Argue all you want but there's no disputing Richard Gillespie's overview on what transpires on the field at the height of a match.
That's because Gillespie is a retired goalkeeper who spent his entire playing career marshalling his penalty box all the way to the higher echelons of the beautiful game.
"Look, I've won the Chatham Cup, the NZFC four or five times and won only three times but been to the world champs and all that time I don't think I've been involved in a squad as complete — in terms of ability levels because some of the guys are are at the top of their games — so the signings are fantastic," says the 38-year-old who is the goal keeping mentor as part of the coaching stable co-coaches Bill Robertson and Chris Greatholder have established for the 2019-20 premiership.
"In terms of characters, they've recruited really well with a group who are doing some great stuff for Hawke's Bay football," he says before Bay United kick off against Eastern Suburbs in week five of the premiership at Park Island, Napier, tomorrow.
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The Bay United, with goalkeeper Ruben Parker Hanks as captain, are sitting in third place on seven points, three adrift of leaders Auckland City and one below second-placed Waitakere United.
Just as the Lily Whites are coming off a 1-all stalemate against Waitakere United, Bay United also drew — 2-all against Canterbury United Dragons in Christchurch — last Sunday.
However, Greatholder, while delighted with his troop's resolve and the Dragons' tenacity, did believe they let the game get away from them to miss the opportunity to claim three points on the road.
The Bay have won two games and lost and drawn one each after four rounds.
Gillespie has played for Auckland City and Waitakere United. His honours include Chatham Cup crowns in 2007, 2008 Golden Boot NIFA, a treble of NZFC (former national summer league) championship titles (2006-08) and just as many trips with Waitakere United to the World Club Championship.
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"Once I found out what CG [Greatholder] and Bill were up to I jumped at the opportunity to [be involved with Bay United again]," he says after retiring in 2013-14 with the Bay franchise.
Having realised the current squad was a "special group of lads", it made the decision a lot more easier for him to put his hand up to give something back to a code that has served him so well in his playing career.
Te Pohue School principal for two years, Gillespie has had to juggle his family around a little before but an understanding wife, Wendy, gave him the green lights now that children Kayla, 8, and Cooper, 6, are older so the family commitments start becoming more manageable.
"I've seen the character of the lads [players] and the culture of the squad so it was a bit of a no-brainer for me, to be honest," he says.
Goalkeepers' spanning views from the back of the field, he says, is a godsend so it's imperative he impresses on the need for them to be vocal so players are in the groove.
"I saw a name on Facebook this morning, someone saying that goalkeeping is like a bomb expert in the police squad because if you make a mistake then everyone blows up so, in terms of leadership, it's huge having a captain at the back."
Gillespie says Hanks is one of those blokes who leads by example and there's sufficient evidence he's growing into a skipper who others want to follow, which will, ultimately, make his job easier.
Hanks is a professional gloveman, who runs a clinic, and is technically far superior to anything Gillespie thinks he was so the coach's role is more about mentoring where a lot of questions are asked about how things are panning out after each match and, if not, how subtle tweaks can be made.
"It's more about me getting him to think about his game and getting that top two inches spot on, which he's really good at."
A youthful Shea Stapleton, on the other hand, will be learning incrementally and developing a lot simply by his presence in a robust environment even if he doesn't run on the park much as a Pacific Premiership keeper.
"He hasn't played anywhere near this level so he's really keen to learn and understands that's his position at home so if he gets a chance then he'll show what he's got."
Gillespie says Greatholder and Robertson have created a "no-go" culture so as the team advance into the national summer league they'll surprise a few oppositions.
He emphasises big franchises from metropolitan cities will be competitive and dominant so Eastern Suburbs will be no different as defending champions.
"It's like any other game for us," he says of the Lily Whites. "We need to go out there to put together our processes and work through the homework that CG and Bill given the boys."
Gillespie rates the opening loss to Auckland City as one they should have won as well but takes heart in how Bay United gave the premiership a scare.
He says keeping up the fluids in the balmy spring weather is vital.
Greatholder echoes the sentiments of Gillespie, stressing the league is tough, if Tasman United beating Team Wellington is anything to go by.
"It's really competitive and I don't think you can take points for granted anywhere," he says as his troops are tracking fine on the way to finding more cohesiveness.
■ Who: Hawke's Bay United v Eastern Suburbs.
■ Where: Bluewater Stadium, Napier.
■ When: Tomorrow, 2pm kick off.
■ Referee: Campbell-Kirk Kawana-Waugh.
■ Ast refs: Ben Norman, Ashley Wilson.
■ Fourth official: Martin Roil.
■ Hawke's Bay Utd: 1. Ruben Parker Hanks (GK, c), 4. Kaeden Atkins, 6. Jack Parker, 7. Sho Goto, 9. Ahinga Selemani, 10. Dylan Sacramento, 14. Gavin Hoy, 16. Joshua Signey, 17. Fergus Neil, 18, Liam Shackleton, 19. Bjorn Christensen, 20. Bill Robertson, 21. Shea Stapleton (RGK), 22. Ihaia Delaney, 23. Jorge Akers, 25. Kenny Willox
Co-coaches: Chris Greatholder, Bill Robertson.
■ Eastern Suburbs: 1. Danyon Drake (GK), 3. Dylan De Jong, 4. Kelvin Kalua, 6. Adam Thomas, 7. Michael Built, 8. Daniel Bowkett, 10. Reid Drake, 11. Mohamed Awad, 12. Kinglesy Sinclair, 14. Leon Van Den Hoven, 16. Christian Gray, 17. Stephen Hoyle, 20. Jake Mechell, 23. Campbell Strong, 25. Mackenzie Waite (RGK), 27. Jade Mesias.
Coach: Tony Readings.