Five Tauranga talents earn national selection
Tauranga Boys’ College’s gifted generation of young footballers has been recognised by the inclusion of five players in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Under-19s football team.
Year 13 student Vincent Phirun is joined by Year 12 students Jonty Bidois, George Brown, Ry McLeod and Nathan Rostron in the squad.
Tauranga Boys’ College’s five representatives is second only to Saint Kentigern’s seven and is a demonstration of their great form this year.
All in all, they have played 15 games this season, winning 14 and losing just one. However, they avenged that 2-0 loss to Hamilton Boy’s College just weeks later with a humbling 5-0 victory.
The College’s First XI took out the 2021 Super Eight Schools tournament in Napier back in July, scoring 33 goals in five games, including a crushing 18-1 win over Gisborne Boys’ High.
All five players selected for national recognition were members of that Super Eight winning squad and their coaches Neil Howard and Alex Bryant are hopeful this national recognition continues.
“We are very proud of them,” says Neil.
“It is a confirmation of their skills and abilities and shows they have the chance to go higher. The goal for some of our players will be to make the New Zealand under-19s squad.”
Tauranga Boys' College won the Super Eights tournament at a canter in July. Supplied photo.
The quintet will join the squad for a training camp in Auckland next January, with a proposed October camp looking unlikely due to the recent Covid-19 restrictions.
The pandemic has also skewered hopes of taking on the Australian Secondary Schools team next year but the team are set to face the New Zealand Māori football team, with another opponent hopefully in the pipeline.
He is also hopeful the current group’s success can inspire the following year groups.
“This is a chance to represent their country and for our younger boys playing football at the school it shows they have got every opportunity to go on and do things after playing for us.”