Jesse Randall is a 20-year-old Winger who plays for Wellington Olympic in the New Zealand National League. Earlier this year I wrote a match report on him in which I expressed doubt about his ability to be effective against higher-level opponents. I can only assume Randall read this article and took it intensely personally because he went on to put up 6 goals and 8 assists in 8 games in the National League phase, totals that are pretty insane even by New Zealand standards. So, with the New Zealand football calendar wrapping up, I felt I really had no option but to revisit him.
Randall usually plays on the left-hand side of Wellington Olympic’s front three. He sits very narrowly, as an inside forward, allowing space for wing-backs to overlap. As I noted in my original match report, he makes a lot of good runs off the ball. A lot more of these runs have been rewarded than in the match I saw, resulting in a steady stream of goals from within 10 yards of the goal. He has also shown a strong ability to play incisive through balls, racking up assists by playing in teammates. Now, no doubt being on one of the best teams helps him significantly. Strong playmaking by his teammates and their good off-the-ball movement allows him to be as good as he can be. But even taking that into account, his offensive production has been outstanding. He’s also quite an active and effective presser of the ball.
One thing that still stands out as a weakness for Randall is his dribbling. He does attempt a lot of dribbles but his completion rate is not that great. He’s also not the most physically gifted player which sometimes limits his ability to achieve separation from defenders.
I think it’s fair to say that any player averaging over 1.5 goal contributions per game could handle a step up. I have to think he could offer something to the Wellington Phoenix but a move to Europe, or even MLS Next Pro could also be good for him. Lots of Kiwis make the move to Ireland or the lower tiers of Scotland and England. Those could be a good jumping-off point for Randall in Europe.