Junior Navy Blues get first team chance

Words: ACFC Media

Friday 11 October 2019

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC National Youth League coach Kris Bright has a selection headache ahead of tomorrow's clash with Southern United as three players head off to the FIFA U-17 World Cup while another duo are called up to the first team.

Bradley Wilson, Luca Taylor and Nathan Lobo are all off to Brazil with first team coach Jose Figueira and all of them were in top form last week for the Junior Navy Blues.

Bright was delighted for the trio as their South American adventure gets underway.

"It's great the three boys are going to the FIFA U-17 World Cup and it's an opportunity to bring in three new players and hopefully they'll come in and take their opportunity.

"We've got a few injuries but I think we've got a very strong squad and I'm sure we'll use all 23 of them this season and if they get a start they'll represent the club to the best of their ability," he told www.aucklandcityfc.com.

Two other players may be in doubt with Thomas Drillien and Matthew Hodgson called up to the first team for the friendly with Hamilton Wanderers at Auckland Grammar.

Drillien was in top form in the 5-0 National Youth League win over Eastern Suburbs and backed that up with a solid showing off the bench for the first team on Sunday.

AUDIO - Kris Bright assesses FIFA U-17 World Cup trio and first team call-ups for Drillien and Hodgson

Hodgson's performances have also caught the eye of coach Jose Figueira which pleased Bright.

"Thomas Drillien and Matthew Hodgson are both involved with the first team on Friday which is a great oppoprtunity for them and we'll monitor their loading and see how much they play tonight which will determine how we use them in Dunedin on Sunday.

"They're very important players with them both playing well last week and ideally it would be great to have them for 90 minutes but the first team is the priority and it's a good opportunity for them.

"Hopefully they can play some part for us against Southern United," he said.

Southern United's campaign got off to a wobbly start after they went down by the odd goal in three to Team Wellington in the capital last week.

In other matches, Waitakere United host Team Wellington, Eastern Suburbs AFC take on Wellington Phoenix, Hamilton Wanderers host Hawke's Bay United with Sunday a day for the all-South Island derby between Canterbury United and Tasman United in Christchurch.

Ends

Match Details
National Youth League
Saturday 12 October 2019
Southern United v Auckland City FC
Logan Park, Dunedin
Kick-off: 1.00pm NZST

AC: Sam BOTTOMLEY (GK), Louis MIDDLEDORP, Dhanush CHANDRA, Matthew ELLIS, Callum McNEILL, Micaiah PAPA, Nick MILICICH, Malcolm YOUNG, Miles PALMER, Harry FREEMAN, Finn McCRACKEN, Thomas DRILLIEN, Ben GALLAGHER, Finn DOCKERTY, Louis MIDDLEDORP

COACH: Kris BRIGHT.

Other matches:

Saturday 12 October 2019
Waitakere United v Team Wellington
Seddon Fields, kick-off 12pm

Eastern Suburbs AFC v Wellington Phoenix
Ngahue Reserve, kick-off: 2pm

Hamilton Wanderers v Hawke's Bay United
Crown Park, kick-off: 6.30pm

Sunday 13 October 2019
Canterbury United v Tasman United
English Park, 2pm

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