• Rookie Rovers football midfielder eyes full 90

Rookie Rovers football midfielder eyes full 90

Suggest to Napier City Rovers football midfielder Luke Minshull he is living the dream and he nods his head.

"Yes ... it's my first season in the Central League. We're top of the table ... I can't complain," Minshull replied.

Thirsty Whale Napier City Rovers player-coach Bill Robertson spotted the Palmerston North 19-year-old when he was playing for the Rovers as a guest player at the club's annual Youth Tournament during Labour Weekend last year. He invited Minshull (pictured above) to give the Central League a crack this winter and the teen has certainly made the most of the promotion.

Palmerston North Boys' High School product and a Palmerston North Marist player last year, Minshull, has started in both of Rovers games to date. He had almost 70 minutes in the 5-1 win against Wainuiomata and 70 in the 5-4 victory against North Wellington.

With fellow midfielder Cameron Emerson serving a one-game suspension this weekend after being red carded last weekend Minshull is expecting more minutes in Saturday's third round clash against Wairarapa United at Masterton's Memorial Turf.

"Hopefully I get the whole game," Minshull said.

He admitted to knowing little about the Blues hosts.

"I've never played against them before. We've got the heard and spirit ... we just need to keep the momentum going," Minshull explained.
He labelled fitness as his biggest work on.

"I need to keep working on my fitness as I adjust to the pace of the game at this level."

Minshull's job as a furniture remover with Conroy Removals helps.

"I definitely don't need to go to the gym," he added.    

Robertson pointed out midfielder Sam Wall is hoping to be available this weekend after missing the first two rounds with an ankle strain.

Robertson is expecting a tough encounter against a Wairarapa United side which will include keeper Scott Morris and midfielder Hugo Delhommelle from the Hawke's Bay United team he co-coached and played for during the summer.

"Wairarapa are strong and well resourced. They will be looking to make the top three," Robertson said.

"But we've scored 10 goals in our first two games and created lots of opportunities ... we've got confidence," Robertson added.   

The full Napier City Rovers squad for Saturday's 3.30pm clash:
Reon Werahiko, Liam Schofield, Luca Barclay, Isaac Belcher, Tai Barham, Sam Wall, Zac Madsen, Kailan Gould, Ethan Ladd, Josh Stevenson, Jim Hoyle (captain), Fergus Neil, Luke Minshull, Bill Robertson, Ben Wade, Oscar Mason.

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