NRF partner with Auckland City FC for Men’s Futsal Super League

Words: NRF Media

Thursday 17 September 2020

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Northern Region Football confirmed on Thursday a new club partnership with Auckland City FC for delivery of the AFF Men’s Futsal SuperLeague team in 2020.

Similar to the collaborations announced earlier in September for the National Women’s League football teams, the pilot futsal alliance sees AFF retain operational control of the place in the league but Auckland City FC, which became a full member of the Federation earlier in 2020, will deliver the team programme.

The team will compete in the competition as Auckland City FC and club Academy Director Nic Downes will coach the side.

Downes, also the incumbent Futsal Ferns coach - says futsal is now woven fully into the Auckland City FC club offer to members.

“This year we have seen the launch of our futsal academy through our skills programme for juniors and integration into our youth football premier teams. We see the value the small-sided game brings in the development of aspiring futsal and football players,” Downes said.

“Competing in the SuperLeague allows us to connect our futsal pathway from top to bottom as we continue to grow and develop futsal within the club.”

Auckland City FC chair Ivan Vuksich can’t wait to see how the club, with a global reach in the football landscape, can add real value in the futsal pathway in New Zealand.

“We are excited to be competing in the Men’s SuperLeague and provide the best futsal players in the region the opportunity to represent Auckland City FC,” Vuksich said.

NRF Futsal Community Officer Marvin Eakins, who led the process which confirmed Auckland City FC as the partner for the pilot, is excited by the opportunity the it brings, alongside the wider Federation plans for futsal competition.

“Auckland City FC have quickly integrated futsal into their club. The hard work by Nic Downes from a strategic view and Dylan Manickum with delivery will help grow the awareness and quality of futsal in Auckland,” Eakins said.

“The club has clearly demonstrated the capability to deliver the SuperLeague team and I am looking forward to seeing what opportunities this can create going forward as the club showcase the benefits of how futsal can integrate fully into the football club environment.”

The announcement comes a few days ahead of Sunday’s player draft for the new NRF Futsal Premier League competition, another pilot initiative in 2020. NRF is exploring further plans to add a futsal league to the suite of Lotto NRFL competitions in the future.

Meanwhile, following discussion with several clubs in the NFF region regarding the delivery of the Northern Comets team, NRF will maintain sole delivery of the side for the 2020 Men’s Futsal SuperLeague. The team will be coached by NRF Futsal Community Officer Hayley Stirling.

NRF will confirm in due the course the approach to delivery of Women’s Futsal SuperLeague teams for 2021 competition.

To express interest in playing for Auckland City FC, please email Nic Downes director@academy.football

For Media Inquiries Contact:

Mark Casson
NRF Media & Marketing Manager
021 759 430
Mark.Casson@aucklandfootball.org.nz

Article added: Thursday 17 September 2020 courtesy Northern Regional Football. 

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