, a tenacious scrapper, playing in the defence, his explosive speed made him a dominant figure against any opposition. He had a dogmatic attitude and his ability to force a mistake from his opponent, made him one of the best on the field.
  • Didi Lawson: 50 games, this year he became a crucial figure in the starting 11. Either in the midfield or in the defence, he was the defensive rock that held the team’s pattern and shape together. His work rate, strength in defence and ability to knock a long accurate pass were crucial to the success of the team.
  • Laurence I’Anson: 60 games, while injury curtailed the number of appearances this season. He remained the team's leader. The rock at the back, as the goalie he was the eyes, ears and voice that everyone looked to for guidance and direction. Four seasons in the First XI is an outstanding effort.

Top Goal Scorers: Fergus Williams and Matthew D'Hotman

Most PP: Tom Yetsenga
Most Valuable Player: Joel Marsh
Most Improved Player: Joseph Grigg
Team Award: Fairplay Award