Ed de Lara-Bell [centre] playing for Waicol in 2018. He scored a hat-trick for Douglas Villa on Saturday. PHOTOS/FILE
McMenamin’s 31 goals lights up dream season
Ed de Lara-Bell scored a hat-trick as GasPro Douglas Villa wrapped up their Capital Four league campaign with a comfortable 6-1 victory over Stop Out at the Park Sports Ground on Saturday.
The young striker has only played three games for the team, scoring six goals, and is one player coach Dan Pawson would like to see step up from the local league more regularly.
De Lara-Bell’s first goal came early in the first half dominated by the home side.
Prolific striker Josh McMenamin tallied another goal to finish the season with 31 – an impressive haul given that he missed at least three games through injury or suspension.
Veteran Michael Kempson and fellow midfielder Kurtis Paine also scored in the one-sided rout.
Villa had already confirmed their second placing and promotion to Capital Three, unshackling them to play one of their best games of the season.
“The boys really enjoyed it and were having fun out there. We haven’t seen that all season – you could see that in the result,” Pawson said.
“We did what we wanted to, and we could have pushed for that top spot too at the end of the season, but it wasn’t to be, and I’m pretty happy how the season turned out.”
Pawson said the team had not fully hit their straps and they will need to improve to be competitive in Capital Three in 2021.
“The boys haven’t played to their full potential. We saw glimpses of it in the last game, and once they get that and hopefully that’s next year, they will have a bloody good season.”
Waterside-Karori dominated the competition after being relegated from Capital Three, and Pawson said that was a good indication of what the team will need to work on before next season.
“Fitness is always a key in this sport, and if you can play for 90 minutes, you’re halfway there,” he said.
“I think our boys are good individual players, but they just need to play more as a team and play simple football. Some of it is too individual and they’re trying to do too much by themselves and trying to go for the fancy stuff.
“That’s not what I’m about. I try and get players to share the ball around and create team goals, and they need to do that a bit more.”
Pawson said the team would also need to have more depth to cope with the demands of the higher division.
“We struggled a little bit this year. We were borrowing players all the time, and college players were out because of their college games.
“There’s a bit of interest coming from other players to come back into the squad. Hopefully, young Ed de Lara-Bell wants to get out of his family team and play more competitively, and there are a couple of college kids who finish this year.
“They’re on board for next year, so that fills those gaps for injuries and suspensions and whatnot.”
Pawson, who is self-employed, is undecided if he will coach the club for another season, with work commitments eating into his weekends.
The local football season also wrapped up on Saturday with the finals of the knockout cups.
Greytown Fresh Choice completed an unbeaten season with a 3-0 defeat of Carterton Red in the premier Knockout Cup, Greytown Property Brokers beat Featherston 3-1 in the Plate