Salient. The Newspaper of Victoria University College. Vol. 19, No. 5. May 5, 1955
Sports Page — Soccer... — Prospects for 1955
Prospects for 1955
The season got away to a flying start last week when the seniors accounted for Petone Settlers by two goals to nil in a close game. While the defence gave the coach many anxious moments the forwards combined well enough in some neat passing movements. There is no reason why this forward line should not become a forceful scoring unit.
This year the club is fortunate in having a core of non-playing officials who are able to devote their energy to the tedious business of organising teams and matches. The Committee managed to arrange six practice games which served as a useful guide in the selection of the teams. Mr. R. (Bob) Cocks is once again coaching the senor team and training is in the capable hands of Mr. W. Landreth whoso P.T. sessions have been well received by the players. Former NZU Blue and senior skipper, Ernie Harris conducts the ball work in the gym.
From last year's Senior team the only two losses are inside forward John Parsons and present Club-Captain Bal Reddy, who has had a cartilage operation recently. Goalie Les Page, who has served the Hub faithfully for the past three seasons has shown excellent early season form and should be in the running for representative honours. After a year's absence for business reasons former NZU Blue and one of the foundation members of the Club. Colin Richardson is already making his presence felt and was a popular choice as captain of the First XL Among the halves the most prominent player is expected to be Bill Aldridge, NZU Blue of last year and at centre-half the mainstay of last season's Senior team. In between games Bill managing to fit in some military training at Ohakea, At left half Peter Preston, brother of Alan, has shown great improvement already. He is expected to become a first-class wing-half very soon.
Led by dashing centre-forward and vice captain, chunky Joe Philips, the forward line should be one of the strongest in Wellington. Joe gives a 100 per cent performance every time he steps out on the field and will no doubt inspire his forwards to great heights. Three times NZU Blue Alan Preston who was the first NZU player to represent New Zealand, has years of good football left in him and if he overcomes a tendency to hold the ball a little overlong is capable of making many openings for the other forwards, some of whom are among the fastest in Wellington.
The other 3 forwards are all newcomers to the Club. Peter Marsland from Seatoun is a robust and intelligent player who should go well with Phillips. At the moment Peter is placed at outside right. Perumal Naldu, having had considerable experience in Fiji, is fitting in satisfactorily with the rest of the team and has already revealed some very fine touches as inside left as well as speed and ability to shoot with both feet. A pleasing feature about his game is his penchant for Jumping several feet off the ground to head the ball.
Another young player. Ian Barclay, who came to us from Diamond, has the makings of a reallly good outside left. He is a good shot with either foot and possesses a useful turn of speed as well as a unique and mystifying body swerve not often seen in this country.
Although the main problem of the selectors this season will be the finding of class reserves to fill any gapscaused by injury, the Second XI promises to weld into a useful combination under the guidance of Ivor Jones and Bon Mandel, the latter having played for the First XI last year. Newcomers who are likely to impress in this team are Inside right Ron Easthope and outside right Jim Chambers. Michael Clements is a tenacious young player who is likely to improve with more play. There is also the ever dependable Dave Laws who did well at the NZU Tournament in 1953.
As for the Third XI, once again Jim Denton is expected to be the back-bone of this team. One new player who should go places is Phillip Dooman, who has had goal-keeping experience in 1st Division Football in Holland. Paul Compton is a useful player at fullback. So is Chris Louis at centre-forward, having played most of his football in Cyprus. The main problem in this team seems to be the difficulty of getting all the players to turn up on time for the early start.