First Charlie Howe stood do' />

HAMISH BIDWELL
In softball parlance, it's been three up-three down at the helm of Hawke's Bay's flagship football teams.
First Charlie Howe stood down as coach of Napier City after the inaugural New Zealand Football Championship (NZFC), then came a Central Soccer League season which has claimed Havelock North Wanderers' Dean Buckman and now Roy Stanger from Napier City Rovers.
In fairness, Howe's departure had more to do with business commitments than results, but the same can't be said for the latter two, whose team's finished the 10-team league in ninth and seventh places respectively. But at least Stanger had the satisfaction of being the only one of the trio to end his reign on a high note, with a 3-0 home win over Chatham Cup finalists Palmerston North Marist on Saturday.
Even so, the Englishman admitted it wasn't enough to make up for what had been a poor season by Napier's perennially high standards.
"Well, it means we've won seven games, but we've only drawn one and lost 10," Stanger said.
"It does make me feel a little better but it's still a very disappointing season. We've finished seventh but there's a big gap to the sixth placed team and we've conceded a lot of goals. We had two eights but at least we kept a clean sheet today and we've still got a lot of work to do if we're going to be competitive next season in terms of recruiting new players and coaches.
"From my point of view, I've been here a few years now and I think it's time for the guys to hear a new voice shouting at them from the sidelines. I've still got the under-19s later in the year but I've bought a new pair of boots and I'm going to be playing again myself next year.
"I think Chris Shakeshaft would be the ideal replacement. He's been great to have on the bench with me this season and he's got good ideas and is always constructive."
If he was looking for positives, Stanger said the development of youngsters like Reiner Bauerfeind, Josh Stevenson, Shannon Fowler and Hamish Price had given him some pleasure but he said the difficulties of having to wage NZFC and Central League campaign with the same players had been too much.
"I think we've got to have two separate squads - one for us and one for the summer league," he said.
"We can't rely on having the summer guys coming back to us. But I think if Jonathan Gould can get this academy up and running, then we can use that as a good tool and get the better youngsters from that coming through into winter football with the incentive of the summer league the next season if they're good enough."