Words: Gordon Glen Watson
Friday 4 June 2021
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC won't take anything for granted when they take on Lotto NRFL First Division side Ellerslie AFC in the Chatham Cup at Kiwitea Street tomorrow.
Ellerslie AFC, coached by former Waikato FC and New Zealand U-17 women's team coach Dave Edmondson, have struggled for form in the league with a win and a draw from nine matches to go alongside their 4-0 romp over Greenhithe in the previous round of the Chatham Cup.
Auckland City FC will be without Mohammed Awad who received his first call up to the Somalia national team or Emiliano Tade who damaged his ACL in last week's 3-1 win over Auckland United FC.
Despite the loss of those key figures, Navy Blues coach José Figueira has plenty of options to choose from with the form of the club's U-23 squad food for thought.
Figueira said: "The Chatham Cup always captures the imagination of clubs, coaches, players and supporters and that's certainly the case since we found out we would face Ellerslie AFC in the Chatham Cup 2nd Round last week.
"Ellerslie AFC have struggled in the Lotto NRFL First Division and find themselves near the bottom of the table but, as ever, we must show them every respect as an opponent or risk being on the end of an upset.
"Dave Edmondson is a coach with a good reputation for the work he does with his teams and I am sure he and his players will look to give a good account of themselves," he told www.aucklandcityfc.com.
Ellerslie AFC's away form in the league this season has yet to see them pick up a win although they did grab a much needed 1-1 draw at Metro AFC.
Figueira admitted the Chatham Cup clash with the Ponies was an opportunity to give players a competitive game with a Northern League catch-up match scheduled just 48 hours later away to Bay Olympic.
"There's some players in the squad we will look to bring in for the Chatham Cup game with Ellerslie. Players like Adam Mitchell, who didn't come on against Auckland United FC, have been patient, Adam Thurston played in the U-23s last week and got a full 90 minutes under his belt.
"You can expect those players to rotate in for that game but at the same time it's very important that we get through to the next round.
"A few of our players remember their last competitive match at this level of football was a defeat to Ellerslie AFC at Michaels Avenue.
"You can take it from me that means we won't be leaving anything to chance and when we've dealt with that challenge our focus will turn to our catch-up game with Bay Olympic on Monday," he said.
Auckland City FC's U-23 side is next scheduled for league action on Monday 12 June when they also meet Bay Olympic. That match is set for a 12pm kick off at the Croatian Cultural Society.
Chatham Cup 2nd Round
Saturday 5 June 2021
Auckland City FC v Ellerslie AFC
Kiwitea Street, Sandringham
Kick-off: 2.00pm NZDT
AC (squad selected from): 18. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Mario BILEN, 6. Brian KALTAK, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 8. Adam THURSTON, 9. Angus KILKOLLY, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 11. Reid DRAKE, 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 13. Deandre VOLLENHOVEN, 14. Jordan VALE, 15. Aidan CAREY, 16. Brooklyn HEATH, 17. Andrew BLAKE, 19. Ilham HAMEEDI, 20. Addison STEWART, 21. Matt ELLIS, 22. Kristoff MULLER, 23. Alfie ROGERS, 24. Cam BROWN (GK).
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
Chatham Cup - Round 2 Draw
All ties scheduled for Saturday 5 June 2021 - kick-offs 2.00pm NZDT.
Auckland City FC v Ellerslie AFC
Auckland United FC v Cambridge FC
Waikato Unicol AFC v Manurewa AFC
North Shore United v Ranui Swanson
Franklin United v Birkenhead United
Onehunga-Mangere United v Mount Albert Ponsonby
West Hamilton United v Northern Rovers
Melville United v Waitemata FC
Hamilton Wanderers v East Coast Bays AFC
Waiheke United v FC Whangarei
Bay Olympic FC v Western Springs AFC
Albany United FC v Eastern Suburbs AFC
Papakura City v Metro FC
West Auckland Kiwi True Blues FC v Tauranga City AFC
Claudelands Rovers v Manukau United FC
Ngaruawahia United v West Coast Rangers FC
Wellington United AFC v Wellington Olympic AFC
Stop Out v Kapiti Coast United
North Wellington FC v Wainuiomata
Tawa AFC v Waterside Karori
Wairarapa United v Napier City Rovers
Western Suburbs v Upper Hutt City
Ferrymead Bays FC v Christchurch United
Cashmere Technical v Selwyn United
Wanaka AFC v Gore Wanderers AFC
Queenstown AFC v Otago University AFC
Miramar Rangers v Havelock North Wanderers
Northern AFC v Green Island AFC
South City Royals FC v Mosgiel AFC
Lower Hutt City AFC v Island Bay United AFC
Rangers AFC v Nelson Suburbs FC
Coastal Spirit v Burwoo FC
Auckland City FC and Ellerslie AFC meet for the first time in a competitive match. It is the first time in history Auckland City FC have played a club in a competitive match in New Zealand from outside the ISPS Handa Premiership or Northern League Premier Division. This is also Auckland City FC's first ever match in the Chatham Cup.
v. Takapuna (H) lost 2-3
v. Manurewa (H) lost 1-2
v. East Coast Bays (A) lost 2-4
v. Mount Albert Ponsonby (A) lost 1-5
v. Waitemata (H) lost 0-5
v. Bucklands Beach (H) won 2-1
v. Albany United (H) lost 0-1
v. Greenhithe (A) won 4-0 - Chatham Cup
v. Metro AFC (A) drew 1-1
v. Waiheke United (H) lost 1-4
PLAYER TO WATCH
Ellerslie AFC's top scorer in the Lotto NRFL Division 1 campaign is Ryan Morrow who has scored four goals this season.
Ellerslie AFC 12-2 Affco Rangers, 1975
Ellerslie AFC 1-8 Tauranga City United, 2000
BIGGEST WIN - CHATHAM CUP
Ellerslie AFC 14-0 Tikipunga, 1995
Ellerslie AFC 0-6 Waikato United, 1991
Northern Premier League winners 1993
Northern Premier League subsidiary winners 1986
Northern Premier League runners-up 1987, 1989, 1992
Northern League Division 2 winners 1967, 1977
Country Foods Cup runners-up 1986
v Al Ahly, Tangier, Feb 1 2023, KO: 8pm local