On the ball . . . Zaharn Hidayat is back after a strong season for Meadowbank last year. PHOTO: DAVE NALDRETT

Meadowbank is spoilt for choice this season.

The Oamaru football club has bolstered its numbers, with 40 players registered across its two senior teams this year. Seven Waitaki Boys’ High School pupils have also joined the club.

Meadowbank president Eden Souter-Napier said it was great to have strong numbers and some ‘‘new faces’’ in the mix.

‘‘We could almost have a third team, so it might be something we look into next year,’’ Souter›Napier said.

It was exciting to have secondary school pupils playing for the club, exposing them to the higher level of football, and giving the club a bright future.

Meadowbank’s first XI lost 5-2 to Timaru Boys’ High School in the South Canterbury men’s division one opening round on April 9. It was a ‘‘pretty tough’’ first game, but Souter-Napier said the team played well.

‘‘[There were] chances each way, but Timaru Boys’ were just a wee bit fitter, a wee bit faster.’’

Meadowbank’s B team fell 3-0 to Temuka in the South Canterbury men’s division two match. Temuka was a quality team, he said.

‘‘But [Meadowbank] did pretty well in fairness, and by the end of the game were almost scoring goals themselves.’’

Simon Willetts has stepped up to coach the first XI this season and was ‘‘bringing in some good energy’’, and Darrell White is at the helm of the Bs.

Meadowbank tried to resurrect a women’s team this season, but struggled to get enough interest. It is something the club would work towards for next year, Souter-Napier said.

The club’s junior players started pre›season training this week, and their competition gets under way in Oamaru on May 14.