Eastern Suburbs AFC chairman Chris Ruffell promises a strong local flavour for the Lilywhites as they assemble their squads for the ISPS Handa Premiership and National Youth League this summer.
The Lilywhites finished fifth in the historic return to New Zealand’s domestic top flight last season with a sprinkling of international talent among their numbers.
But with new coach Danny Hay tasked with taking on the nation’s best with local talent, Ruffell says creating a pathway for club players to realise their ambitions is a priority.
“Only two international recruits will pull on a Lilywhites shirt in our ISPS Handa Premiership squad this summer.
“We’re building competitive squads for both the ISPS Premiership and the National Youth League but we also want to play a role in helping our members achieve their full potential & footballing aspirations with a clear and strong pathway strategy,” Ruffell said.
Former Blackburn Rovers professional and All Whites midfielder Tim Payne has been retained as part of that vision.
Eastern Suburbs AFC will start releasing the names and profiles of their ISPS Handa Premiership squad in October as they countdown to the first game of the season.