Josh Murphy got his first taste of premier winter league this season with Miramar Rangers but tomorrow he will return to David Farrington Park as a member of the opposition.
Murphy, who made his debut with Building King Havelock North Wanderers off the bench last weekend, is hoping to get on the park in the 2.30pm kick off against the Wellingtonians in round 12 of the Ultra Football Central league match.
The midfielder, who prefers centre-mid position but came off the bench to score a goal against Wellington United on the left wing in the 4-2 victory last Saturday, laughs when asked if he has any inside secrets on Miramar.
"[The team] have kind of changed quite a bit since I was playing there because they have had seven Team Welly boys come in," he says, having watched league leaders Thirsty Whale Napier City Rovers beat Rangers 3-1 at Park Island last Sunday.
He noted Miramar's starting XI had four Team Wellington players and three on the bench.
Murphy had scored two goals with the Miramar Capital Football premier league side before he was called up to the Central League squad but predominantly came off the bench for the flagship team.
"I didn't like Wellington [city] as much as I thought I was going to and I was keen to play my last season for the Hawke's Bay youth team to see what opportunities come from that," says the former Napier Boys' High School pupil who found the climate challenging in the capital city.
The 18-year-old Victoria University student put his feelers out and found a correspondence option via Massey University to continue as a first-year commerce degree student while based in Napier. He will sit his exams with Victoria in a fortnight before switching to Massey from the second semester.
Switching to the Wanderers, akin to fellow former Napier Marist player Jorge Akers, was an easy decision for Murphy.
"CG is the coach. I've only heard good things about him so that kind of made the decision easier," he says of coach Chris Greatholder.
He slotted in remarkably well last Saturday but is hopeful he will move into the engine room alongside captain Ethan Dent tomorrow.
The Wanderers have been training indoors at Hastings Boys' High School gym since the Queen's Birthday weekend, which hasn't been ideal, but the villagers are on a high after carving up three victories to stay on track to stave off relegation in their debut season in the league.
"Everyone's quite confident and the morale is pretty high," he says, emphasising another win will see them jump from last place to seventh on the league ladder.
"It'll be a hard game but the boys will be up for it."
The former Taradale Intermediate and Reignier Primary pupil has played for Marist since he was 5.
Murphy is keen to take the game as far as he can. He sees himself as an attacking midfielder but is happy to perform any role Greatholder asks him to.
He says he enjoyed his time with Miramar and is indebted to Central League coach Scott Hales, his assistant, Patrick Fleming, and reserve team coach Matt Kean for making everything possible in Wellington.
So who is going to win the Fifa World Cup in Russia?
"I think Brazil at the moment because Neymar is looking really sharp."