Words: ACFC Media
Friday 15 April 2022
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - A first start as skipper since a horrific knee injury meant the world to Navy Blues defender Angel Berlanga.
Berlanga, 35, has spent the best part of two seasons, summer and winter, chasing recovery from an injury through Covid-19 lock downs with a lot of hard work.
Today that hard work paid off when he started his first game of the season in the 4-0 win over Waiheke United.
"It was a really good game, we stuck to our game plan and we tired them out a bit and then in the second half we created more clear cut chances and we put the goals away.
"We were a bit sloppy in the first half because they were sitting very deep and its always difficult to break them down - its like Manchester City and Atletico situation, if you like, if I can make the tactical comparison.
"Its never easy to break teams down but as things go on, teams tire and you start creating more," he said.
"I was really excited to play my first game for the team probably since the OFC Champions League in February 2020.
"I was nervous and I also had the armband today, playing in front of a noisy atmosphere and with family and friends and supporters watching you.
"It was emotional for me but I was just happy to be on the field.
Ryan De Vries/Emiliano Tade
"It looks like the old guard is making a comeback after so many years!
"No, it was good to see Emi and Ryan together in the same team, I've known them for so long, you know how they move, how they understand the game and it was really great to play with them.
"They're both super smart players and help the team out a lot, its great to see them back in action.
Sebastian Ciganda Player of the Match
"Sebatsian Ciganda was outstanding for Waiheke United - he saved Gus' penalty, and a few others, he was player of the match for me.
"I don't know how many saves he made but he did great for the Waiheke United supporters here today.
"The atmosphere was really good, I wish we could have crowds like that every week because its good for the football generally.
"Its good for the footballers on the pitch, good for people going to the game and gives us all some flavour.
"We, of course, have our own supporters who bring their love for the club each week which we are always grateful for, of course.
"I hope we can have more days like today at Kiwitea Street in the future.
"I'll need some rest - straight to bed, sleep for two days, prepare for the next game, forget about today's events and aim for three more points on Monday.
v Wellington Olympic, 11 March 2023, KO: TBC