Words: ACFC Media
Wednesday 29 June 2022
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - The games come thick and fast for Auckland City FC as they take on Eastern Suburbs AFC in a hastily rescheduled Northern League fixture tonight at the Croatian Cultural Society in Te Atatu.
The OFC Champions League has been tentatively scheduled for August and this has led to City's match schedule being shuffled around to accommodate the demands.
Originally the Round 21 clash was pencilled in for 27 August but with OFC set to draw the groups for the competition on Thursday, the Northern League fixture was brought forward.
Coach Albert Riera admitted the OFC Champions League was a priority target for the club but was at pains to emphasise where it sits in his immediate thoughts.
"The OFC Champions League is on the horizon but the reality is we have many important games before we take part in the Oceania competition.
"We must wait for the draw then act accordingly but until then the most important game for us is the one with Eastern Suburbs AFC," he said.
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS - Auckland City FC 2-0 Hamilton Wanderers— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) June 28, 2022
Relive the goals from the #NavyBlues hard fought win over Hamilton Wanderers at Kiwitea Street on Saturday 25 June 2022
Suburbs have had a tough season with Hoani Edwards side occupying tenth place for the vast majority of the campaign.
The high point for the Lilywhites has been their progress to the last 16 of the Chatham Cup.
The one-time NZFC champions look likely to avoid relegation but their hopes of a top four finish and a place in the National League Championship are remote at best.
Riera warned his Navy Blues side had so far achieved nothing and that the Lilywhites challenge meant City can not afford to tread lightly.
"This game is one of those that is very tricky. You can't look at the table and make any judgement - Eastern Suburbs are one of those sides that is always very, very competitive against us.
"If you look at where they are in the table you can make the mistake and become complacent and that's something I always say to our players and staff we must never do.
"A midweek game is something we don't normally have and it's human nature to take time to adjust to, playing under lights at night.
"Mentally we must be very, very focussed and keep the levels of concentration that we've been showing this season," he said.
One player who is back in the mix is striker Angus Kilkolly, back after serving a three game suspension and going through a family bereavement.
Riera said both he, his staff and the squad and club were delighted to welcome the front man back to action.
"I'm very happy to welcome back Angus after serving his three game suspension he is someone who always puts in 100 percent at the training session.
"He felt upset to get the red card against Takapuna and he can't wait to redeem himself - he always demonstrates that with the amount of effort he gives and its great for him to be available again for selection," he said.
Wednesday 29 June 2022
Auckland City FC v Eastern Suburbs AFC
Croatian Cultural Society, Te Atatu
Kick-off: 7.00pm NZDT
AC: 1. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Christian GRAY, 7. Cam HOWIESON (c), 8. Gerard GARRIGA, 9. Angus KILKOLLY, 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 13. Nathan LOBO, 15. Aidan CAREY, 16. Joe LEE, 17. Reid DRAKE, 19. Liam GILLION, 20. Emiliano TADE, 23. Alfie ROGERS, 24. Cam BROWN (GK).
COACH: Albert RIERA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GOALKEEPER COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
MANAGER: Keith COTON
ANALYST: Adria CASALS
TECHNICAL: Jarrod WALLACE
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE
REFEREE: Nick WALDRON
ASSISTANT REFEREE 1: Hayden TUTBURY
ASSISTANT REFEREE 2: Daniel NEVILLE
HEAD COACH: Hoani Edwards
Hoani Edwards has been a stalwart of Eastern Suburbs AFC for most of his career as a player and coach but distinguished himself on the pitch during his time with Waitakere United in the early days of the New Zealand Football Championship. A key figure under coaches Chris Milicich and Steve Cain, Edwards was part of the Waitakere United side that lifted back-to-back OFC Champions League titles in 2007 and 2008, victories that saw the now defunct club make two appearances at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Michael Built
Although Eastern Suburbs AFC's ethos is architectured towards development, its the reliability and strength of skipper Michael Built that provides experience, guidance and strength for the young Lilywhites. A former Hamilton Wanderers player with extensive experience in regional and New Zealand Football Championship competition, Built is a dependable leader and proved that when he scored against City the last time the two teams met in Round 10.
