It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise but Hawke's Bay United have re-signed Karan Mandair into their 2019-20 national summer league equation.
Mandair, akin to the Thirsty Whale-sponsored franchise team's first official signing, defender Kaeden Atkins, is homegrown talent so he enters the fray in keeping with the edict of new season co-coaches Chris Greatholder and Bill Robertson.
Robertson has regarded the 19-year-old centre midfielder as an unlucky candidate in missing out on age-group national selection in the past year.
"We're happy to have him back at the club here because he's been a consistent performer at the central League and national League levels," he said.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Robertson said Mandair was another home-grown player who had come through the ranks and deserved the opportunity to represent the province.
The former Lindisfarne College pupil began his stint at the Maycenvale United AFC before moving to Havelock North Wanderers.
He is a product of the FTC programme with Central Football and in 2016 became a member of the Napier City Rovers Club whose defending champion team are footing it in the Central League and playing against Onehunga Sports Club in the Chatham Cup semifinal at park Island the following weekend.
Mandair made his Central League debut in 2017 and was instrumental in the Thirsty Whale Blues' title-winning campaign in 2018.
He was in the starting XI of the Bay United side under former coach Brett Angell last summer.
Akin to Atkins, Mandair has urged fans to get behind what should be, predominantly, a new-look team this season.
Acting Bay United franchise general manager Andrew Huxford said other franchise had put their feelers out to entice the midfielder.