Tasman United

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Tasman United
Tasman United.png
Full name Tasman United
Founded 2015
Ground Trafalgar Park
Ground Capacity 18,000[1]
Manager Davor Tavich
League ISPS Handa Premiership
2016-17 8th
Current season

Tasman United is a football club based in Nelson, New Zealand. The club currently competes in the ISPS Handa Premiership with matches played from Trafalgar Park, capacity 18,000.[2][3]

The club succeeded Nelson Falcons as the city's football team on the national stage (albeit the Falcons were participants only in the National Youth League).[3]

The club also has an affiliated women's team in the Mainland Women's Premier League, who finished third in their inaugural MWPL season.[4][5]


National League Expansion and Bid[edit]

In 2015, New Zealand Football announced the then ASB Premiership would be expanded to ten teams.[6] Nelson, despite being a football hotspot in New Zealand, had not had a team in the national league since Nelson Suburbs fielded a side, over 15 years prior. However, since 2013, the Nelson Falcons had given Nelson national youth league football, and were very successful.[7]

Over the coming months, Nelson Bays Football organised a bid team with the goal of gaining an Premiership licence,[8] the bid team was backed by Mainland Football CEO Julian Bowden, and were considered heavy favourites for a spot in the national league.[9][10]

Tasman United was announced in December 2015 as one of three new teams to the Premiership, alongside fellow expansion side Eastern Suburbs AFC, and Hamilton Wanderers, who replaced WaiBOP United.[2]

In April 2016, Richard Anderson was announced as manager, with ex-Nelson Falcons manager Davor Tavich to be his assistant;[11] in May 2016 the club's first signing was revealed as Nelson Suburbs goalkeeper Coey Turipa, formerly of Mainland rivals Canterbury United.[12] The following month, former Canterbury United defender and Nelson Falcons coach Mark Johnston was announced as inaugural club captain. Alongside Johnston, midfielder Ryan Stewart was unveiled as a new signing. Stewart coached the Tasman United Women's MPL side as of 2016.[13]

In early August of the same year, Tasman United, along with unveiling their strip, announced the marquee signing of Paul Ifill, who is the all-time leading goalscorer for Wellington Phoenix.[14][15]

Approximately a month later, the club appointed Andy Morris and Tom Fawdry to coach the youth side. Fawdry was also appointed goalkeeper coach to the first-team.[16] Fawdry was also to serve as backup to Coey Turipa.[17]

The First Season[edit]

On Sunday, 23 October, Tasman United played their first competitive game, away at Canterbury United, the match, played at English Park, ended in a 2-2 draw, with Alex Ridsdale scoring the side's first goal, a deflected strike from outside the area. Paul Ifill was the other scorer for Tasman, scoring from the spot to equalise late on,[18] this match was followed by a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Auckland City, and a 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix Reserves, which was Tasman's first live televised match. These first three rounds were all away games.[19][20]

Tasman played their first home league match in round four, hosting Hawke's Bay United at Trafalgar Park, over 2500 people turned out to see Tasman downed 3-1, despite, by most accounts, being in control of the match.[21][22]

Tasman's first league victory came in round five of the 2016/17 season, a "crazy finish" to the game saw Tasman beat Hamilton Wanderers 3-2, with the sides locked at 1-1 (goals through Godwin Darkwa for Wanderers and Tinashe Marowa for Tasman), Ermal Hajdari scored in the 85th minute to give Tasman the lead. Hamilton substitute Marc Evans scored in the 90th minute, but Alex Ridsdale scored a close-range header in the 93rd to win the game for Tasman.[23]

Tasman went into the Christmas break on a low note, however, losing 3-1 to then-bottom-dwellers Southern.[24]

A couple of weeks back from the break, Tasman caused an upset by grabbing a stoppage time equalizer to draw 1-1 with Oceania champions Auckland City,[25] after a run of poor results inaugural head coach Richard Anderson was replaced by his assistant Davor Tavich [26]

Youth Team in the NYL[edit]

On 15 October 2016, the Tasman United U-19s played their first competitive game at Saxton Field, losing 6-5 to Canterbury United, this was a significant game for football in Nelson (evidenced by the several hundred-strong crowd) as the final game for the Nelson Falcons was against Canterbury (a 5-3 win at Trafalgar Park).[27][28]

The side finished their inaugural season on a high note, winning a 5-0 Trafalgar Park victory over Southern United, with striker Alex Connor-McClean scoring four times, this result meant Tasman finished eighth of ten teams, 13 points behind eventual champions Hamilton Wanderers.[29]