NEW ZEALAND FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP 2018-19, 1971 (2)
CHATHAM CUP WINNERS 1951, 1953, 1965, 1968, 1969, 2015 (6)
NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE 1965, 1966, 2015 (3)
NORTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION 1 2011 (1)
NORTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION 2 2003 (1)
NORTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION 3 1997 (1)
BIGGEST WIN (LEAGUE)
v. Onehunga-Mangere United (H) won 9-0, 2011
BIGGEST DEFEAT (LEAGUE)
v. Birkenhead United (H) lost 0-9, 1989
BIGGEST WIN (CHATHAM CUP)
v. Manukau City (H) won 10-0, 2004
v. Kerikeri (H) won 10-0, 2004
BIGGEST DEFEAT (CHATHAM CUP)
v. Manurewa (H) lost 0-8, 1994
CURRENT FORM - NORTHERN LEAGUE
26.03.22 v Takapuna (A) 0-1 (- | Robertson)
02.04.22 v Hamilton Wanderers (H) 1-2 (Thurston | Hong, Harris)
09.04.22 v Waiheke United (A) 3-1 (Davies, Tomlinson, Built | OG)
15.04.22 v Auckland United (A) 1-1 (Rutherford | Pastiroff)
18.04.22 v Bay Olympic (A) 0-0
23.04.22 v Birkenhead United (A) 0-4 (- | McKenzie 3, Taylor)
30.04.22 v Manukau United (H) 0-2 ( - | Khan, Golding)
07.05.22 v Western Springs (A) 1-2 (Caughey | Vincent, Straffon)
14.05.22 v Melville United (A) 0-1 (- | Colloty)
21.05.22 v Auckland City FC (H) 1-4 (Built | Mitchell, De Vries, R.Drake, Manickum)
28.05.22 v North Shore United (H) 4-2 (D. Champness 3, Twigg | Peredo 2)
04.06.22 v Takapuna (H) 4-0 (Built, Caughey, Carlson-Du Toit, Hoyle)
11.06.22 v Hamilton Wanderers (A) 0-2 (- | Tieku 2)
25.06.22 v Waiheke United (H) 2-1 (Baker, Champness | Vanina)
CURRENT FORM - CHATHAM CUP
06.06.22 v Mount Albert Ponsonby (A) 3-0 (- | Jarvie, Built 2)
18.06.22 v Fencibles United (A) 2-2 (Clarke, Garofalakis | Carlson-DuToit, D. Champness)*
10.07.22 v Birkenhead United (A)
*Eastern Suburbs AFC won 5-4 on penalties.
18.12.16 v Eastern Suburbs (A) 1-0 (Tade)
05.03.17 v Eastern Suburbs (H) 2-1 (Moreira, Tade | Dyer)
24.01.18 v Eastern Suburbs (A) 2-0 (Tade, LEa'alafa)
11.03.18 v Eastern Suburbs (H) 1-0 (McCowatt)
24.03.18 v Eastern Suburbs (H) 4-0 (Tade 2, McCowatt, Wilkins)
11.11.18 v Eastern Suburbs (A) 1-0 (Manickum)
26.01.19 v Eastern Suburbs (H) 3-2 (Lea'alafa 2, Kaltak | McCowatt, Wooldridge)
14.12.19 v Eastern Suburbs (H) 0-0
15.03.19 v Eastern Suburbs (A) 2-0 (Kaltak, Bevan)
15.11.20 v Eastern Suburbs (H) 1-0 (Tade)
24.01.21 v Eastern Suburbs (A) 1-1 (Manickim | OG)
14.03.21 v Eastern Suburbs (H) 2-1 (Manickum, OG | Feutz)
22.05.21 v Eastern Suburbs (A) 5-0 (Kilkolly 2, Tade 3)
21.05.22 v Eastern Suburbs (A) 4-1 (Mitchell, De Vries, R. Drake, Manickum | (Built)
v Wellington Olympic, 11 March 2023, KO: TBC