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American players stuck in Wairarapa

Frenchman Hugo Delhomelle … Wairarapa United freekick specialist in lockdown in Martinborough. PHOTO/FILE


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The covid-19 lockdown has landed Wendy Turton, the chairwoman of Wairarapa United with two unexpected house guests.

The club contracted Americans Ben Watson and Scott Adams to play for the club in this season’s Central League and they arrived here earlier this month.

Watson and Adams had been in self-isolation at Turton’s Greytown home, but she now has them as house guests for the next four weeks.

“We’re very lucky that Ben and Scott are really nice boys. They’ve been great and they’ve been out in the backyard practising with Connor [Turton’s son who is in the Wairarapa United side],” she said.

“It’s pretty difficult for them. They came out to play and do some coaching and that was their paid employment, but they’ve been able to get a couple of hours work a day at the local supermarket.”

Meanwhile the Frenchman who became a freekick hero for Wairarapa United early last season is also in lockdown in Wairarapa.

Hugo Delhommelle played four games for United in 2019, scoring three stunning goals from freekicks, including a last-gasp goal to earn a valuable draw with Wellington United.

Delhommelle agreed to rejoin United for this year’s Central League and had arrived in the country earlier this month. He is in lockdown in Martinborough.

Turton is not certain what would happen with the Central League.

“We were initially told mid-April and then the beginning of May, but the season is probably done.”

Turton also said three of United’s homegrown players were stuck in the United States.

“Dani [Turton] is in a dormitory at her university in Ohio, and basically they order their food from the café, go and get it and eat it back in their room and they spend all their time studying,” she said.

“I understand Liam Heard’s university closed down and he had been trying to get home, but is now looking for accommodation. Anna McPhie is still at her university in Tennessee.”

Turton has been posting a few challenges online for the women’s team during the lockdown to keep the communication going.

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