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No room for complacency - Figueira

Words: ACFC Media

Friday 16 April 2021

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC coach José Figueira could put his squad rotation policy to the test when the Navy Blues take on struggling West Coast Rangers at Fred Taylor Park on Saturday.

The Navy Blues have a perfect winning record after three rounds of Northern League action and sit in second place behind Western Springs but Figueira is adamant that expectations will create an element of pressure on his team that he would like to see turned into a top performance.

"There's been three or four rounds played and the league table is starting to take shape with West Coast Rangers as one of the newer teams in the competition and find themselves in a position in the table they don't want to be in.

"The expectations going into this game don't differ from last week or the week before. It's not going to be a case of just turn up and things happen for us, our mentality has to be to go out there and take games by the scruff of the neck and control the match as much as possible.

"We want to demonstrate high intensity and high quality and West Coast Rangers aren't going to make that objective easy for us to obtain. They had a very strong performance away to Melville United at Gower Park which is always a very tough place to play at.

"West Coast Rangers went down by a single goal and they'll be working just as hard to make life difficult for us," Figueira told www.aucklandcityfc.com.

Auckland City FC's squad features a raft of players with international caps including three All Whites in Adam Mitchell, Sam Brotherton, Cam Howieson and Vanuatu skipper Brian Kaltak, but Figueira admits he's got a useful problem with the club's U-20 players forcing him to consider other combinations.

"Rotation has been working very well for us this season and I think its very important at this stage of the season that we maximise the use of the squad as well as possible.

"The U-20 regulation has meant we've needed to have four or five excellent players playing and training with us over the past year and we're seeing the likes of Matt Ellis, Ilham Hameedi, Aidan Carey, Deandre Vollenhoven and Addison Stewart either making senior debuts or pushing for selection consideration.

"It's important we keep our standards high and not become complacent," he said.

Auckland City FC supporters are meeting at Soljan's Estate Winery at 1pm NZDT on Match Day as the Navy Blues prepare to take on West Coast Rangers. The U-23 match between the two clubs kicks off at 12.30pm NZDT at Fred Taylor Park with the Northern League clash set for its usual 3.00pm NZDT kick-off time.

Ends

Match Details
Northern League
Saturday 17 April 2021
West Coast Rangers v Auckland City FC
Fred Taylor Park, Whenuapai
Kick-off: 3pm NZDT

AC (squad selected from): 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Mario BILEN (c), 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, 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 19. Matt Ellis, 20. Emiliano TADE, 21. Addison STEWART, 22. Mohamed AWAD, 23. Alfie ROGERS, 25. Ilham Hameedi.

COACH: José FIGUEIRA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GK COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE
TEAM MANAGER: Keith COTON
S&C COACH: Adria CASALS
ANALYST: Jarrod WALLACE/Dan GORDON

ABOUT WEST COAST RANGERS

West Coast Rangers was formed through an alliance between Norwest United and Waitakere City. Norwest United's record in Northern League football was modest with just three seasons spent in the senior ranks in 1992, 1993 and 1995. United finished fourth in the Northern League Fourth Division in 1993 bookended by a seventh and sixth place finish respectively. The senior partner in the relationship made a massive impact on New Zealand Football history with Waitakere City winning the National League in 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996 and 1997. City also won the Chatham Cup in 1994, 1995, 1996 and achieved a runners-up finish in 1999, 2004, 2013 and 2016. City's Northern League title roll call reads impressively with two Northern League First Division titles in 2002 and 2016, a Third Division title in 1994 and a Fourth in 1993.

THE WEST COAST RANGERS STORY
West Coast Rangers was formed by two well-established community clubs that have a rich history of delivering quality football at all levels. However, operating sporting clubs in New Zealand has become increasingly challenging. The time and cost associated with compliance and administrative activities has increased, competition for players with other sports and activities in the Auckland region and nationally continues to grow, and volunteers who are vital to the operation of any club are hard to attract, retain and to manage. In addition, Covid-19 has brought and will continue to bring challenges, and it is anticipated that sponsor and grant revenue will be more challenged in the short to medium term, impacting on the financial and operational sustainability of clubs and others in New Zealand.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS
There have been no previous meetings between Auckland City FC, Norwest United, Waitakere City or West Coast Rangers.



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