• Onehunga Sports are a feeder club for A-League campaigners Wellington Phoenix so is there a need to say any more about their chances in the Chatham Cup semifinals in Napier tomorrow?
• Napier City Rovers don't need any reminding but the Bluewater Stadium faithful will take comfort in the knowledge their four-time cup champions have done their homework on how to stay in the quest for becoming the 2019 national knockout champions.
Wealth in sport doesn't just come from the reserves in the coffers of a club, its roots are in its cultural foundation.
Visit the website of Onehunga Sports Football Club from Auckland and on the homepage you'll find a sobering appeal seeking any sort of fiscal donation to fuel its flagship team in their Chatham Cup semifinal campaign against Thirsty Whale Napier City Rovers in Napier tomorrow.
But, before the much-anticipated 2pm kick off at Park Island, it pays to know that coach Hiroshi Miyazawa is the bloke who beds in the seedlings at the robust nursery of the Waikaraka Park club.
The riches of the club, under the tutelage of Miyazawa, include the likes of former Wellington Phoenix midfielder Sarpreet Singh, now plying his trade for German giants Bayern Munich, who he had coached since he was 7.
"We have a strong academy system at Onehunga Sports and we're part of the Wellington Phoenix academy," says the former Football Kings and current national under-23 men's mentor who last month, as a feeder club, transferred defensive player Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi on a one-year contract to the Kiwi A-League campaigners.
"Our youth teams and reserves come 100 per cent from our academy," he explains, adding he has groomed 70 per cent of the flagship team squad from a pre-teen age.
A laughing Miyazawa confirms the club isn't financially booming but its elite side are proudly striding towards a Northern Premier League treble, sitting as they do on the top rung of the ladder with two games in hand.
The 2017 cup champions pipped Wellington Olympic 5-4 in extra time of the quarterfinals a fortnight ago. Onehunga Sports had lost to Ole Academy-propped Western Suburbs in the quarterfinals.
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However, he emphasises he wasn't at the helm of the team during the cup quarterfinals last winter because he had taken five of his charges with him to their Fifa Under-20 World Cup campaign as mentor.
"It was a tough one for us as a club."
Miyazawa says captain Joe Dawkins, who marshals from the centreback position, will bring a tactical presence to a pristine Bluewater Stadium promising a balmy, sunny 18C day of not just absorbing coaching philosophies but an exciting brand of footy.
No doubt Napier City Rovers player/coach Bill Robertson's squad, which is predominantly made up of foreign players, is familiar with his opponents' style, even though the four-time cup champions haven't faced Onehunga during his reign.
"It's a huge game for the club and all the players involved," says Robertson, upbeat at the fact the Blues finished second in the Central League here last Saturday, after beating the Greeks 3-1. However, he sees the enormity of extending their winter for one more game should they prevail tomorrow.
In their quarterfinal, Rovers beat Albany United 4-3 in a penalty shootout here after the sides were locked 2-all in regulation time and an extra 30 minutes of play.
"They are a little unfamiliar compared with the teams we're used to in our Central League, for example, but they are well known," says the centreback, expecting a testing encounter against national premiership calibre opponents who will have structure and who, he suspects, are the cup favourites.
"However, we're in our own backyard and we're confident of beating any opposition - but we'll respect them as they are a very good side."
Robertson says they are devising a blueprint that will take into account Onehunga's strengths and weaknesses to determine what strategy the versatile Rovers will employ in the biggest challenge of their season.
"We're confident in our philosphy and how we play, which has served us well since I have been coaching, so we'll look to continue in that vein and look to lift our own standards in applying ourselves," he counters, after Olympic coach Shaun Easthope had given Onehunga the edge tomorrow against a "more direct" Blues, in a match of contrasting styles.
Robertson will be looking for winning performances from captain Fergus Neil, who was last season's golden boot winner, and Uruguayan striker Martin Bueno.
He'll also be hoping goalkeeper Joshua Hill will return from a shoulder injury he picked up against Albany United during his penalty shootout heroics.
Robertson says a couple of players were still trying to fend off the winter bug and some are nursing niggly injuries so they'll wait until today to see how they come through.
"Come Sunday I'm sure most of them will put their hand up and will want to be selected."
The hosts will need to create their chances and go for the jugular in finding the net, because the visitors certainly will.
"There's always room for improvement but I'm really proud of the way the lads have conducted themselves," says Robertson.
Onehunga have only two Japanese imports — rightback Shohei Moriyasu and forager Kenta Saito — but have pedigree in former Hawke's Bay United striker Sean Lovemore and defender Ross Haviland. All bar Saito scored in the quarterfinal.
Mackenzie Waite, who played for the Blues last winter after a stint with Bay United, is Onehunga's goalkeeper.
Moriyasu is the son of current Japan men's coach, Hajime, who Miyazawa played alongside in his heyday in the J-League.
Miyazawa has heard some fans in New Zealand say he has instilled the discipline and technical nous of an attacking Japanese brand of football at Onehunga.
"The technical ability has to be very, very good to play our style of football," he says.
At the risk of sounding he was taking out an insurance policy against defeat, a chuckling Miyazawa says his troops have played five matches in a fortnight, including the last one on Tuesday night, to put the cup demands in perspective.
On the flip side, he sees fatigue giving way to a healthy dose of confidence garnered from their 4-1 victory in their last outing.
"We're in very, very good spirits," he says. "Napier's a beautiful place and has fantastic fields so I'd like to see a lot of their fans there creating a great atmosphere to play a competitive game."
Robertson echoed his sentiments, urging Bay fans to support the Blues, who are flying the provincial flag on a national stage.
Bay Olympic play Melville United in the other cup semifinal.