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Little plots downfall of former team

Little is now player-coach of Wellington United, who face Miramar in a quarterfinal clash on Sunday at David Farrington Park.
Little’s men have already been responsible for this season’s biggest shock, knocking out defending champions Wellington Olympic in the second round with a 2-1 win at Newtown Park.
United are only the quarterfinalist not playing in their respective region’s top league and even sit below Miramar’s reserve team in their division, a far cry from cup final appearances in 1974 and 1991, and three national league titles in the 1970s and 80s.
Little, whose “seven or eight” seasons at Miramar – including a Central League-winning campaign as coach – weren’t long enough to lose his Scottish brogue, says league positions count for nothing in a cup tie.
“At the end of the day it’s 11 versus 11,” Little says.
“We’ve knocked out last year’s champions who are top of the Central League here at the moment, so anything’s possible. But we definitely haven’t got the squad Miramar have got.”
Little is no stranger to cup glory, lifting the 87-year-old trophy as captain when Miramar claimed its third title in 2004, with his brother Bryan alongside him.
The Little brothers and former Rangers stalwart Dave Batty have returned once already with their new club to David Farrington Park – renamed in honour of the coach who, among many other successes, guided Rangers to that 2004 cup win – to play the Miramar reserves.
But Little believes this game will be far more special.
“We’re all looking forward to what’s going to be a big challenge. That’s the excitement of it. It will be great to go back to the old stomping ground and try to get a win.
“There is desperation among the players to try and win the Chatham Cup but we have a tough task first trying to knock this one off.
Quarterfinal weekend kicks off in Auckland on Saturday, when 2008 winners East Coast Bays welcome near neighbours Glenfield Rovers to Bay City Park in a North Shore derby.
Also on the Shore, but one of three Sunday fixtures, Bay Olympic visit Forrest Hill Milford United’s Becroft Park.
Down south, Caversham, who have torched their three cup opponents with a combined goal tally of 23, take their rampant run to Christchurch where they meet Ferrymead Bays.
All games kick off at 2pm.
Chatham Cup Quarterfinals (July 24-25)
Saturday
East Coast Bays v Glenfield Rovers
Bay City Park, Northcross, North Shore City
Referee: Nick Waldron
Sunday
Forrest Hill Milford United v Bay Olympic
Becroft Park, Forrest Hill, North Shore City
Referee: Mirko Benischke
Ferrymead Bays v Caversham
Barnett Park, Christchurch
Referee: Darren Sundborn
Miramar Rangers v Wellington United
David Farrington Park, Wellington
Referee: Matt Conger
Story and photo courtesy of NZF Media.
For the latest news on NZ Football visit www.nzfootball.co.nz

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