Christchurch United fell 3-1 to Birkenhead United in New Zealand National League action. Christchurch set up to play quite defensively and hit on the counter. In general, Birkenhead controlled the game and came away as the well-deserving winner.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: New Zealand
- Age: 18
- Date of Birth: 04/10/2004
- Current Club: Birkenhead United
- Position: Right Back
- Preferred Foot: Right
Everton O’Leary played as a right-wing-back in this match. He showed some positive attacking traits, though there was still some clear room for improvement. He always occupied an extremely advanced position on the right-hand side of the pitch. Seemingly he had very few defensive responsibilities. His deliveries were very good for the most part and he created a handful of chances for teammates. However, I could not help but feel he would be a lot more dangerous if his dribbling was stronger. He had a couple of decent moments but there were also a ton of times when he just dribbled right into a guy. He scored a goal on a mad goalmouth scramble but I don’t think that is terribly repeatable. Defensively O’Leary’s contributions were very limited. This was not totally his fault because it was clear he had the directive to stay high and wide. But this did mean that there were a lot of balls played behind him and he did not do very much to prevent that state of affairs. He did not win the ball back high up the pitch very often, though it did happen once or twice, and he was not particularly good at 1v1 defending. His physical traits are pretty average but also not bad for an 18-year-old. O’Leary demonstrated some quite good passing in the build-up phase. He connected with the right-sided #10 very well and was good at playing progressive passes up the right side.
O’Leary is a strong playmaker who will be a considerably more exciting prospect if he can improve his dribbling and defensive acumen. I would not be rushing out to sign him right this instant but he is definitely one of the players in New Zealand worth keeping an eye on.