ISPS Handa Premiership kicks-off this weekend

The most important national league of Oceania starts a new season this weekend. Full of new players and stronger squads than the previous years, the 2019/20 season of ISPS Handa Premiership in New Zealand promises to be the best of the league in the history. You can see more information about the previous editions of the ISPS Handa Premiersip here.

The ISPS Handa Premiership trophy – NZF Media

The 7-time champions of New Zealand top tier Auckland City comes with a very strong squad this season – see the full squad here. The most known football team of Oceania continent failled to win a single title last season – after so many season – and this made them to have a clear change.

The important coach Ramon Tribulietx parted ways with Auckland after a very succesful stint. Now, the former Team Wellington and New Zealand U17 team coach Jose Figueira signed to be new the head coach of the Navy Blues. With him the former Team Wellington defender Adam Mitchell joined the team with a very important addition to the squad. Remembering the football style of Figueira, he may play with three central backs what lead us to imagine Mitchell will start alongside the captain Angel Berlanga and the Ni-Vanuatu international Brian Kaltak.

Another very important players signed for the team in blue: the Logan Rogerson, the captain of the succesful OlyWhites in the Qualifiers for Tokyo Olympics, joined the team after a stint in European football. Myer Bevan, the top scorer of the U23 Qualifiers for Olympics, also joined them after playing in Canada, United States and Sweden. Another well-known player is Andrew Blake, the full back comes to Auckland after experiencing the top-tier football in Scotland with Hibernian.

The team coached by Lee Padmore comes with a new squad for this season, but with some names very-well known by the public. The most known of them might the former All Whites and World Cup player Aaron Clapham. Clapham had a succesful stint with Team Wellington and even scored a goal in the last edition of FIFA Clubs World Cup before returning to Canterbury United. The experienced midfielder might the key for the club based in Christchurch.

Another important names of the teams are Cory Mitchell and Sean Liddicoat. Mitchel has shown good quality in the past years in the midfield for the Dragons and Liddicoat recently helped the OlyWhites to qualify for Tokyo Olympics playing in the Center Back position. Canterbury also invested to bring the canadian Calum Ferguson to the team who was recently playing for Valour FC in the Canadian Premier League. Ferguson is capped by the Canadian youth teams and already played his club football in Scotland.

Dragons despite bringing Clapham lost some important players as Aaron Spain. The Papua New Guinean player transfered before the starting of the season to Team Wellington.

The current champions of the ISPS Handa Premiership comes very different for this season – but still very strong. Their squad for this season comes with important players of their previous campaign as the defender Kelvin Kalua and the midfielder Michael Built.

The Lilywhites lost many of the outstanding players from their previous and succesful season. The former team captain Tim Payne moved to Wellington Phoenix, alongside the league’s top scorer Callum McCowatt. The important Andre de Jong left for AmaZulu in the South African top tier, while Dalton Wilkins and Elijah Just left for Scandinavia for Helsingor in Denmark. Torslanda IK, a team from Sweden 5th tier, made a partnership with Eastern Suburbs and Olé Academy and brought many of their players to their squad: Nando Pijnaker, Harry Edge, Owen Parker-Price, Dominic Wooldridge and Andrew Whiters.

They need to make a complete new squad keeping just the duo mentioned before. Some important players were signed: the outstanding Uruguayan striker Martin Bueno, the Auckland City FC academy product Reid Drake, the former U20 New Zealand international Leon van de Hoven and the former Canterbury United attacking midfielder Stephen Hoyle, who was playing in Canada recently. Eastern Suburbs will also count with the U17 New Zealand World Cup member Campbell Strong in their squad for this season.

Another important miss for the Lilywhites is their now former coach Danny Hay: after winning the ISPS Handa Premiership title, he departed from the team for a big duty: to coach the New Zealand National Footbal Team. Eastern Suburbs will now have as their head coach Tony Readings.

The Hamilton Wanderers come with a very interesting squad for this season – counting with their key man Tommy Semmy that almost left the team for Wellington Phoenix.

Despite losing their striker for Eastern Suburbs – Martin Bueno – the cluba managed to sign the captain of US Virgin Islands National Team JC Mack. The forward played in United States and was recently playing in Iceland. Another important signing as the Brazilian defender Rodrigo Morais and the well-know Augustin Contratti can help the Hamilton-based team in the league.

The team coached by the legend Ricki Herbert will also count with the experience of the midfielders Jake Butler and Brad Whitworth in a season they are hoping to reach the top four for the first time since joining the league.

The team based in Napier will count with many players of the winning team of the previous Chatham Cup – Napier City Rovers – and promisses to come strong for the season. You can see their full squad here.

