Josh Stevenson (left) and Angus Kilkolly plot a goal from a freekick as Surburbs' Josh Rogerson (left) and Owen Parker-Price organise a reception committee. Photo / Warren Buckland
By Anendra Singh, Hawkes Bay Today
It was a sobering lesson in preparation on the park after a youthful Western Suburbs showed consistency in training pays dividends after returning home with three points from Napier yesterday.
"We're a little disadvantaged with the overlap of the national league and the Central League," said Conroy Removals Napier City Rovers captain Fergus Neil after they succumbed 2-1 at Bluewater Stadium, Park Island, in their first home game of the Central League.
"We must try to kind of get to know each other's play so, I guess, that can only get better when we spend more time together," said Neil, echoing the sentiments of coach Bill Robertson who was plying his trade for Team Wellington in the 2-all draw with AS Magenta in New Caledonia.
By Anendra Singh, Hawkes Bay Today
While the personnel has changed for Rovers coach Bill Robertson the locker room remains the same. PHOTO/Duncan Brown
When you are nothing but a footnote in a competition it hardly matters whether you change a few spark plugs and administer an oil change to what's under the bonnet of the vehicle to success.
But when you're a marquee Central League soccer team, such as Conroy Removals Napier City Rovers, who are steeped in a rich and proud tradition of bringing home silverware, it's not so cut and dry.
By Anendra Singh, Hawkes Bay Today
Blues Boy: Angus Kilkolly is Back (Photo NCR)
Striker Angus Kilkolly scored twice and made the crucial pass for the third goal as Napier City Rovers drew with Lower Hutt City in their opening Central League match at the weekend.
"He looks very sharp," Blues team co-manager Malcolm Wilson said last night after Kilkolly did the hard yards down the right flank before making the crucial pass for new English import midfielder Fahad Rwakarambe to score in the 3-all affair of the premier league of Capital and Central Football regions.
Wilson said Rovers coach Bill Robinson, who captained Team Wellington to back-to-back Stirling Premiership crowns yesterday, was surprised with Lower Hutt's composition, including imports, and how well organised they were on artificial Fraser Park turf on Saturday.
The Fergus Neil-captained Rovers have lost half of their squad from last season, including seven starting XI players.
The hosts scored in just the second minute after going up for a freekick before pushing it past talented goalkeeper Joshua Hill, who played for Wairarapa United last year.
Kilkolly's equaliser came in the 11th minute from a penalty kick before he spun more wizardry to beat the Lower Hutt goalkeeper from an acute angle to put the visitors 2-1 ahead.
Lower Hutt equalised 2-all on the stroke of halftime after Blues rightback Charlie Yexley conceded an own goal, when he hung his foot out to defend a cross.
It was Kilkolly again, exploiting the right flank space in the 57th to find Rwakarambe to rocket it high from 8m out.
Some lethargic defence allowed Lower Hutt to equalise.
Napier City Rovers Football Skills Holiday Programme is offering local kids the chance to learn, practice and improve on their football ability during the upcoming school break.
Led by UEFA B licensed coach Bill Robertson, the programme allows children to learn from one of New Zealand's top coaches and players, while being able to socialise and make new friends in a fun, safe environment.
At the NCR Football Skills Programme there is something for everyone
Napier U17s team at the 2017 AFC Auckland Youth Tournament in Western Springs. Coach Dave Mackirdy (back row, far left) and team manager Ben Kent (back row, far right).
Napier City Rovers U17s travelled to Auckland last weekend to take part in the prestigious Auckland City Youth Tournament and showed they could compete with some of the top clubs in New Zealand.
The Blues proved they were ‘no walk-overs’ in the invite only tournament that showcases some of the country’s top talent, claiming notable victories with promising displays of football.
Rovers went all the way to the semi-finals of the Bowl Competition before narrowly losing out to Tauranga City.
Dan McKenzie to take the helm as coach of Rovers Ladies
Up-and-coming youngster Dan McKenzie has stepped into the role of Napier City Rovers Ladies head coach.
McKenzie comes to Rovers with high recommendations from his previous coaching role at an Auckland college, where he was in charge of a girls junior team.
Hailed for his knowledge and understanding of the game, Dan’s love of playing football has led him into coaching roles, where he says he has grown a real passion for women’s football.
“I love all aspects of football. I’ve enjoyed playing football all my life, and I just thought why not give coaching a go,” says Dan.
“Coaching girls was a different challenge for me, because I’ve coached boy’s football before, but I had never coached girls. It’s just a different context.
“I enjoy it a lot more.”
Dan is not a complete stranger to Rovers, having previously played for East Coast Bays in the annual Napier City Rovers National Under 19s tournament at Park Island, and is looking forward to representing the Blues.
“I can’t wait to get started coaching and playing here.”
The ladies team will start training under the direction of their new coach next Wednesday, with their 2017 campaign kicking-off in April.
Dan and NCR would like to invite new and returning players along to the teams first training session.
For more information email Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gold medal winners: Napier City Rovers over 45s in Whanganui at the weekend
Napier City Rovers were centre stage at Whanganui Masters Games last weekend, emerging with gold and silver medals at the biennial event.
Rovers entered two senior teams into the competition this year. The over 45s led by dynamic duo Jason Curtis and Terry O’Neill won gold, with the over 35s steered by former All White Perry Cotton claiming silver.
Blues head coach Bill Robertson to lead football academy
Young, aspiring footballers will be given an opportunity to become part of an elite football academy right here in the Bay when Napier City Rovers kick-off a new initiative in March.
Although a Rovers venture, the academy is open to budding footballers from all clubs in the area aged between 9 and 15.
Bill Robertson, Napier City Rovers Central League coach and Team Wellington captain, will be spearheading the academy as head coach.
Napier City Rovers is delighted today to announce Bill Robertson is staying on at the club as head coach.
The Englishman has signed another contract to lead the Blues in their upcoming 2017 Central League and Chatham Cup campaigns.
Fans will be delighted at the reappointment of Robertson, who has had a highly successful few seasons at the club.
In 2015 Robertson led the team to the Central League title, securing league records for points accumulated, 49, and goals scored, 80.
The former Capital Football Coach of the Year has consistently challenged for top honours, leading the team to the Chatham Cup semi-final in 2014, and narrowly losing to an extra-time goal in the final against Eastern Suburbs the following season.
Robertson will be supported by Hawkes Bay Premier League treble winning coach Stu James, as well as former All Whites, Perry Cotton and Marty Akers.
It's a new year and a new-look for Napier City Rovers as the club unveils its latest up-to-date website.
With a click of a button you can keep yourself informed of all the up-to-the-minute NCR news.
Stay updated with everything that is happening at the club and with the teams, from our Central League side, right through to the little Rovers.
Mobile friendly, the new site will be much easier to use for those on the go, no matter what device you are on.
Text and pictures are displayed in one easy to scroll column. No more zooming in and out!
Click in and have a browse, read the latest news, sign-up to our newsletter, or take a look through the online Lotto shop at the latest Napier City Rovers range.