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Sports star of the week: Jarrod MacDonald

Jarrod MacDonald beats a player in Greytown’s 2-2 draw with Island Bay in June. PHOTO/FILE

During the week Jarrod MacDonald produces organic veges and fruit, and at the weekend he produces a hatful of goals. CHRIS COGDALE talked to the prolific Greytown striker.

Jarrod MacDonald scores goals for fun, with a hat-trick in Greytown Fresh Choice’s 7-0 thumping of Victoria University Raiders taking his tally to 19 for the season in Capital Division Four.

That comes after a prolific 2021, when he netted 20 goals in 12 games after he returned to the club having started the season with Wairarapa United.

The 26-year-old somewhat stumbled into the striker’s role after having mostly played as a centre midfielder during a promising junior playing career with Upper Hutt City, and Hutt Valley and Capital Federation age group sides.

A conversation with his Capital representative coach ended with MacDonald walking away from the game he had played since the age of four.

“I was full on footy, but I also wanted to play other sports and at that stage when things became a bit more serious my Wellington coach told me I had to choose either to carry on playing just football or do other things,” MacDonald said.

“I wanted to play basketball as well, and I didn’t like the way he was saying that, so I ended up giving up football completely.”

A degree in sports and exercise at Massey University followed. During his studies, he met his partner Renske van Stenseel, a footballer with Tumu Wairarapa United.

The couple later moved to van Stenseel’s family’s Wairarapa Eco Farm at Tauherenikau, where they produce organic vegetables and fruit for customers in Wellington and Wairarapa.

MacDonald started playing some futsal and was persuaded to fill in for Greytown, who were short of players. He returned full-time in 2020 to the side coached by former Wairarapa United coach Phil Keinzley, who put MacDonald in as striker after he had missed some early trials.

“I had missed a few at the start because I wasn’t going to play, and he said I have to start the other players first and he put me into striker one day, and I got a hat-trick.”

MacDonald followed Keinzley to Wairarapa United for the 2021 Central League, but pressure from his former teammates led to him returning to Greytown for the second half of the season.

The aim for the progressive club was to push for promotion this season, however, a change of criteria to fit in two extra Wellington Phoenix teams will see only one team promoted, Wellington United.

Greytown will finish on 44 or 41 points, depending on the result of Saturday’s final game with Wellington United, enough points to win the league in most seasons, which MacDonald said is a bit gutting.

“We’ve been on a massive roll and it’s going to be game for pride, because no matter that they’ve won the league it’s for us to show everyone and ourselves that we should be promoted as well.”

Regardless of the result the talented striker loves the family environment at the Greytown club and said this season has been the most fun with the team on and off the pitch.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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