HBU will have two co-coaches this season, Chris Greatholder and Bill Robertson – which also will play as a center back for his team. Hawke’s Bay hopes to have a better season than the previous one so they brought some interesting players for the team, as the United States striker Ahinga Selemani. The Canadian midfielder Dylan Sacramento promises to be one of their key man in the competition as well.

Napier City Rovers success in the New Zealand winter season caught the attention of Hawke’s Bay that brought in various of those players, as utilty Liam Schofield, the young midfielder Karan Mandair and the Japanese Sho Goto.

Southern made their best campaign ever in the previous edition of the ISPS Handa Premiership and comes full of hopes for new season, hoping to keep their hunt of the top four spot. Their squad comes very strong with the maintenance of their top scorer in the last season Garbhan Coughlan and the good central back and captain Connor O’Keefe.

Surely the addition of the former Team Wellington winger Joel Stevens is the key signing of the season for the team based coached by Paul O’Reilly. The additions in the midfield of the Norwegian Chris Wingate and the Finnish Santeri Kuivalainen also can be very important for the team from Otago.

Tasman United looks to have a better season in the 2019/20 edition of ISPS Handa Premiership. The club brought a new coach, the very experienced Jess Ibrom, that managed to keep important players from the previous season and improve their squad for the season – see the full squad here.

Important players as the defender Fox Slotemaker and the midfielder Matt Tod-Smith kept with the squad. The addition of Alex Varela might be crucial in the midfield, the Chilean has more than 70 matches of experience in the ISPS Handa Premiership.

Surely the most exciting adition for the team from Nelson is the forward Jama Boss that made a superb season with Manukau United in the NRFL Lotto Premier League. The striker from New Caledonia Jean-Philippe Saiko is also a very interesting signing – the player has already scored nine times for his national team and has experience of playing in French football.

Team Wellington had a very interesting season in the previous edition of the league, falling for Eastern Suburbs in the grand final just before beating their biggest rivals Auckland City away home to proceed to the final. After the departure of their former coach Jose Figueira, the board decided to bring Scott Hales for the head coach position.

The Team Wellington squad for this year will miss some important names as Ross Allen and Mario Ilich. Despite this, the club signed some interesting imports as the North Ireland defender Rory McKeown and the Montenegro defender Stevan Markovic.

Some important names from their previous succesful seasons as Scott Basalaj, Justin Gulley, Hamish Watson and Jack-Henry Sinclair are retained for this season. The English striker Sam Mason-Smith who had a fantastic season for Hawke’s Bay United is also another important part of the TeeDubs attack.

Waitakere United can be seem as a sleeping giant in New Zealand; the club used to rival with Auckland City and even already won the OFC Champions League. The golden days when Roy Krishna shown his quality at the team are gone and they are now looking to improve their recent frustrating records in the ISPS Handa Premiership.

Their squad is mostly composed by young players – some of them already proved himself playing for the Junior All Whites. The team coached by Paul Hobson can count with the defender Dane Schnell that might be one of the most important players of the team, Schnell played the U20 World Cup, the Pacific Games and also the Olympic Qualifiers for his country. Alongside him the midfielders Jake Porter and Lachlan McIsaaac could also represent New Zealand in some of these tournaments – the defender Robert Tipelu also had the same chances as those.

Sam Burfoot – former Auckland City midfielder – is their key man in the midfield for the Waitakere side. The Spanish import Gerrard Gibert promises to be also one important figure to them team. In the offensive are, Alex Connor-McClean is one of their hottest prospects and the experience Solomon Islands international Andrew Abba can be threat due his pace.

The reserve squad of the professional outifit Wellington Phoenix has the biggest aim to provide game time and develop the young generation of its team. Their squad is mainly composed by very young players, including some that are starring in Brazil at U17 World Cup.

The WeeNix also can count with some first team players that are not unused by in the Hyundai A-League match days, but this is really something that does not happen so often.

The coached by Paul Temple will have the likes of very promissing players as the goalkeepr Alex Paulsen, the defenders Kris Naicker and Adam Hillis and the midfielders Henry Hamilton and Benjamin Old – all of them named by Jose Figueira in the U17 World Cup squad. Another very important players upfront might Oskar van Hattum, Adam Hewson and Ahmed Othman.

Nenhuma descrição de foto disponível.
The MatchWeek 1 of ISPS Handa Premiership – NZF Media

ISPS Handa Premiership is surely the best league in OFC at the present moment, where most of the Pacific Islanders can have a go to develop their game. This season seems to be one of the best of the league history and It is a must for all Oceania football fans to keep following the development of this that can be one of the best football tournaments of the year in the entire region.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: