A team of talented young men has been selected to represent Hawkes Bay United in the National Youth League for the 2016 season.

Three weeks of training and trials enabled Coach Jamie Dunning to see the boys in action and gave the boys the opportunity to see the effort and commitment needed to perform in a National League environment.

‘The focus for me is all about development of the boys’ said Dunning, who is returning for his second season. ‘We train on the same nights as the premiership team so the players will see the level they need to get to, plus it allows Brett Angell to cast an eye over the boys and hopefully invite some of them to train with the 1st team.’

National Youth League means playing against the best young talent in the country and that experience will be invaluable to their future playing careers. With players coming from Hawkes Bay and Palmerston North, an added challenge will be maintaining the required intensity while keeping up with their school work.

Dunning’s aspirations for this year’s team is ‘to finish high up the league and prove we have just as much talent in the bay as the rest of the country. We have a young squad who are learning their trade and stepping up to a completely different level and environment. For the boys, all I ask for is full commitment, 100 percent effort and be willing to learn new things that take them out of their comfort zone.’ Dunning encourages supporters to be patient and the results will come.

Hawkes Bay United Chairperson Paula Walker is looking forward to seeing the players develop and proudly represent the franchise. ‘The pathway through the Federation Talent Centre is strong and these boys are the future of Hawkes Bay United’ Walker said.

All the players, bar one, have been involved with the Central Football Federation Talent Centre programme and their development will now continue through the National League Youth team. Walker proudly added that the recent signing of Ross Willox, from last year’s youth team, to the premiership team was evidence of that pathway. Sean Liddicoat, another product of the Central Football Federation Talent Centre programme, was recently selected in the New Zealand U20 squad has also re-signed with the premiership team.

The commitment and effort needed from the players is high and it is important to acknowledge and thank their families for enabling them to experience this exciting opportunity. Jamie Dunning says ‘nothing would give me more pleasure than to see them all go on to play in the National League for Hawkes Bay and higher.’

Walker and Dunning encourage players who missed out on selection this year to keep working hard on their development and try again next season.

The National Youth League kicks off on Sunday 16 October with all home games at Petane Domain.

The Hawkes Bay United Youth League team for 2016 are:

Vinnie Mackirdy, Mason Jones, Jorge Akers, Josh Murphy, Ben Lack, Rueben Thurston Le Lo, Dylan Barron, Dylan Du Ross, Campbell Hantler, Ethan Martin, Jackson Durrington, Wilson McCullogh, Kurtis Maney, Ethan Ladd, Jed Shepherd, Jackson Ralph, Jonas Beerman, Luke Palfreyman, Liam Outtrim, Patrick Tobin, Thomas Viles, Taylor Monk, Fraser Eddowes, and Karan Mandair.