He can always go to England to see the Queen another time but for now Tom Biss is making a princely gesture to serve his province.

The 22-year-old has signed up with the Hawke's Bay United as the franchise yesterday confirmed its squad for the 2015-16 ASB Premiership campaign.

"I was always going to head over to England to travel so maybe I'll do it later because I'm staying around."

Hawke's Bay-born and bred Biss played for Waitakere United last summer in the hope of expanding his playing career to the O-League with the traditional premiership heavyweights based in Auckland.

Advertisement

Ironically the Brett Angell-coached Bay United made the grand final last season, losing 2-1 to high fliers Auckland City and missing out on O-League to Team Wellington.

"I've been working with Brett and it's a good minimum to play in the grand final," says Biss, who is impressed with how Angell has recruited again in his second season and under new skipper Finlay Milne. This summer, he believes, the pool of talent will blossom to go a step further to clinch the crown.

Biss says Angell approached him a fortnight ago without any trials to add value to his squad.

"I have a lot of love for Hawke's Bay, because I've lived here all my life, so I have a lot of love for representing [the region] and I thought I'd give it another good crack."

The former Wellington Phoenix and academy player has had his share of disappointments, missing out on an A-League and Oly Whites stints.

"It's funny you should mention that [Phoenix] because I was just today talking to Tom Doyle after Monday's big loss," he says of the Nix defender whose side meekly succumbed to a 3-0 loss away to Melbourne Victory.

Needless to say, Biss has no hard feelings against the Nix and wishes them all the best because he still has mates playing professionally for the Kiwi franchise in the Aussie league.

The midfielder is adhering to his seasonal ambition of scoring 10 goals, something he considers to be worth more than what strikers should set as a goal, because the pretty boys up front have the licence to roam and don't defend as such.

Goalkeeper Joshua Hill, Sean Liddicoat, Alex Palezevic and reserve keeper Kyle Baxter are returning from last season for Bay United and that excites Milne. "I'm thankful and excited to have this opportunity. It will give me a great opportunity to develop for me personally," says the 25-year-old brother of Black Caps bowler Adam Milne, of Palmerston North.

"It will be a challenge for all of us as we are a new squad. But we have a full group of new exciting players who are willing to embrace the challenge that the season will bring, so for me as captain, when we have a group like this, it makes my job a little bit easier."

The reliable defender is returning for his second season after an impressive winter with TSB Bank Napier City Rovers who won the Lotto Central League title and were losing finalists of the ASB Chatham Cup.

Centreback/captain Danny Wilson and Biss are also Rovers.

Enter Wairarapa United trio of in Hamish Watson (ex-Bay United), Sam Mason-Smith and Cory Chettleburgh along with league-winning Team Taranaki pair of Kyle King and Brad Hickling.

The Bay United purse seine net also has hauled in Kohei Matsumoto who this year spent some time with MLS club New York City FC as a trainee as well as Auckland City's OFC President's Cup campaign. The other international acquisition is Godwin Addai, of Canada, fresh from a professional stint in Spain.

For Angell, the faces are new but expectations remain the same.

" ... we have identified the gaps and added some more numbers to our base where last season we were a little bit thin in a number-based perspective. So, leading into the season, we are a bigger stronger squad than last season," he says as Bay United play their final pre-season game this Saturday at 2pm at Bluewater Stadium against WaiBop United before the season kicks off at 7.35pm with the televised grand final replay against Auckland City on Thursday next week.

2015-16 squad
Players' club in brackets: 1. Joshua Hill (Stop Out AFC), 2. Sean Liddicoat (Palmerston North Boys High), 3. Kohei Matsumoto (Auckland City FC), 4. Finlay Milne (captain, Napier City Rovers), 5. Harrison Nash (Three Kings Utd), 6. Alex Palezevic (Wellington Olympic), 7. Cory Chettleburgh (Wairarapa Utd), 8. Tom Biss (Napier City Rovers), 9. Kyle King (Team Taranaki), 10. Zane Sole (Northcote City, Australia), 11. Khair Jones (Palmerston North Marist), 12. Cheauxyan Maukau (Western Springs), 13. Godwin Addai (Lansing, USA), 14. Jade Mesias (Evergreen Diplomats, USA), 15. Sam Mason-Smith (Wairarapa Utd), 16. Hamish Watson (Wairarapa Utd), 17 Brad Hickling (Team Taranaki), 21 Fabien Kurimata (Onehunga Sports), 22. Daniel Wilson (Napier City Rovers), 25 Kyle Baxter (Napier City Rovers), Jarrod Hastings (Havelock North Wanderers).

Coach: Brett Angell.