Hawkes Bay Today - Anendra Singh
Napier City Rovers' flagship team have finished third in a season that promised so much but left them without any elite level silverware this winter.
Conroy Removals player/coach Bill Robertson said the Lotto Central League was "very competitive" after they ended their campaign on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over Lower Hutt City.
"We're dealing with clubs that are bigger than us and have huge amount of resources than what we have at our disposal," Robertson said after the victory wasn't enough as Wellington Olympic came from 2-0 down to beat Stop Out 4-2 away to clinch the crown from the defending champions.
Miramar Rangers predictably thumped last-placed Petone FC 5-0 to finish runners-up.
Robertson said the Blues had achieved great things last year and gave the other contenders a good push all the way this season.
Rovers had set a target of retaining the league title, winning the Chatham Cup (national knockout) and retaining the O'Brien Challenge Shield but Miramar and Stop Out had them shuffling back to the drawing board with two wins each.
"I wasn't able to put the same team out week in, week out," he said, stressing the loss of goalkeeper Ruben Parker Hanks (8 weeks), striker Stephen Hoyle and playmaker Saul Halpin, in particular, had taken its toll.
On Saturday, striker Tom Biss scored in the 19th minute before Hoyle made it 2-0 in the 71st.
Robertson, whose coaching role entails implementing a development structure, is in negotiations with the club board to renew his contract for another season.
"After sorting out my own future I'll look at the players' futures," he said of Rovers, who also have four imports.
- Hawkes Bay Today
By Anendra Singh