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Bright futures: Finley Husheer, left, with Paulo Bjorck and Todd Vermeir, all 16, who played for Queenstown Rovers last Saturday

By MATTHEW MCKEW

Former Scottish footballer Alan Hansen’s infamous claim ‘‘you don’t win anything with
kids’’ was once again entirely wrong last Saturday, when a Rovers’ side with three 16-year-
olds in the team won 9-0.

The three points were vital for the Queenstown men’s senior football team as it kept them in the hunt for fourth place in the Otago Daily Times Southern Premier League.

Should Rovers win and Wanaka lose or draw today, the Queenstown side will progress to the top-half competition in the second portion of the season.

But should they lose, they’ll head into the bottom-half tourney for the first time in many
years.

Last week’s 9-0 win at Dunedin Tech could be described as something of a surprise, considering two more players left the team to return overseas, and one midfielder got concussion in the run-up to the match.

It means Rovers have lost 14 internationals since the start of the season, mainly due to Covid-19.

Gaffer Jamie Whitmarsh rolled the dice on three 16-year-olds, debutant Todd Vermeir and still inexperienced Finley Husheer and Paulo Bjorck.

The result could not have been more pleasing for Whitmarsh, as Husheer bagged his first senior goal.

‘‘That was the highlight of the day for me,’’ Whitmarsh says.

‘‘He’s technically very good and he scored with a real cool, calm and composed finish.’’

The manager also reserves praise for Bjorck’s strength and Vermeir’s drive to make his first
team opportunity count.

The trio are part of the management team’s push towards a more stable, Queenstown-based team that’s not so hit by the coming and going of overseas players.

Today’s match at the Queenstown Events Centre oval kicks off at 2.45pm and will be a
difficult one.

Whitmarsh: ‘‘We are playing Green Island who are winning every game pretty comfortably,
but we have to beat them.’’

The gaffer says he cannot remember the last time Rovers failed to qualify for the top tournament and so he’ll be encouraging the players to treat it like a cup final.

matthew.mckew@scene.co.nz