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Auckland City FC set for 500th game

Words: ACFC Media

Friday 15 July 2022

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC reaches a unique milestone when they take on North Shore United tomorrow as the club prepares for it's 500th game. 

Established in 2004, Auckland City FC has competed at the top level of domestic, regional and international football for the past 18 years and while the club is far from one of the oldest in the game it remains one of the most successful.

Club President Ivan Vuksich

Club chairman Ivan Vuksich took the opportunity to reflect on 18 years of the club's existence and the 500 game milestone.

"To reach 500 games in the history of our club is a terrific milestone and one we are all very proud of.

"Throughout our short life, we've had dozens of All Whites pass through our ranks, we've seen nearly 100 players go on to play professional football at home or abroad and we are still actively nurturing and developing talent while at the same time making sure we are competitive.

"We're active in community projects in the Oceania region and also make sure we do the same in central Auckland, specifically in the schools in Mount Roskill, and also in our Academy Programs.

"Our attitude to this work did not pop up overnight, it has been a part of our DNA and identity since the formation of not only Auckland City FC, but extends to the formation of Central United FC in 1962.

"Both Auckland City FC and Central United FC were founded on these ideals, and the people who built the clubs formed these values as new New Zealanders, new to this country.

"Achieving success, however you want to define it, is never easy, particularly in sport, but especially so in football.

"Therefore, I want to take this opportunity on behalf of Auckland City FC to thank all of the players who have worn our Navy Blue jersey over the years, some 230 of them, who have played for the club over the last 18 years, and all of our coaches past and present, who have guided our teams to success and helped produce better footballers.

"Football teams without the backing of supporters, club members, volunteers, sponsors and community partners would fall over pretty quickly, so to everyone who has been there for us, thank you.

"Finally, for those who gave everything to the club but are no longer with us, they remain with us in spirit and are remembered in our rich history and football DNA," he said.

Emiliano Tade - 200 games

And it could be a double celebration - striker Emiliano Tade sits on 199 appearances and 129 goals for the club - should he take to the pitch tomorrow he will become just the third player to make a double century of appearances in Navy Blue. 

Only Angel Berlanga (224/9goals) and James Pritchett (203/6 goals) have played more.  

Tade made his debut for Auckland City FC on 16 September 2011 in the Pacific Football Festival clash with Fiji's Rewa, topical given the club faces Rewa again in this season's OFC Champions League. Tade scored twice in an 11-0 win with the goals shared among Adam McGeorge (1), Manel Exposito (4), Luis Corrales, David Mulligan (2) and Chad Coombes (1).

Tade's 150th appearance for the club came in a 0-0 draw with Team Wellington in the NZFC on February 4, 2018. 

Tade was the first player to reach 100 goals for the club when he scored in the 5-0 win over Madang in the OFC Champions League on 28 February 2018.

AUCKLAND CITY FC: 500 GAMES - A SNAPSHOT

FIRST GAME - 2004-05 SEASON

The club's first official game took place on 15 October 2004 when City travelled to Park Island to face Napier City in its first ever New Zealand Football Championship game. City won 3-1 that say with Heath McCormack, Jonathan Perry and skipper Neil Sykes all on target, a result that gave then coach Allan Jones his first victory on the way to a league and grand final double.

FIRST XI
The team that took the field 18 years ago reads: Ross Nicholson, Shane Pascoe, Paul Seaman, Liam Mulrooney, Grant Young, Neil Sykes (captain), Prince Quansah, Paul Vodanovich, Greg Uhlmann, Heath McCormack. Three other players appeared on the pitch that day under coach Allan Jones and assistant Craig Alexander: All Whites pair Paul Urlovic and Riki Van Steeden with Jonathan Smith completing the trio of substitutes. Unused substitutes included future All White Chad Coombes and All Whites goalkeeper James Bannatyne.

22nd GAME - 2004/05 FIRST DOMESTIC TITLE
Our first final was a 3-2 win over Super City derby rivals Waitakere United with a double by Grant Young and one from Liam Mulrooney giving Allan Jones and Auckland City FC victory.

53rd GAME - 2006 FIRST OCEANIA TITLE
A hat-trick by the late Keryn Jordan hands Auckland City FC a 3-1 win over Tahiti's AS Pirae as the Navy Blues qualify for the first of nine FIFA Club World Cups.

82nd GAME - NZFC GRAND FINAL
Auckland City FC down Waitakere United 3-2 to take out the NZFC, a remarkable feat given the club had four coaches during the campaign - Roger Wilkinson, Allan Jones, Aaron McFarland and finally Paul Marshall. City finished third in the league and remains the only team to finish this low in the competition to then win it.

100th GAME - 2007-08 SEASON
The club's 100th game was played at Kiwitea Street on 23 February 2008 in the NZFC when City defeated Canterbury United 4-1. A double by Paul Urlovic and a goal each by George Suri and Riki Van Steeden ensured a happy celebration for Colin Tuaa's team that day although the club would end the season trophyless.

145th GAME - FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP UAE 2009
Auckland City FC seal a fifth place finish at the FIFA Club World Cup with a 3-2 win over African champions TP Mazembe in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Two goals by Jason Hayne and a last gasp strike by Riki Van Steeden seal a famous win for coach Paul Posa.

200th GAME - 2011-12 SEASON
Amicale were the opponents, the OFC Champions League was the competition as coach Ramon Tribulietx led his City side to a memorable 3-2 win at Kiwitea Street. Manel Exposito's double combined with a goal from Adam Dickinson ensured City were victorious. The club went on to win the OFC Champions League for the first time in three years to go with an NZFC league title and an NZF Charity Cup victory.

