Promoted West Coast Rangers have bolstered their squad with new signings for their return to the Northern League.
The club has signed long-time Birkenhead United goalkeeper Damian Hirst (27), who has two Chatham Cup winners’ medals.
He’ll replace long-serving goalkeeper Matt Upton who moves into coaching with responsibility for the club’s U-23 side, and assisting women’s coach Andy Dunn. He’ll also help develop the club’s up-and-coming ‘keepers.
Announcing Hirst’s signing, Rangers said:
“Damian is a great leader and a role model for our younger players, and he joins in the footsteps of some of New Zealand’s best custodians to have played for our club.”
Rangers have also signed three former Birkenhead United players. James Mitchell, a former NZ Secondary Schools rep, midfielder Sam McIntosh (18) and Miles Palmer (22) who has also had spells with Napier City Rovers and Northern Rovers.
Also signed is experienced defender Tristan Prattley (32) whose previous clubs include Waitakere United, Eastern Suburbs, Glenfield Rovers, Dunedin Technical, North Shore United and Ellerslie.
Last season, Prattley was with Metro FC.
Bailey Gaughan (19) joins from Auckland United.
Rangers head coach Chad Coombes has also made sure his promotion-winning squad has retained key players from 2022.
Top of that list is leading goalscorer Allan Pearce (39), who has committed to another season.
Pearce scored 14 goals last season when helping Rangers win the Lotto NRFL first division.
Pearce won the Rangers Player of the Year award last season.
Rangers have also confirmed the re-signings of three more attacking players — Kofi Dwamena (nine goals last season), Matt Banks (5), and Sean Wilcox (2).
The club has also confirmed the returns of Dev Pokhrel, Harrison Bolton-Roberts, Ben Gallagher, Josh Turner, Matt Wood, Jason Alama and the long-serving trio Josh Armitt, Dan McDowall, Josh Jones, Marcus Nevin, Kieran Deegan and Clarke Foulds.
READ MORE: Striker Allan Pearce takes Player of the Year award for West Coast Rangers >>>>
READ MORE: West Coast Rangers confirm coaching appointments ahead of 2023 season >>>>
Rangers’ 2023 signings
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