All indications are for a great mix of raw potential and talent for Hawkes Bay United in the upcoming National League Season. The club have just announced the signings of Sean Liddicoat (19), Ruben Parker (21) and Ross Willox (17).

“The club is just excited! We are very happy to have these 3 on board for the summer ahead, said General Manager Shane McKenzie.”

Parker currently the 1st Team keeper for Napier City Rovers Central league, has National League experience previously with Canterbury United. The young man who also provides Goalkeeper coaching to young up and comers via his “Top Flight Goalkeeping” is keen to push on and develop here in the bay.

“I am looking to develop more understanding for the game as well as work on some of my personal weaknesses to turn them into strengths. I hope to come out of this season a better goalkeeper, both by physically improving my game and becoming a smarter player.”

Working with Brett Angell also has the talented goal keeper smiling.

“I am very excited to work with Brett. His success over the last two years has proven how much he has to offer as a coach. Hawkes Bay United had one of the best defensive records in the league last year which is largely due to their organization in and out of possession, as a goalkeeper it will be hugely beneficial to learn in this environment.”

Young Ross Willox, still a student at Napier Boys High School is very much a product of the local system. He has come up through the ranks in the Hawkes Bay Federation Talent Centre and Federation squads, before progressing to the Hawkes Bay United Youth Team a couple of seasons ago. We asked Willox how he felt to now be in the 1st Team representing the region he grew up in.

“Having watched and supported HBU since I was a boy, I am honored to have the chance to go out in front of fellow supporters and add my name to the clubs history books. Like all players I have worked and sacrificed a lot for the game through programs such as the Talent Centre so it was a great feeling to be called up to the squad.”

Sean Liddicoat is fresh off being announced in the New Zealand under 20’s squad for the upcoming Oceania World Cup qualifiers. Liddicoat who is also a product of the Manawatu Federation Talent Centre, having being brought up in Palmerston North is happy to be back and not short of ambition for the season ahead.

“Very excited to return back HB United for my third year, looking to improve and go one place better and qualify for the O-League after narrowly missing out in the past two seasons.”

Sean was asked why he decided to re-sign with Hawkes Bay United.

“Brett Angell as head coach definitely played a large part in my decision to re-join the franchise. I have been coached under Brett during the past two seasons now and enjoy the way he operates. His style out of possession is highly organised and requires huge amounts of discipline and concentration. In possession he likes to be positive and score goals, and his past results have shown this style works. Family and friends were also another attractive aspect of joining HB as many of them are based in Palmerston North over the summer, so being relatively close to home was nice. It also made it easy for them to come watch home games throughout the season. “

All 3 of the young men will get their 1st chance to lay down a marker and impress Coach Angell when training begins on the 8th September. These signings are definitely a positive sign for Hawkes Bay United and a great reflection on the development and opportunities for young players in the Central Region.

Photo from left: Ruben Parker, Sean Liddicoat and Ross Willox