Vicelich expects Rovers to reflect Dickinson intensity

Words: ACFC Media

Sunday 4 April 2021

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC pay a visit to face a former Club World Cup hero when the Navy Blues take on Adam Dickinson's Northern Rovers at McFetridge Park on Monday.

Dickinson, 34, scored in Auckland City FC's historic 2-0 win over Al-Ahli at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009 and went on to appear 106 times for the club scoring 24 goals.

Auckland City FC went on to finish fifth at that edition of the FIFA Club World Cup picking up a 3-2 win over African champions TP Mazembe in their final game.

The English forward is in the process of picking up his coaching badges and is still turning out in the Northern League as a player.

Assistant coach Ivan Vicelich spoke fondly of his former team-mate as he looks ahead to Monday's first-ever meeting between the two clubs.

"We've had some great years with Adam at Auckland City FC and the most memorable was clearly the night in UAE when he scored a beautiful goal for us against Al-Ahli.

"Adam had a serious knee injury and showed great character and determination to come back from that and it was a special night for him and us as a club.

"Adam always had great stamina, was a work horse of a player and he always brought personality, ability and strength to the team. Adam was never short of motivation to do well for whoever he played for and I expect we'll see the same intent from Rovers on Monday," Vicelich said.

Rovers, formed following a merger between Forrest Hill Milford and Glenfield Rovers, defeated Melville United 1-0 in Hamilton on Friday thanks to a goal by Dickinson.

Vicelich says there's no doubt Dickinson's characteristics will shine through in his team.

"I think Adam will make sure Rovers will be motivated to do well against us - they've never faced our club before and will see it as an opportunity to deliver their best which is understandable.

"The tough thing for us is the tight turnaround with two games in four days and that's not normally the case.

"It will be interesting to see how the players cope with the physical aspect and put in another good 90 minutes on Monday.

"Squad rotation is very important for us and if we can get as many fresh players starting Monday's game that would be good. We do have some fresh players but also one or two injuries so it won't be a straight swap of ten (players) for ten," he said.

Emiliano Tade, Cam Howieson, Cam Brown and Mario Ilich sat out Friday's game which gave others like Conor Tracey a chance to impress. Matt Ellis and Angus Kilkolly also made their first team debuts.

"We were very pleased with the contribution of players who were making debuts in Matt Ellis and Angus Kilkolly and also the return of Reid Drake.

"Angus played for Central United FC last season and his contribution was very good and he's joined the group this week but he knows the players here already and made a seamless transition which is good.

"As we saw on Friday, Angus worked very hard, which we expected, and hopefully there are goals on the way for him," Vicelich said.

Monday's game kicks off at 3.00pm NZDT at McFetridge Park while the U-23's match, also with Northern Rovers, kicks off at 12.30pm NZDT.


Match Details
Northern League
Monday 5 April 2021
Northern Rovers v Auckland City FC
McFetridge Park, Glenfield
Kick-off: 3.00pm NZDT

AC: 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Mario BILEN, 6. Brian KALTAK, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 9. Angus KILKOLLY, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 11. Reid DRAKE, 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 13. Deandre VOLLENHOVEN, 14. Jordan VALE, 15. Aidan CAREY, 16. Yousif AL-KALISY, 17. Andrew BLAKE, 20. Emiliano TADE, 21. Matt ELLIS, 22. Mohamed AWAD, 23. Alfie ROGERS, 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 26. Ilham HAMEEDI, 27. Addison STEWART, 28. Fardeen MOHAMMED.



2021 is Northern Rovers debut in the Northern League. As Forrest Hill Milford, three league titles were secured in the Northern League Division One (2019 and 2015) and Northern League Division Four (1988). As Glenfield Rovers, eight league titles were won including three Northern Premier League championships (2002, 2003 and 2014), two in Northern League Division One (1996 and 2013) and three in Northern League Division Two (1965, 1976 and 1987).

Northern Rovers have never competed in the Chatham Cup before. As Glenfield Rovers, the furtherest they have reached in the competition was the semi-finals in 2008 when they were beaten 3-2 by Dunedin Technical. Forrest Hill Milford's best run was to the last eight where they were beaten by Birkenhead United 3-0 in 2016.

There have been no previous meetings between Auckland City FC, Glenfield Rovers, Forrest Hill Milford or Northern Rovers.

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