Chance for Thistle's young guns to step up

THISTLE coach Matt Hastings won’t have two of his most experienced players, the Ryan brothers Liam and Kieran, for tomorrow’s (2pm) Central Federation match against Havelock North Wanderers at Childers Road Reserve.

“Liam is getting married so we always knew we would not have them for this game,” said Hastings.

“It’s not just their experience we’ll miss but their leaderships qualities. But that’s the joy of having a 23-man squad.

“We’ve been working for the past three months with some of the younger players in the district — including Matt McVey, Reilly McMenamin and the David Barkers — and this is an opportunity for them to step up.

“As the saying goes, if they’re good enough they’re old enough. They may not have the experience of the Ryan boys but they have youthful enthusiasm, and it’s always been my intention to give youth a chance.”

Thistle go into the match fourth on the table — 10 points behind first-placed Havelock but only four in arrears of New Plymouth Rangers and three behind Wanganui, and with a game in hand over the three.

The last time they placed Havelock, Thistle were on the wrong end of a 7-1 scoreline.

“Since that game in the first round we have improved dramatically,” said Hastings.

“Back then we were leaking goals. In the second round the goals against us have been drying up and that’s down to the players. They have worked hard on the defensive patterns.

“I said to the boys after training, there should be no need for me to do any talking before this game.

“We’re playing the league leaders on our home pitch and after the previous result, that should be all the motivation they need.”

THISTLE coach Matt Hastings won’t have two of his most experienced players, the Ryan brothers Liam and Kieran, for tomorrow’s (2pm) Central Federation match against Havelock North Wanderers at Childers Road Reserve.

“Liam is getting married so we always knew we would not have them for this game,” said Hastings.

“It’s not just their experience we’ll miss but their leaderships qualities. But that’s the joy of having a 23-man squad.

“We’ve been working for the past three months with some of the younger players in the district — including Matt McVey, Reilly McMenamin and the David Barkers — and this is an opportunity for them to step up.

“As the saying goes, if they’re good enough they’re old enough. They may not have the experience of the Ryan boys but they have youthful enthusiasm, and it’s always been my intention to give youth a chance.”

Thistle go into the match fourth on the table — 10 points behind first-placed Havelock but only four in arrears of New Plymouth Rangers and three behind Wanganui, and with a game in hand over the three.

The last time they placed Havelock, Thistle were on the wrong end of a 7-1 scoreline.

“Since that game in the first round we have improved dramatically,” said Hastings.

“Back then we were leaking goals. In the second round the goals against us have been drying up and that’s down to the players. They have worked hard on the defensive patterns.

“I said to the boys after training, there should be no need for me to do any talking before this game.

“We’re playing the league leaders on our home pitch and after the previous result, that should be all the motivation they need.”

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