Words: ACFC Media
Friday 10 June 2022
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Takuya Iwata has re-signed for Auckland City FC and is in line to make his 140th appearance for the club - nearly three years after his last game for the Navy Blues on 13 February 2019.
The 39-year-old defender arrived back in New Zealand nearly a month ago and lent a hand to coach Albert Riera as Covid-19 took a toll on coaching staff.
Iwata has thrown his weight behind the Riera project but is now a realistic prospect to continue his playing career with the club.
"We all know Takuya very well, he's an extraordinary person to have with us. I think its going to help us, not just in games if he has to play, he's very fit.
"He brings great value to training sessions with young players. He's someone everyone looks up to because he's a role model.
"It's one of the reasons why we signed him - he's going to bring that extra experience and for the young players he's a rolde model," Riera said.
MATCH PREVIEW - Takuya Iwata returns— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) June 10, 2022
Takuya Iwata re-signs for #NavyBlues as a player as City get ready for @takapuna_afc showdown - interview with Albert Riera & Emi Tade, full preview at link below
As for Takapuna, it's a mixed bag for the Chris Milicich-coached side with some outstanding performances and results like the win at Birkenhead United in early May, but since then goals have been harder to come by.
But Riera and Emiliano Tade are under no illusions about how difficult a match lies in wait.
"I expect exactly the same from Takapuna as the first game. They gave us a very tough battle, I remember it well.
"They're a squad full of energy that are going to come at us and they fear nothing and they're always going to go forward.
"I'm expecting a very hard game," Riera said.
Tade, likely to lead the line tomorrow, shared Riera's respect for what the North Shore-based club bring to the table.
"It'll be a very tough battle, they've put in a lot of work in their last few games and playing Auckland City FC at their home ground gives them an additional boost.
"But we've been ready since the first game of the season for anything and we expect a hard battle and a tough game," Tade said.
Riera's team face three games in the space of seven days, including Tuesday's Chatham Cup Round 2 clash with Albany United and a potential Round 3 clash just four days later with Manukau United at Kiwitea Street.
Strength and depth within the City squad is a vital commodity.
"For us, and with the amount of games we could face, squad strength is crucial.
"It's crucial if are to achieve what we want to achieve this season.
"We need depth and quality and that's what we have at this club," he said.
The match kicks off at 3.00pm NZDT tomorrow.
Auckland City FC U-23's have retaken control of their own destiny in their mission to retain the Lotto NRFL U-23 Premier Division title which means tomorrow's game with their Takapuna U-23 counterparts is vital if they are to keep the pressure on the chasing pack led by Birkenhead United U-23. If they don't, then any of Melville United U-23, Manukau United U-23 and Auckland United U-23, will be ready to take advantage.
The match kicks off at 12.30pm NZDT.
Saturday 11 June 2022
Takapuna AFC v Auckland City FC
Taharoto Park, Takapuna
Kick-off: 3.00pm NZDT
AC (Players selected from): 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Christian GRAY, 6. Matt ELLIS, 8. Gerard GARRIGA, 9. Angus KILKOLLY, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 11. Ryan DE VRIES, 14. Jordan VALE, 15. Aidan CAREY, 17. Reid DRAKE, 18. Danyon DRAKE (GK), 19. Liam GILLION, 20. Emiliano TADE, 21. Ilham HAMEEDI, 22. Takuya IWATA, 24. Cam BROWN (GK).
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GOALKEEPER COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
MANAGER: Keith COTON
ANALYST: Adria CASALS
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE
REFEREE: Ashley WILSON
AR1: Tom DAY
AR2: Alec COUCHMAN
02.04.22 v Takapuna AFC (H) won 2-1 (Sam BROTHERTON 38', Nathan LOBO 61' | Samuel ROBERTSON 56')
26.03.22 v Eastern Suburbs (H) won 1-0 (Samuel ROBERTSON 53')
02.04.22 v Auckland City FC (A) lost 1-2 (Sam BROTHERTON 38', Nathan LOBO 61' | Samuel ROBERTSON 56')
09.04.22 v Melville United (H) lost 0-1 (- | Stafford DOWLING 23')
15.04.22 v Hamilton Wanderers (H) drew 2-2 (Jack ANDERSON 40', 52' | Jordan LAMB 46', Joseph HARRIS 59')
18.04.22 v Auckland United (H) lost 1-3 (Daniel SEMP 90' | Billy JONES 25', Josh REDFEARN 8', Michael DEN HEIJER 68')
23.04.22 v North Shore United (A) won 3-1 (Giovanni PEREDO 52' | Samuel ROBERTSON 7', Daniel GLEISSNER-BROOM 3'-pen, Ben ALLAN 90'+3')
30.04.22 v Bay Olympic (H) drew 1-1 (Nic MILICICH 51' | Leon VAN DEN HOVEN 22')
07.05.22 v Birkenhead United (A) won 2-1 (Luke JORGENSEN 72' | Connor CAHILL-FAHEY 14', Tom MILLER 83')
14.05.22 v Manukau United (H) lost 2-3 (Nick SMITH 45', Daniel GLEISSNER-BROOM 83' | Maro BONSU-MARO 54', 58', Tom GOLDING 53')
21.05.22 v Western Springs (A) lost 0-1 (Dawson STRAFFON 34' | -)
28.05.22 v Waiheke United (H) drew 0-0
04.06.22 v Eastern Suburbs (H) lost 0-4 (- | Michael BUILT 43', Finn CAUGHEY 49', Rayhan CARLSON-DU TOIT 58', Stephen HOYLE 82')
06.06.22 v Hamilton Wanderers (A) lost 0-1 (- | Jordan LAMB 46') - Chatham Cup Round 2
ABOUT TAKAPUNA AFC
n 1963 a small band of residents headed by Don and Joan Quinnell decided that local kids deserved a football club of their own and applied for registration with the Auckland Football Association and were granted a start for 1964. They also applied to the Takapuna City Council for a home ground and space was allocated at Onewa domain where one main ground and a smaller practice pitch was marked out. Following this success a notice was placed in the North Shore Times Advertiser for players and parents willing to coach and be part of the committee to run the new club.
The first committee consisted of Messrs D.Quinnell, F O Bell, R Newbould, J Neuman, L Hope-ede, G Youngs, R Dean, R G Smith and E Jacobs. Regretfully it was noted Mr Dean passed away before the inaugural 1964 season started. Nine teams of juniors and three teams of midgets lined up for the first season each paying five shillings and two shillings and six pence respectively. Interestingly fifty six adults paid a non playing membership of ten shillings as a contribution to the start up costs of the club. The first ever junior team to win a championship was the 8th North A coached by Eric Jacobs in 1964.
Read the full Club History of Takapuna AFC here.
OTHER MATCHES - SATURDAY 11 JUNE 2022
Birkenhead United v North Shore United
Auckland United v Manukau United
Waiheke United v Western Springs
Hamilton Wanderers v Eastern Suburbs
Bay Olympic v Melville United
v Wellington Olympic, 11 March 2023, KO: TBC