Luke Chowdhury – Onslow hunting big scalps
Story courtesy of College Sport Media
Photos courtesy of Hamish Wareham
The Onslow College First XI football team is back in the Trevor Rigby Cup for the first time in five years and captain Luke Chowdhury insists his side is not merely present to make up the numbers.
“We want to change the way we’re perceived and challenge the so-called bigger schools. We’ve worked harder in the pre-season this year because we’re not stuck at home because of Covid. We’ve only lost four players and have a greater self-belief,” he warned.
Queen’s Birthday weekend resolved the composition of the competition for 2021. Seeking to avoid the lower divisions, Onslow was in a pickle against 2020 runners up St Patrick’s College, Silverstream.
“We were down 1-0, but instead of going into our shell we kept applying pressure. With five minutes to go we got a goal from a corner. From the left side an in-swinging ball was delivered and Luke Westphall got a clean header.
“A draw wasn’t the result we were looking for, but it was better than nothing. On Monday we played Tawa at Alex Moore Park to get a place in Premier Youth. We were pretty confident and scored an early penalty which gave us good momentum. We won 4-0 and are stoked to be in the top grade.”
Chowdhury is enjoying his second season in the First XI. A conventional centre back he ventured out right in 2020 and enjoyed the greater attacking liberty on the flanks, while conceding it was also a test of fitness. His vision, voice, pace, and leadership are strong attributes.
“We were disappointed not to make the final of Premier Reserve last year, but we had a young team and learned a lot. We’ve got our two North Wellington players Mateja Brasic (centre midfield) and Jarrod Roberts (left back) returning. They’ve added a lot of intensity and lifted everybody.”
Onslow will have to lift to beat Scots College on Saturday. Scots are the two-time defending champions.
“They’re a strong side, but if we work hard and play our best we can put them under pressure. Everyone expects them to win which means we’ve got nothing to lose.
“The work from all the boys has been outstanding this year and success will come from the efforts of our team as a whole.”
Onslow beat Trevor Rigby Cup champions Hutt International Boys’ School in 2016. In 2018 they won the second-division, losing the final a year later on penalties.
Chowdhury is a member of the Onslow College football committee and in the summer is a batsman in the First XI cricket side.
Football and cricket guru Hamish Wareham has enjoyed watching Chowdhury excel.
“Luke has been a stalwart of the Onslow First XI cricket and football sides. Especially productive this year, Luke has been great to watch with his positive leadership, temperament and talent.”