Tasman United

Tasman United was a professional football club based in Nelson, New Zealand. The club competed in the ISPS Handa Premiership with home games played at Trafalgar Park.[2][3]

Tasman United
Tasman United.png
Full nameTasman United
Founded2015; 7 years ago (2015)
Dissolved2020 (2020)
GroundSaxton Sports Ground
ChairmanMark Sheehan
ManagerAndy Hedge
LeagueISPS Handa Premiership
WebsiteClub website
Current season

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 additionally had an affiliated women's team in the Mainland Women's Premier League; they finished third in their inaugural season.[4][5]


National league expansion and bidEdit

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 signing coup 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, and also served as backup to Coey Turipa.[16][17]

The first seasonEdit

On 23 October 2016, 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 a penalty 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, when 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 NYLEdit

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 squadEdit

As of 2 November 2019[30]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   AUS Pierce Clark
2 DF   NZL Billy Scott
3 DF   NZL Hamish Cadigan
4 MF   USA Ben Watson
5 DF   NZL Fox Slotemaker
6 MF   ENG Corey Vickers
7 DF   NZL Corey Larsen
8 FW   NZL Matt Tod-Smith
9 FW   NCL Jean-Philippe Saïko
10 FW   NZL Jama Boss
11 FW   ARG Facundo Barbero
12 MF   NZL Max Winterton
13 MF   NZL Rick Muir
No. Pos. Nation Player
14 FW   NZL Jesse Randall
15 MF   MYA La Bu Pan
17 DF   NZL Cory Brown
18 MF   CHI Alexis Varela
19 DF   NZL Sam Wilson
20 GK   NZL Nick Stanton
21 MF   NZL Jackson Manuel
22 MF   NZL Marco Lorenz
DF   ENG James Wild
MF   NZL Jonty Roubos
MF   AFG Hashim Noorzai
FW   NZL Josh Sansucie
FW   NZL Lachlan Brooks


  1. ^ "Trafalgar Park Nelson Rugby Venue Information".
  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. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Mainland Football boss hails Tasman's introduction". Stuff. 22 August 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  6. ^ "What the FFA can learn from New Zealand Football – Outside90". Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  7. ^ "The Journeyfan: NATIONAL LEAGUE A- Z : The Newbies Part 3 – Tasman United". thejourneyfan.blogspot.co.nz. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  8. ^ "About". Tasman United Football Club. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  9. ^ "National football league: The contenders". Stuff. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Mainland Football backs Tasman bid". Stuff. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  11. ^ "Tasman United coaches revealed". Stuff. 9 April 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Tasman secure Turipa's signature". Stuff. 23 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Club captain headlines Tasman's latest recruits". Stuff. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Nix legend to play for Tasman". Stuff. 3 August 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Tasman United's strip revealed". Stuff. 4 August 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  16. ^ "Tasman United reveal youth coaches". Stuff. September 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Coach calls on Cook connections". Stuff. 2 September 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Ifill secures draw on Tasman debut". Stuff. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  19. ^ "Auckland City too good for Tasman | New Zealand Football". www.nzfootball.co.nz. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  20. ^ "Tasman United still searching for first win after draw with Wellington Phoenix reserves". Stuff. 5 November 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Hawke's Bay United crash Tasman United's homecoming party". Stuff. 13 November 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  22. ^ "Tasman United on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  23. ^ "Hamilton Wanderers become Tasman United's first national league football victim". Stuff. 20 November 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  24. ^ "Southern United claim back-to-back wins in the Stirling Sports Premiership". Stuff. 7 January 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  25. ^ "Tasman United stun league leaders Auckland City with late leveller". Stuff. 15 January 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  26. ^ "Tasman United coach Davor Tavich deserved the job from the start". 20 February 2017.
  27. ^ "Tasman United on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  28. ^ "Youth primed for season opener". Stuff. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  29. ^ "Tasman United finish National Youth League season with a bang". Stuff. 18 December 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  30. ^ "2019 - 20 Men's Premiership".

External linksEdit