Brian Kaltack plying his trade with Wairarapa United last season. Photo" Wairarapa United Facebook

Just one day out from their final preseason match and Tasman United coach Davor Tavich is still on the hunt for two more defenders.

Tavich confirmed that he was after a specialist left-back and centre-back to complete the squad for the upcoming ISPS Handa Premiership season, with the latter position becoming increasingly high priority as ongoing visa issues have delayed the arrival of Vanuatu international Brian Kaltack.

Tavich said he is hopeful Kaltack will be in Nelson before the season commences on October 22 but he definitely will not be involved in Sunday's match against Southern United in Christchurch.

"He has international windows he wants to be involved in with the Vanuatu team so we are working around his availability but his visa hasn't come through but it is still in process," Tavich said.

"We hope it won't take much longer as he's still definitely a Tasman player and still in the mix and hopefully that comes through sooner rather than later."

With many positions still up for grabs Tavich said Sunday's game will give him a clearer idea as to who will start in their season opener against Hamilton Wanderers.

"We've got another three weeks and I think that Southern game is going to give us a better picture again of where we are at with the players and combinations and what we have been working on. After the Southern game we will possibly start narrowing it down to see who can do the best job for us in that first game against Hamilton."

The two positions most wide open appear to be at centre-back and left-back.

Luca Perico, Daniel Allan and Mark Johnston, along with Kaltack, are the four recognised centre-backs in the squad while 19-year-old Labu Pan, who made one appearance last year, is the only left-back and he did spent the winter season in a more attacking role with FC Nelson. Sam Ayers started the final five games of the 2016-17 season there but is expected to be deployed on the right this time around.

"Those two positions are still up for grabs and if we can find a specialist left-back and centre-back we will be more than happy to sign them. What we have is more then capable but having more competition for those spots would be better for us."

Tavich has his back-up for goalkeeper Corey Wilson sorted though, confirming the signing of young Island Bay shotstopper Alex Britton.


Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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