Wednesday, 27 July 2016 7:52 AM
Tasman United Prepares for Life Without Young Atkin
Tasman United of New Zealand will be without young Solomon Islander, Atkin Kaua for the remainder of the Mainland Premier League, casting doubt over his future with Tasman United.
The 20-year-old is heading home to the Solomon Islands due to work visa issues and Tasman assistant coach Davor Tavich said it was unlikely that he will be back before the start of the domestic season.
Kaua has already signed for S-League side Marist Fire, who are based in Honiara.
"He needs a work permit to stay and he's decided to go there because the season starts next week. The coach from Marist got in touch with him and he decided he wants to go back and try play for the Solomon Islands national team," Tavich said.
"This season I'm pretty sure he won't [play for Tasman]. By the time his season finishes and we apply for his visa extension it could take until the end of January.
"We'll look into it for next year if we need him to come back or not."?
The former Nelson College star wore the captain's armband in Saturday's MPL clash between Suburbs and Western, which Suburbs won 3-1, a gesture coach Ben Wright said came from regular skipper Coey Turipa.
"We wanted to say thank you for what he's done and wish him all the best so it was a gesture of appreciation," he said.
"He had a really good game, created two and scored one himself. We gave him a free role to start with and he looked lively and got on the ball a lot."
Wright said Kaua will be a big loss in the final month of the competition, especially with the obvious replacement, attacking midfielder Max Winterton, leaving for the United States this week to link up with Saginaw Valley State University.
But it's Kaua's national league availability that is of greater concern.
He played 14 times for Canterbury United in the 2015-16 national league and although he is still young, the former Solomon Islands under-20 international would have added plenty of flair in the attacking third and was seen as an important signing for the newcomers.
While his absence is a big blow, Tavich remained confident Tasman will have a competitive squad ready to go before the season starts.
"He's a great young footballer but he was never going to be a main player for Tasman, he was going to be a squad player, possibly in the starting 11 now and then.
"He's only 19 or 20, so we have players coming in who are a lot more experienced. It would have been nice to have him and we'll look into it next season."