First-team Squad[edit]

As of January 27, 2017

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Northern Ireland GK Cory Wilson
2 Italy DF Luca Perico
4 New Zealand MF Cameron Lindsay (Captain)
5 New Zealand DF Mark Johnston
6 Vanuatu DF Brian Kaltack
7 Northern Ireland MF Ryan Stewart
8 Barbados FW Paul Ifill (Player-coach)
9 Canada FW Maksym Kowal
10 New Zealand MF Kieran Smith
11 New Zealand FW Alex Ridsdale
12 England MF Cory Chettleburgh
No. Position Player
14 England MF Rob Pearson
15 New Zealand FW Tinashe Marowa
16 New Zealand DF Daniel Allan
17 New Zealand DF Callan Elliot
18 New Zealand MF Mat Tod-Smith
19 New Zealand FW Lyle Matthysen
20 New Zealand GK Alex Britton
21 Iraq MF Abdulla Al-Kalisy
22 Iraq MF Yousif Al-Kalisy
23 New Zealand FW Sam Ayers

Youth Squad[edit]

As of January 27, 2017

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 New Zealand GK Scott Morris
2 New Zealand DF Caleb Mazure
4 Myanmar MF Van Roland Hlawn Ceu
5 New Zealand DF Caleb Gardiner
7 Myanmar FW Thang Thang Vanuk
9 New Zealand FW Alex Connor-McClean
11 New Zealand MF Chester Gaskin
12 Myanmar DF Labu Pan
13 New Zealand MF Logan de Joux
No. Position Player
15 New Zealand DF Tom Scott
20 New Zealand GK Joe Robertson
20 Myanmar DF Vann Cenhrang
New Zealand DF Sam Faulkner
New Zealand DF Liam Sluiter
New Zealand MF Alec Fox
New Zealand MF Mac Karalus
New Zealand MF Zak Richardson-Hall
New Zealand FW Josh Cresswell


  1. ^ http://www.newzealandrugbyinfo.co.nz/rugby-venues-trafalgar-park-stadium-nelson~9
  2. ^ a b "New trio to join ASB Premiership". nzfootball.co.nz. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "New ASB Premiership club profiles". New Zealand Football. 16 December 2015. Archived from the original on 28 June 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "A big score for women's football". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  5. ^ "Mainland Football boss hails Tasman's introduction". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-08-28. 
  6. ^ "What the FFA can learn from New Zealand Football – Outside90". Retrieved 2016-08-11. 
  7. ^ "The Journeyfan: NATIONAL LEAGUE A- Z : The Newbies Part 3 – Tasman United". thejourneyfan.blogspot.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-08-11. 
  8. ^ "About". Tasman United Football Club. Retrieved 2016-08-11. 
  9. ^ "National football league: The contenders". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-08-11. 
  10. ^ "Mainland Football backs Tasman bid". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-08-11. 
  11. ^ "Tasman United coaches revealed". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  12. ^ "Tasman secure Turipa's signature". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  13. ^ "Club captain headlines Tasman's latest recruits". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-06-26. 
  14. ^ "Nix legend to play for Tasman". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  15. ^ "Tasman United's strip revealed". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-08-04. 
  16. ^ "Tasman United reveal youth coaches". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-09-01. 
  17. ^ "Coach calls on Cook connections". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  18. ^ "Ifill secures draw on Tasman debut". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-10-23. 
  19. ^ "Auckland City too good for Tasman | New Zealand Football". www.nzfootball.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-11-23. 
  20. ^ "Tasman United still searching for first win after draw with Wellington Phoenix reserves". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-11-23. 
  21. ^ "Hawke's Bay United crash Tasman United's homecoming party". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-11-23. 
  22. ^ "Tasman United on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-11-23. 
  23. ^ "Hamilton Wanderers become Tasman United's first national league football victim". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-11-23. 
  24. ^ "Southern United claim back-to-back wins in the Stirling Sports Premiership". Stuff. Retrieved 2017-01-27. 
  25. ^ "Tasman United stun league leaders Auckland City with late leveller". Stuff. Retrieved 2017-01-27. 
  26. ^ http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/football/domestic/89495487/tasman-united-coach-davor-tavich-deserved-the-job-from-the-start
  27. ^ "Tasman United on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  28. ^ "Youth primed for season opener". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  29. ^ "Tasman United finish National Youth League season with a bang". Stuff. Retrieved 2017-01-27. 

External links[edit]