• Rovers forward confident about revenge mission No 2

Rovers forward confident about revenge mission No 2

Forward Ben Wade is usually among the first players selected for Napier City Rovers football team's away trips.

His consistent form for the Chatham Cup holders commands regular selection. His occupation, Wade (pictured above with mascot Noah Schlierike) has been a qualified nurse for the past two-and-a-half years, comes in handy too.

"I'm in charge of the strapping on away trips. The queues can get pretty extensive too," Wade, 24, explained during the countdown to Thirsty Whale Napier City Rovers third round Cup encounter against Western Suburbs in Wellington today.

He agreed the Suburbs side will be a "tough nut to crack."

"But we will give it a good crack. We've gone well during the last couple of weeks with two wins and a draw. We've changed our formation to 4, 3, 3 and things have been a lot better," Wade said.

"Suburbs were clinical with some tidy players when they beat us 4-1 in Central League play earlier this season. But if we can beat a team which beat us 5-0 earlier in the season we can turn a 4-1 loss around," Wade explained referring to their 4-2 win against Wairarapa in a second round Cup match. 

Wairarapa had beaten Rovers 5-0 in a Central League fixture earlier in the season.

Wade is rapt he can get weekends off for footy as his shift work duties can often prevent him from attending trainings. He is relishing the Rovers environment after previously playing in Dunedin.

"Rovers are a great club on and off the pitch. All the volunteers do a fantastic job and it feels good going back to a full clubhouse ... it's a different scene compared to football down south," Wade said. 

He pointed out he had planned to be in London shortly after Christmas but remained in New Zealand because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Wade is hoping to head to Britain at the end of the season.

"Obviously helping Rovers retain the Chatham Cup would be the ideal send off but it's important we focus on one game at a time and we've got a tough one this week," Wade added.

Rovers head coach and centre back Bill Robertson was confident striker Josh Stevenson and midfielder Sam Wall will shake off their respective niggly ankle injuries in time for the trip south.

Like Wade, Robertson, was expecting a challenging encounter.

"Western Suburbs are a strong team and they have added a few players recently. They are never an easy game but we can take some learnings out of our last game and try and get the result we want."

The full Napier City Rovers squad for today's 2pm match is:
Oscar Mason (GK), Liam Schofield, Luca Barclay, Isaac Belcher, Sam Wall, Cam Emerson, Zac Madsen, Kaelin Nguyen, Ethan Ladd, Josh Stevenson, Jim Hoyle (captain), Fergus Neil, Luke Minshull, Bill Robertson, Ben Wade, Isaac Milley, Reon Werahiko (GK).