Don't be surprised to hear Melville captain Aaron Scott being called 'Sir' on the pitch during Sunday's ISPS Handa Chatham Cup final.

It's not because of any special deference to the former All White, but the product of his unique relationship with many in the team.

Eight players in the Melville squad are past or present pupils at Hamilton Boys High School, where Scott, a maths and P.E. teacher, has coached the 1st XI side since 2012.

It has led to some challenging logistics over the years, especially balancing training times across the week for those who have dual commitments, and also made for an interesting dynamic at times.


"My [Melville] teammates call me 'Azza, but some of the schoolboys have battled in the past and still called me 'Sir', which they have to at school," explained Scott. "Though we have always laughed about it."

"The hardest thing for me is when you are the boss of them at one stage in the morning, then all of a sudden they are equals straight afterwards in the afternoon."

"It also limits the time you let your hair down, on those Saturday night bus trips coming back from away games in Auckland, but it's a balance. The maturity and responsibility to show them the right way and also at the same time let them be kids and 18-year-olds."

Scott has had an unusual buildup for this final, spending the entire week in Napier for the national secondary schools tournament. They left last Sunday, with Scott driving the team mini van and only arrived back in Hamilton on Friday evening.

"I got home, said hi to the kids and went straight to training," said Scott.

The 33-year-old is a Melville stalwart.

He made his debut as a fifth former in 2002, and has only missed one season since then, coincidentally the year they lifted the Northern Premier League trophy for the first and only time ("I've definitely been ribbed about that over the years").

Though he didn't play a role as he was cup tied, Scott has vivid memories of Melville's last run to the final in 2003, particularly the semi-final win over Central United.


"We played at midday [for the youth team] and got to Kiwitea two minutes before kickoff," recalled Scott. "We all piled out of the mini van and were chanting and making noise the whole afternoon. It was a massive bus trip back and I remember the excitement around the club before the final."

In the long club career, the closest Scott has come to the famous trophy was a semi final exit in 2013, against a Waitakere City team that featured Roy Krishna and Jake Butler, so this year's run has been memorable.

"It's been bloody brilliant and has galvanised what we have done in the league."

In the third round they were locked 2-2 with East Coast Bays at halftime, before a "few choice words" from the coaches led to a second half onslaught and eventual 8-2 scoreline.

They then trumped Waitakere (3-1) and Christchurch United (4-0) before a gritty semi final win at Bay Olympic in front of a raucous crowd (2-0).

As Melville United the club has never lifted the famed trophy, though there were truimphs in the past as as Technical Old Boys (1962) and Waikato United (1988).

On Sunday they'll face cup specialists Napier City Rovers, who has been in three of the last nine finals and have won the Cup four times in their history.

"They have had another successful season and are a mature team," said Scott. "There are dangers there for us but also things we can target so it should be a great occasion."

The match kicks off at 2pm, preceded by the NZ Football Foundation Kate Sheppard cup final between Coastal Spirit vs Eastern Suburbs (midday).