Melville United and Claudelands Rovers will face off for the first time competitively in over 15 years this weekend in the second round of the Chatham Cup.

While not quite as much hype as been built around this fixture compared to the other Hamilton derby earlier in the year, the Chatham Cup fixture will be sure to entertain with Claudelands flying high in division two, and Melville United coming right in the premier league.

Many of Claudelands current squad are former Melville United players. The likes of Jono Vivani and Jacob Robb will all have a point to prove against their old club, but Claudelands head coach Mark Cossey said promotion to division one next year remains his priority.

"Melville are a terrific side and they are starting to coming right this season after a slowish start," Cossey said.


"It is going to be a hard game obviously, local derby and all. There are a lot of players here that have played Melville, even myself. Melville brings back good memories and they have a good culture over there.

"I hope for the players playing in the cup that they produce their own memories down at Gower Park on Saturday."

Melville United coach Sam Wilkinson worked with Mark Cossey at Hamilton Wanderers in 2016, before leaving to pursue a new project at Melville United with Michael Mayne.

Cossey said he still has a strong relationship with both coaches who are doing their part for Waikato football.

"They are very passionate, and I am very passionate. We might abuse each other now and then but the respect is there for both of us."

Part of Claudelands' successful run this season has been down to the two English imports George Frise, and Henry Thompson.

Frise suffered an injury on the weekend against Metro AFC, but said his time in New Zealand has been terrific.

"I have really enjoyed it here and have settled in very quickly. The club has been great and I have got on with everybody really well," Frise said.


"Our team is quite young and it's easy to along with everyone here."

He said the style of football that Claudelands plays has been similar to what he experienced in England, making the transition a lot easier.

With nearly half the season completed, Frise is hoping he can help Claudelands gain promotion to division one before himself and Henry return to England at the end of the year.

Melville United have been boosted by two further signings, with Welsh duo Mike and Craig Pritchard arriving in New Zealand, with both eligible to play in the cup.