Words: ACFC Media
Wednesday 7 July 2021
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Jordan Vale wants Auckland City FC to keep standards high as the Navy Blues take on Birkenhead United in the Chatham Cup Fourth Round on Sunday.
Vale made his 70th appearance for Auckland City FC in the recent 2-1 win over Northern Rovers in the Northern League and was outstanding as he put in a shift full of energy and purpose.
Two goals by Angus Kilkolly gave the Navy Blues the victory but it was the contribution of Vale and his fellow attacking full back Andrew Blake that kept the Rovers defence - and Kilkolly - busy on a chilly night at the Croatian Cultural Society.
"I've had a few games in a row and I feel a lot more fitter. I think coming off the 2-2 draw at Manukau United we wanted to come out quick and fast from the first whistle.
"That's something we worked on hard at training and I've felt really good at training so there was a bit of emulating that standard in our last performance against Rovers.
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"Rovers approach was interesting - they kept some players quite wide on the opposite side to where the ball was which meant there was lots of space to attack.
"We were both bombing forward really well, Blakey had a great shift and got forward a lot," Vale said.
Vale delivered a glut of crosses into the Rovers penalty area with a regularity that kept the visitors defence led by Jack Caunter very busy.
He says it was all part of the approach work.
"If I think back to my first season with Ramon and in more recent times under José, we've always enjoyed a lot of possession.
"We've changed tactics during my time at the club with Ramon and then under José and I've not been bombing up and down so much as keeping the ball and building up towards the attacking third.
"I felt there have been a few games where we've managed to send over a lot of crosses, not just on Friday night," he said.
The match was keenly contested with plenty of feeling including one big challenge by Kilkolly on Brock Messenger but equally there were more than a few tasty challenges put in on City players.
Vale shrugs that off as merely part and parcel of life in the Northern League.
"Northern are a very tough side physically. Glenfield and Forrest Hill-Milford amalgamated this season but we've known their players for years and we expected a tough battle.
"Adam Dickinson is a tough competitor and we knew Yousif (Al-Kalisy) is always very well-balanced on the ball so mentally we knew what to expect.
"We didn't react to anything and just carried on and played our own game," he said.
With Auckland City FC's lead at the top of the table growing ever wider, Vale now turns his thoughts towards the Chatham Cup Fourth Round away to Birkenhead United on Sunday.
"The win over Northern Rovers is the standard where we want to be and even though Conor made a small mistake his distribution in the game was outstanding, it was almost perfect.
"We played very very well, we were fizzing, we were quick, we dominated our opponents and did everything to the best of our abilities individually and as a team and that's what we want to take into next Sunday's game at Shepherd's Park."
Sunday 11 July 2021
Chatham Cup 4th Round
Birkenhead United v Auckland City FC
Shepherds Park, Beach Haven
Kick-off: 2.00pm NZDT
Wed 6 Dec 2023, United FC, Dubai, UAE, KO: 6.00pm local