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Welcome mat out for familiar faces

By Gary Caffell

Wairarapa United football fans will be celebrating the news that two familiar faces will be part of the club’s Central League squad in 2017.

Seule Soromon is returning to the premier team after spending last season with fellow CL side Palmerston North Marist while Dale Higham is now back in the local region after residing in the United Kingdom for the last couple of years.

Striker Soromon, a former Vanuatu international, has made more than 100 appearances in the Wairarapa United colours and has scored more CL goals for them than any other player.

Perhaps his most important goal for them, however, came in that memorable Chatham Cup final in 2011 when Wairarapa United beat Napier City Rovers 2-1 to register what would have to be the most notable victory in their history.

Coach Phil Keinzley is delighted the 32-year-old Soromon has agreed to return to the Wairarapa United fold, saying his combination of speed and flair, plus his knack of creating goals out of nothing, would add extra punch to the attack.

“The good thing is we know what Seule can do.

“We know he is a player capable of turning a game on its head, of coming up with something special when you need it most.”

Higham, who actually provided the cross for the Soromon goal in that Chatham Cup final, had the “promising youngster” tag when he first joined Wairarapa United but he quickly became more than that with his ability to outflank opposition defenders through sheer speed often grabbing the headlines.

National honours came his way when he was selected to represent New Zealand at the Under-20 World Cup three years ago.

The one proviso about Higham’s availability for Wairarapa United in 2017 is his finding employment and Keinzley, for one, has his fingers firmly crossed that won’t be a problem.

“Dale is exceptionally quick and he’s got the skills to go with it, again he’s the sort of player who can be a match winner on any given day and they don’t come along very often.”

Further good news for Wairarapa United is that their most capped player, Carl Shailer, intends to be available on a regular basis this year after going into semi-retirement last season and coaching the club’s seconds team and Keinzley has also confirmed the signing of two youngsters who have been stars of the Heartland Wairarapa youth team over the past couple of years, Alex Cox and Callan Elliott.

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