You want it? Go get it.

That is the message for Versatile Wanganui City FC coming into the crunch time for obtaining all their season goals, starting tomorrow against Red Sox Manawatu at Wembley Park.

Coming off a much-needed bye week which has allowed them to patch up most of a battered squad, City (5-4-4) have three Lotto Federation League games remaining, with two of them entirely winnable, to rise from sixth on the table and ideally finish ahead of home town rivals GJ Gardner Homes Wanganui Athletic, who are taking their last bye of the year tomorrow.

That kind of momentum would lift City up for the silverware games – an away Federation Cup semifinal with Gisborne United on August 31, and then some time after that the Charity Cup clash with Athletic to finish the season.


But first comes Red Sox (4-3-6) – a team City comfortably beat 4-1 at Skoglund Park on May 5 this year.

Jack Jones scored a double in that game, while Jordan Joblin-Hall and Max Davidson also found the back of the net, and all three of them are fit and ready.

In addition, the team now has the fulltime services of their athletic code-hopper Jake Lockett, who has scored five goals in as many appearences this year, in between his commitments to the Marist Buffalos rugby side.

Lockett was gutted when the Buffalos only just missed the Division 3 club championship, narrowly losing their final game against a strong Hunterville side, after he had played a key role in them winning the old Senior Consolation title in 2018.

So, if Lockett wants to keep his annual streak of winning silverware going, it is with City he must throw in his lot, with injured co-coach Anthony Bell saying a Cup victory this year would be "glorious".

Bell has done his part to give the team some motivation – just this afternoon his partner gave birth to a beautiful 7.3 pound baby girl at Whanganui Hospital.

Lockett providing the reinforcement means there's no pressure on reliable team man Dan Aplin to bust himself to get back to full strength, as he will come off the bench tomorrow.

After stints up front, Zane Robinson can settle back into working with co-coach Latham Berry in the midfield, as they both look to give speedy Lockett the room to do his thing.


"Just needs to get a few games under the belt with the boys, and gel with the midfield, with his attack," said Bell.

"Nothing changes mentally for us, we did enough in that Havelock North game to show we're doing the right things."

No-one expected miracles from an injury-wracked City two weeks ago when they faced the dominant Havelock North Wanderers (15-0-0), but it took a header deflection off a defender in the 86th minute for the champions-in-waiting to escape Wembley Park with a 1-0 win.

"We created half a dozen good chances, so if we can do that against them, then we should be able to against Red Sox, and win convincingly," said Bell.

"The boys are up for it."

Zane Robinson.
Zane Robinson.

Aside from Bell himself and his broken leg recovery, the only other player still on the injured list is Adam Gill, who is unlikely for the rest of League play but will try to get back for the Cup fixtures.

Kickoff today is 2.45pm.

In the Horizons Premiership, GJ Gardner Homes Wanganui Athletic Reserves will be on the road to Celaeno Park to face Hokowhitu FC Reserves, kickoff 12.30pm.

And in the Women's Federation League, it's the big game for Team Ritesh Football Whanganui on Sunday, as they travel to Skoglund Park to face the unbeaten Hokowhitu FC, kickoff 1pm.