Team strives for top flight footy

The Mahurangi College First XI Football team will search for tougher competition next season, after finishing undefeated this year.

The team was dominant on its way to taking out the Senior B Championship, scoring 34 goals and conceding just 6.

Mahurangi First XI Football captain Samuel Telfer says the competition was easier than expected and the team is keen to step things up a level next year.

“We cruised through the grading round and then were pretty comfortable for most of the championship,” he says.

“We set out to improve on last season and were pleased to achieve that. Now we want to make it to an A-grade competition.”

Telfer puts their success down to good skills and communication throughout the squad.

“We had a really positive group of guys and some individuals in particular have outstanding technique.”

He highlighted striker Jed Blennerhassett as the standout performer, scoring more than 20 goals this season. He also recognised midfielder Robbie Ennis and the team’s youngest player, Taj Oliver.

“We had a really young team this year. We’re set to be even stronger in future as long as we can hold our own in the tougher grades.”

The Mahurangi College 14th Grade development team was also undefeated this season.

This was the first season the school has fielded a development squad.

Head coach Alistair Elder says the side was dominant, scoring 67 goals and conceding just eight.

“Stiven Lopez was the outstanding performer for us this season playing in the midfield,” Elder says.

“His skill, pace and vision have been instrumental in getting us such good results.”

Elder also noted midfielder Tom Barnett was a strong player and praised the back four and goalkeeper for their defensive record.

“Some of these players will break into the First XI squad next year, so it will be a different side for next season.”