HBHS 1st XI Trio make the New Zealand Under 19 Football Team

This year we have had three of our HBHS footballers selected for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Football age group teams. Lemuel Le Hane for the Under 19s and Isaac Bates and Aiden Hemming in the Under 15s.

The selection for the trio is great recognition for the consistent performances and efforts all three have put in over the season.

This is the first time since Stafford Dowling and Lachie McIsaac in 2016, and twins Tyler and Max Ericksen in 2019, we have had a player make the Under 19 team.

Lemuel’s drive and confidence with the ball caught the eye of selectors at the trial whilst Isaac’s technique and consistent decision making and Aiden’s versatility and composure on the ball were the key factors that got selected.

Originally, the teams were going to be playing a Tri-series with the New Zealand Māori age group teams and the Cook Islands before a double header against the Australian Secondary Schools team. COVID has caused the Australian game to be cancelled before moving the Māori Tri series to January 2022. We wish the boys well for their experiences ahead representing their country.

Lemuel Le Hane’s comments:

Our first highlighted player is Lemuel Le Hane, the 2021 Football 1st XI Captain, who has been selected for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Under 19 team. We asked him a couple of questions about what has helped him in his journey from school football.

How do you think HBHS has helped you in your journey thus far in football?

Coming from a primary/intermediate school that was not well known for their football at the time and looking at my personal achievements to date, I believe that HBHS has helped shape me throughout my schooling and footballing journey. Being selected for the Elite Sports program in Years 9 and 10 has helped boost my confidence and maturity that has shaped me into the player/student I am today. Having the Elite Sports programme along with other elite athletes in my year group, helped me develop the technical and tactical side to my game and has helped me progress into the 1st XI for HBHS and other achievements outside of school.

Why do you think HBHS can create this pathway for more to follow in your footsteps into making the next step in sport?

I believe that HBHS can create this pathway because they cater for the needs of students who would like to better themselves in their sporting, academic and performing arts activities. HBHS has provided the opportunity for me to flourish in football, as I was looked after by coaches who believed in me. The standard of discipline and being held accountable for my commitment was drilled into us from day one and is the secret sauce to success for the students of HBHS. 

Isaac Bates's comments:

After his selection for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Under 15 team, we asked Isaac a couple of questions regarding football at HBHS.

How do you think HBHS has helped you in your journey thus far in football?

I think that it has really shaped my career with the likes of Elite Sports and being coached by ex New Zealand Football players at HBHS like Mr Scott and Mr Nixon.  At HBHS you get the opportunity to play at the top level and against top-level teams which is great.

Why do you think HBHS can create this pathway for more to follow in your footsteps into making the next step in sport?

I think the school has done a great job with football and sport by always getting coaches and teammates to push each other to the absolute limit while being in a good environment at the same time. If they keep producing quality coaches for top teams it will help with a lot of player development and competitiveness. 

Aiden Hemming’s comments:

Finally, we asked Aiden a question regarding football at HBHS after his selection to the New Zealand Secondary Schools Under 15 team.

How has HBHS helped you in your footballing journey thus far?

Elite sport helped me grow on the pitch and off it , and going through HBHS football helps me become a better player now and it’ll help me develop even more over the next few years.