The annual under-19 national Labour Day weekend football tournament will look a bit different this year, with two Whanganui sides looking to make their mark in the restructured competition.
Because of the current Covid-19 situation, with city centres Auckland and Hamilton still in alert level 3, a number of sides won't be attending the tournament this year.
Usually split into a "main draw" top 24 and a "satellite draw" bottom 24, a total of 30 teams will form one draw for the tournament in Napier.
GJ Gardner Whanganui Athletic and Versatile Wanganui City had similar campaigns last year, each winning one game, drawing one and losing three games in their respective pools.
Whanganui Athletic under-19 coach Matt Calvert said he was grateful they still had a tournament to attend after all the uncertainty around Covid-19 in the past two months.
He and fellow senior Athletic player Zeb Small began pulling their squad together as soon as the senior football season wrapped up.
"With our recruitment, we looked at players who have a bit of a future and some years in front of them, so we have quite a young squad," Calvert said.
"That is positive as we look to build something and instil learnings for our players.
"We've challenged the boys with a new style of play and gone into our principles of philosophy."
Athletic have Papamoa, Napier City Rovers, Christchurch United, Wellington Olympic and Petone in their pool this year.
Calvert said it would be a great test for his young squad.
"It has made it a tougher competition, but that is the whole thing about tournament football, it is tough and challenging. It will give our boys a great environment to see where they stand in the landscape of youth football in New Zealand."
Wanganui City under-19 coach Jason Farmer said they had had plenty of pre-tournament friendlies with teams across the nation that should have them in good stead.
City have a difficult pool to try to get out of, with Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Wainuiomata, Taradale AFC and 2020 Satellite champions North Wellington in their group.
He said it was vital that they came out from game one and asserted themselves.
With Lower Hutt up first, a team littered with Wellington Phoenix Academy players, it will be a tough and exciting challenge straight off the bat.
"That will be a good test for the boys, they will be up against some really good players.
"It's down to them, it's going to be hard. What they put in is what they will get. It's experience against good players and good teams. There will be some players with some decent reputation who will go on to play at a decent level in the future.
"All they can do is give it their all and leave everything on the pitch, you don't want them to come back and thinking 'I could have done better'."
Calvert and Farmer tipped their hats to all their sponsors who helped them fundraise and prepare for the tournament.