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Wai United, Greytown clubs move closer

Wairarapa United players celebrating a goal against Wainuiomata in 2021. PHOTOS/FILE

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

The merger of Wairarapa United and the two Greytown clubs is one step closer after they signed a formal arrangement last week.

The memorandum of understanding among the region’s Central League club Wairarapa United and Greytown, and Greytown Junior Football Club will allow registered Central League, Capital Four, and Under-17 players to move among the teams during the season.

The clubs say that will provide greater development opportunities for some of the region’s most talented players, and the improved coaching resources will benefit all age groups and skill levels.

The closer working relationship will provide new Wairarapa United coach Kale Herbert a wider pool of players to work with and better opportunities for player development with a feeder team in Capital Four.

Wairarapa United board member Gill Flower said it is a win-win for all the players.

New Wairarapa United coach Kale Herbert will have a bigger pool of players to pick from under the new arrangement with Greytown.

“With a new coach already getting to know some of the player profiles and developing a sense of the possibilities for the season ahead, it’s going to be a very exciting few weeks,” Flower said.

Wairarapa United have not fielded a team in the Capital Leagues for several seasons, and that has limited the development of potential Central League players. Greytown returned to Capital Four last year after several seasons’ absence.

Greytown Football Club president Tim Stevenson is also enthusiastic, saying the interclub agreement allows for flexibility and movement.

“Working together will streamline some arrangements and financial commitments as well as improve overall sustainability for both clubs in due course,” Stevenson said.

On the junior side, Greytown Junior Football Club president Gary Hewson said the younger players will see the benefits straight away.

“For the juniors, it puts in place pathways for our girls and boys to move from social to competitive players, Hewson said.

“It also allows us to share coaching resources that will benefit our young players almost immediately.”

Greytown senior players will train on the Trust House Memorial Park artificial turf, and Wairarapa United players will head to Greytown for some sessions on grass. Pre-season training kicks off for all senior teams at Memorial Park tomorrow from 6.30-8.30pm and will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the season.

Discussions among the three clubs will continue through the year towards a much closer working relationship in 2023.

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