Boys Football Players to Watch

Story courtesy of College Sport Media


Can anyone finally win three in a row, or will a new challenger emerge in College Football in 2023?

In 2015 and 2016, under the guidance of Brendan McIntyre, Hutt International Boys School (HIBS) won consecutive Trevor Rigby Cup Finals against Wellington College 3-1 and 2-1. In 2017, gunning for three in a row, HIBS went down 2-1 to St Pats Wellington.

Fast forward to 2021, Scots College beat HIBS 2-0 and St Pats Silverstream 3-2 in deciders but were unable to compete a hat-trick foiled by Wellington College in a 4-3 thriller in 2021

Wellington College won their second consecutive title last year beating HIBS in a penalty shootout after the game finished 1-1 at full time. It was the first penalty shootout in a Trevor Rigby Cup final since Wellington College beat St Pats Silverstream in 2013. 

Can Wellington College make it three in a row in 2023? Losing a lot of their squad from last season won’t help. Scots College have a new coach, Kale Herbert, son of former All Whites mentor Ricki Herbert. HIBS were national runners up in 2022 and last captured Wellington spoils in 2018.

Wills Vincent - Rathkeale College - As a 16 year old, Wills made his Central League debut for Wellington Olympic coming off the bench in a 5-2 win over Napier City Rovers. He made his second appearance last weekend contributing a goal in OIympic’s 7-0 win over North Wellington. Vincent was huge part of Olympic’s National Under 19’s title winning side and is regarded as one of the best age group prospects in the country.

Nkhata Holywell - HIBS – The departures of captain Lucas Jelley, Sam Rioga and Daniel Makowem leaves huge holes in a strong HIBS roster. Holywell along with Harry Lamont and recent New Zealand Secondary Schools representative Luca Siegel will need to step up. Holywell is a busy, robust and clinical player who could be a source of plenty of goal creation and scoring.

Ollie Gardner - Scots College - Gardner along with skipper Rory Best are back for their final year of school football. Despite major futsal success and a third place finish at Nationals, neither has got their hands on the Trevor Rigby Cup which irks. The departures of Hunter Wilson, goal scoring machine Alden Suri and Dylan Walker will hurt. Gardner will assume a key leadership role. He is quick, creative, and sturdy.

Jordyn Bentley - St Pats Silverstream - Bentley was a standout in an unexpected 2-1 success over HIBS in 2022. Bentley has seen plenty of minutes in the past three rounds of Capital Premier Leauge playing for Upper Hutt coached by former All White Stu Jacobs. Silverstream has a youthful team. Bentley is a leader with heart, pace and superior skill.

Sam Gates - St Pats Wellington - Gates started the college season with a hiss and a roar last Wednesday, scoring a hat-trick in St Pats’ 3-2 traditional win over Palmerston North Boys’ High School. He backed that performance up with another three goals for Miramar Rangers against Wainuiomata. Gates featured heavily in Miramar’s preseason, scoring the final goal in their 5-1 win over Stop Out in the annual Hilton Petone tournament. 

Lachlan Candy - Wellington College - Candy has featured for the Wellington Phoenix Thirds in all six games this season impressing with his work ethic. Along with Henri Nischalke, and Sam Elkin he will spearhead Wellington’s defence of the title. Wellington have typically played an open, vibrant style supported by solid defense.

Nathan Sparrow - Paraparaumu College - PC had a promising preseason, beating Tawa College (4-0), Wellington College (3-1), Rongotai College (3-0) and Francis Douglas Memorial College (FDMC) 6-0 to retain the Mead and Buffoni Family Challenge Cup. Sparrow has been on the scoresheet in every game, with doubles against Wellington College, FDMC, Rongotai and a hat-trick on Saturday against Tawa. 


Round One of Grading May 5/6

Pool One:

St Pats Wellington vs Rongotai College - St Pats Town Artificial - 4.30 PM

Scots College vs Paraparaumu College - Wakefield Park - 7 PM

Wellington College vs St Bernard’s - Wellington College Artificial - 7.30 PM


Pool Two:

St Pats Silverstream vs Rathkeale College - Maidstone Artificial - 7.30 PM

Hutt International Boys School vs Hutt Valley High School - HIBS - 9.45 AM*

Kapiti College vs Tawa College - Kapiti College - 10.45 AM*


*Saturday Games

Article added: Thursday 04 May 2023


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