Western Leader : December 3rd 2010
19 WESTERN LEADER, DECEMBER 3, 2010 SPORT Eagles ready to overpower the Bears Young and old: Glenora Eagles players Jacob Oxley-Devlin and Marty Le Roy will be working to beat the Waitakere Bears this weekend. Photo: TUREI MACKEY By TUREI MACKEY Even David had better starting odds when he decided to pick a fight with Goliath. The premier men's side from the Glenora Eagles softball club will be playing Auckland champions Wai- takere Bears this Saturday at Star- ling Park. And there couldn't be a bigger contrast between the two west Auckland sides. Waitakere will be fielding a team that could include Black Sox rep- resentatives Patrick and Heinie Shannon. Glenora will have 14-year-old Jacob Oxley-Devlin in their starting squad. The Eagles have suffered big defeats for most of the season including a 17-1 loss to Mt Albert Ramblers in October. Waitakere is currently sitting in third place, two points behind leaders United and Northcote. Eagles player-coach Marty Le Roy says his side is ready for the game even if the stats point to another loss. Who else is better to put yourself up against than the defending champs?'' We are always playing the role of David in these matches so we are up for the challenge.'' The 44-year-old says the Harold Moody park-based club is set to improve in the coming seasons with a new committee and management plan. It comes down to using your smarts and running it like a busi- ness,'' he says. You run it successfully and in the future it will go smoothly. We have a youth development system in place now so it is time for the prems to step it up.'' Le Roy says the benefit of having teenagers in their premier team means their future stars are getting experience others their age won't have for a few more years. A lot of the bigger clubs have such large squads that there are premier players who don't play at all,'' he says. Someone like Jacob is getting game time in the premiers at the age of 14.'' Le Roy says his side will have one mindset come Saturday -- never give up. It is a simple catch and pass game. It just comes down to who- ever can catch and pass better.'' Lions defender coaching the opposition By TUREI MACKEY Coach-player: Metro Lions defensive back Jerome McGregor will face the Waitakere Typhoon, a team he helps to coach. Photo: TUREI MACKEY The Waitakere Typhoon won't be getting any tips on American football from Jerome McGregor this week. That is because the 21-year-old will be playing for the Metro Lions, Waitakere's opponents in round four of the Auckland American foot- ball competition. Kickoff is at 2.30pm at Jack Colvin Park in Te Atatu this Saturday. McGregor has been helping out the Typhoon's senior and colts teams for most of the year while playing for the Lions as a defensive back. He says the reason for being on the Typhoon's sidelines during games is simple -- he wants to spread the gospel of American foot- ball. I coach the colts as a defensive co-ordinator and just help out the seniors since they have a few rookies,'' he says. I just want to get the knowledge I have learned during my six years out there.'' Typhoon coach Michael Mau'u says McGregor is defi- nitely dedicated to the growth of the sport. The thing about Jerome is that he sees the bigger pic- ture in terms of developing the youth for the game,'' he says. The amount of work he has put in is so valuable to the club.'' McGregor says his coaches at Metro are fine with him helping a new rival but he gets friendly ribbing from teammates. I do get a bit of stick from the guys but I do it because I enjoy the coaching aspect of the game. Anyway, I only put my effort into coaching defence so the Waitakere guys I give advice to won't be on the field at the same time as me.'' The Te Atatu resident says players from both teams have been taunting each other on social media sites. We are all good friends but on the field it will be a different matter, everybody will go out there and handle the business,'' he says. Despite living in Te Atatu and tutoring the Te Atatu- based Typhoon, McGregor hasn't yet committed to playing for the new club. I get asked that question a bit -- my position right now is no but who knows? I told one Typhoon player if you beat us by 70 points then I will consider.'' Footie brings refugees together All related: All Refs players Mahdi Basiri, Javed Akbari and Hadi Basiri before their match against Auckland City FC. Photo: TUREI MACKEY By TUREI MACKEY The scoreline was a bit of a blow out but it didn't stop three west Aucklanders from having a fun time alongside fellow former refugees. Brothers Mahdi and Hadi Basiri and relation Javed Akbari took part in the All Refs match against Auck- land City FC at Kiwitea St Stadium last week. The final score was 7-1 in favour of Auckland City FC. The All Refs are a team made up of former refugees who have come to New Zea- land in search of a better life. Mahdi and Hadi emigrated to New Zealand from Afghanistan in 2001 with Javed following in 2004. The main aim of the team is to bring the refugee community together. We are all good mates and after games we all get together for a barbecue,'' Akbari says. The 21-year-old Kelston resident, who was raised in Kabul, rated the Kiwitea St stadium highly when com- pared with grounds back home. The venues are definitely better here than in Afghanistan -- over there the pitch was literally mud or just dust.'' Mahdi says he wasn't wasn't too fussed by the scoreline considering he was playing against All White Ivan Vicelich. The 20-year-old spent most of the game at centre- back. We have never played against top level footballers like that before so I just enjoyed the game and didn't worry about the score to be honest.'' The Unitec student joined the team this year as a way of staying in touch with old friends. It is always good to meet up with the boys for a game or two,'' he says.
December 2nd 2010
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