Sergio Sendra will make an emotional return to Northern League football this season after spending the past year undergoing treatment for cancer.
The Hamilton Wanderers full back was diagnosed with cancer during the club’s 2022 pre-season programme.
Sendra (27), who previously played for Auckland clubs Bucklands Beach, North Shore United and Waiheke United, returned to his native Spain for chemotherapy treatment.
Last season, at every Northern League game, the Wanderers players and coaching staff hung Sendra’s number 12 jersey in the changing room, reminding them of his efforts on his road to recovery.
He returned to New Zealand over the summer and played for Cook Islands club Tupapa Maraenga in their unsuccessful OFC Champions League qualifiers in February.
With the new season due to start at the weekend — with a trip to newly-promoted West Coast Rangers at Fred Taylor Park, Whenuapai — Wanderers made the social media announcement their supporters had been waiting for:
“We are more than delighted to confirm Sergio has returned to New Zealand and re-signed at the club, fit, healthy and ready to fight in Blue for the 2023 season. Great to have you back on the pitch, Serg!”
Sendra’s last Northern League appearance was for Wanderers on August 17, 2021 — his 14th game for the club.
But none will be sweeter for the Blue Army than when he makes his 15th appearance …
Captain Derek Tieku returns to club after brief stint at Olympic
Meanwhile, Wanderers captain and Northern League Golden Boot winner Derek Tieku has returned to the Waikato club after a two-match stay with Wellington Olympic.
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