PREVIEW: Te Atatu appoint Scott MacKay as head coach for rest of season

By Jack Sharp

Te Atatu have appointed experienced Scott MacKay as their head coach for the rest of the Lotto NRFL Northern Conference season.

Scott MacKay.

Announcing his appointment, the club said outgoing coach Nathan Christie had to step away due to a change in personal circumstances.

MacKay, who was in the dugout for Te Atatu’s last league match, is a former professional, coach and club manager.

In recent seasons, he’s coached at Metro, West Auckland, Three Kings United and Mt Albert Ponsonby.

The former Ayr United, Derby County, and Clyde goalkeeper won the National League with Waitakere City in the 1990s.

He also played professionally in South Africa’s top flight with Wits University and Bush Bucks and was player-coach with Launceston Matric in Australia at State League level.

MacKay was also the general manager of Waitakere United in the ISPS Handa Premiership.

Te Atatu are second bottom in the Northern Conference in their first season since winning promotion from NRF League One.

They can leapfrog Beachlands Maraetai with a win at Te Puru Park this Saturday.

Game of the week

Leading pair Waiheke United and Waitemata should be too strong for their opponents this week, which leaves the clash between Albany United (4th) and Northland (3rd) as the game of the round.

Albany and Northland have both shown they can perform when at their best but have dropped points to sit behind the top two.

Their match at North Harbour Stadium becomes important for both sides, if they want to keep up with the title chasers.

Both won their last league games 3-2, with Northland overcoming Bucklands Beach and Albany getting home against Te Atatu.

Player to watch

Milan Clarke.

Milan Clarke (23) joined Northland for this season after moving north from New Plymouth’s Peringa United and before that, he played for Canterbury clubs Nomads United and FC Twenty 11.

He’s previously played National Youth League for the Canterbury Dragons.

Last time out, he helped the Northland side get home 3-2 against Bucklands Beach with two goals, the second from the penalty spot.

Bold prediction

Of all the regional leagues, this competition has the worst record for goals or the best record for defences, depending on how you view these things.

Check out the goals for/against columns on the table and you’ll see goals are short supply.

I think that’s going to change.

In the last round, the games averaged four goals a game. My guess is that it wasn’t an exception, and it was a sign the teams are going to be more adventurous.

For the spectators, I hope so. My bold prediction is that this round will average more than four goals a game.

Last round, I tipped Te Atatu to nick a point, at least, at Albany United. They were beaten 3-2, after leading 2-1 with quarter of an hour to go.

Golden Boot

7 — Mark Giles (Beachlands Maraetai)
4 — Adam Hargood (Waitemata), James Chamberlain-Barlow (Albany United), Josh Smith (Bucklands Beach), Nico Vanina (Waiheke United), Sander Waterland (Bucklands Beach), Shane Tanner (Waitemata)


Games to be played on Saturday June 8, 2024

Beachlands Maraetai v Te Atatu
Te Puru Park, Beachlands, 3pm

Albany United v Northland
North Harbour Stadium, Albany, 3pm

Bucklands Beach v Waiheke United
Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga, 3pm

Waitemata v Oratia United
McLeod Park, Te Atatu South, 5.30pm

Jack Sharp

Jack Sharp is a long-time follower of club football in New Zealand and is a volunteer writer for Friends of Football. You can show your appreciation for his work by buying him a coffee.

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