Nelsen: Homegrown Lilywhites Will Dominate
New Eastern Suburbs manager Ryan Nelsen has announced his desire to build a homegrown side at the club and dominate New Zealand football.
In an era where most top New Zealand clubs are supplemented by a number of star foreign players, Nelsen wants to have an entirely home-grown squad in a bid to develop local talent and have a lasting effect on the national team as well.
"There's no reason we can't do it," Nelsen told attending journalists. "There's plenty of talent waiting to be discovered and developed in this country. We already have some great local players in the squad such as Timmy [Payne] and there's a number of players I already want to bring into the side."
Nelsen played 49 times for the New Zealand national side and said his philosophy not only ensured success for the club, but also for the All-Whites.
"When you've got an entirely homegrown squad, it's of course going to benefit the national side, especially if we can continue to develop high quality young players. Realistically, we have three squads - a Premiership squad, a Northern League squad, and a Youth Squad. That gives us the opportunity to develop up to 80 players at a time, most of which will be stars of the future."
Nelsen has assured that the current foreign players at the club, including Emmanuel Ekpo and Silvio Rodic, will not be violently forced out of the club or even the first team, but has conceded that the club is listening to offers.
"Look, we don't want to do anything wrong by the players. If they so wish, they will continue to play a vital role in the first team until they leave the club, and if they want to leave the club before the conclusion of their contracts, as long as it's reasonable, they will be compensated accordingly."
The philosophy is a bold one from Nelsen, and it remains to be seen whether or not it can pay off in the long run. On paper, it looks like a great strategy but a number of factors, including competitiveness and financial viability, will ultimately decide whether or not his home grown philosophy is successful.