Season silverware locked away for football club
Monday, Oct 11 2021
The doors to the FC Western trophy cabinet are struggling to be closed.
The New Plymouth-based club won all possible trophies available in local top-flight competitions this year in the club’s most successful season.
After it sneered the Taranaki club premiership, after an unbeaten season, FC Western won the Duff knockout competition, the Ranfurly Shield-like Challenge Trophy and Sheffield United Plate. The Plate is a pre-season trophy played between the previous year’s league winner and Duff winner.
It's the first time FC Western has claimed the trophies since 2013. Moturoa was the last club to pick them up in 2017.
On top of the premier success, the reserve team won the championship title and Challenge Trophy. The division two team also claimed the Challenge Trophy.
Club president Luke Stancliffe-White said several players contributed to the team’s success in a “massive effort”.
“Senior players Simon Gibson, Ben Furze and Connor Oliver-Rose set the tone early on and Taranaki men’s player of the year Jordi Fettis was solid all year long.”
Ethan O’Halloran and Matthew Lamb made big impacts with their performances throughout the season, who were new additions to the squad, he said.
A mixture of hard work, dedication to training and a passionate coach were also contributing factors.
FC Western entered the Chatham Cup but were knocked out by defending champions Napier City Rovers in the second round 3-0.
During the premiership, FC Western won a remarkable 18 matches and amassed 93 goals, the most in the competition. Gibson slotted 25 of those and won the golden boot for the most goals.
At the other end of the field, the defence only leaked eight goals.
It was a disruptive year with four weeks off thanks to lockdown. But Stancliffe-White said the team was used to it.
“Covid didn’t cause too much of an interference. We were given the blueprint last year when going through the processes for changes.”
Next year, he confirmed the club is in the early stages of entering the Federation League. New Plymouth Rangers are currently in the central-zone competition representing Taranaki. Rangers finished at the bottom of the table after it won the competition last year.
“There are a few I’s to dot and to cross before we take the step.”