245th GAME - 2013 OFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Auckland City FC were second best to Waitakere United in the NZFC league title race, NZFC Grand Final and even the OFC Champions League group stages, but they came good on a famous night at Mount Smart Stadium when goals by Alex Feneridis and Adam Dickinson cancelled out Chad Coombes second half strike to hand Ramon Tribulietx a sweet, sweet 2-1 win.

288th GAME - FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP MOROCCO 2014
Drama. Tension. Excitement. Underdogs Auckland City FC hold CONCACAF Champions League winners Cruz Azul to a 1-1 draw thanks to a Ryan De Vries goal - Jacob Spoonley saves one Cruz Azul penalty while another flies over the crossbar - the Navy Blues grab a bronze medal at the FIFA Club World Cup after coming agonisingly close to a final with Real Madrid only days before.

300th GAME - 2014-15 SEASON
The club's 300th game was an NZFC clash with Wellington Phoenix. Entered into the league to provide the Wellington Phoenix youth players with regular domestic competition meant for the occasional lopsided results. This was no exception as City registered a comfortable 7-0 win in the capital. Andrew Milne, Ivan Carril, Oscar Garcia all scored while Joao Moreira and Ryan De Vries helped themselves to two each. Easily the club's most memorable to date winning the NZFC league, grand final, OFC Champions League, OFC President's Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup bronze medal.

368th GAME - OFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
It doesn't get any better than winning the OFC Champions League by beating your nearest rivals over two legs and thats what Auckland City FC did when we thrashed Team Wellington 5-0 on aggregate. Two goals for Joao Moreira and Ryan De Vries and one by Emiliano Tade make it two games to remember at David Farrington Park and North Harbour Stadium for the Navy Blues.

400th GAME - 2018-19 SEASON
There's nothing like a derby to get the juices flowing which is why the 400th game in the club's history is one to savour. Eastern Suburbs AFC, one of New Zealand's most storied clubs, entered the NZFC only seasons before and were eager to make their mark. Broadcast live on Sky Sport, City toppled the Lilywhites by a goal to nil at Riverhills Park courtesy of a fine individual goal by Dylan Manickum. This highlight was one of few in a campaign where only the NZFC league title and NZF Charity Cup were won.

441st GAME - NZF CHARITY CUP
Little did we know at the time but this 2-0 win over Eastern Suburbs in an NZFC/NZF Charity Cup double header would be the last football we would see for months on end. The global pandemic and Covid-19 swept the world and we went into lockdown. Although among the smaller trophies won by the club, it nevertheless added to the rich tapestry of our history and gave then coach Jose Figueira a trophy to go along with his NZFC league title awarded for our first place finish by New Zealand Football.

480th GAME - 2022
Albert Riera's first game in charge of Auckland City FC as head coach as the Navy Blues defeat a competitive Melville United 2-1 at the Croatian Cultural Society.

500th GAME - 2022 SEASON v. NORTH SHORE UNITED
North Shore United, one of New Zealand's oldest football clubs - if not the oldest - shape up as City's opponents on Saturday in our 500th match. Although Shore have struggled to compete in the Northern League this season, their history remains one of the most treasured in the game in this country.

12 Chatham Cup finals (including six wins), National League winners in 1977, National Superclub champions in 1994, Northern Premier League winners in 2001 and 2019, Air New Zealand Cup winners in 1985, among many, many other triumphs, belong to this club formed in 1887.

Ends

Match Details
Northern League
Saturday 16 July 2022
Auckland City FC v North Shore United
Kiwitea Street, Sandringham
Kick-off: 3.00pm NZDT

AC: 1. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 4. Christian GRAY, 6. Matt ELLIS, 8. Gerard GARRIGA, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 11. Ryan DE VRIES, 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 13. Nathan LOBO, 17. Reid DRAKE, 19. Liam GILLION, 20. Emiliano TADE, 21. Ilham HAMEEDI, 22. Adam BELL, 23. Alfie ROGERS, 24. Cam BROWN (GK). 

COACH: Albert RIERA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GOALKEEPER COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
MANAGER: Keith COTON
ANALYST: Adria CASALS
TRAINER: Alejo LEGUIZAMON
TECHNICAL: Jarrod WALLACE
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE

HEAD COACH - Valerio Raccuglia
North Shore United's season of struggle is well documented but they are very fortunate to have a coach as experienced and knowledgeable as Valerio Raccuglia. The former Miramar Rangers coach won two Central League titles with the club and was technical analyst for the now defunct Team Wellington. Signed by the Wellington Phoenix in 2014, Raccuglia spent four years with the A League club before accepting a position as Technical Director for the Samoa Football Federation. Italian-born Raccuglia enjoyed a playing career in Italy, England and Denmark and then progressed as a scout. He moved to New Zealand in 2012.

PLAYER TO WATCH - Silvio Rodic
There's no doubt that skipper and goalkeeper Silvio Rodic is the glue that holds this North Shore United team together. A former Croatia U-20 international who made his debut against Togo 13 years ago, Rodic played professionally for Slaven Belupo, Koprivnica and Gornik Leczna before signing for Eastern Suburbs in their return to the New Zealand Football Championship in 2016-17 season. Since then Rodic has played for Waitakere United, Waiheke United and North Shore United.

CLUB HONOURS
NATIONAL LEAGUE 1977, 1994 (2)
NATIONAL LEAGUE RUNNERS UP 1975, 1982, 1983 (3)
NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE 1994, 2001, 2019 (3)
NORTHERN LEAGUE 1st DIVISION 1973 (1)
CHATHAM CUP 1952, 1960, 1963, 1967, 1979, 1986 (6)
CHATHAM CUP RUNNERS UP 1926, 1959, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1995 (6)
AIR NEW ZEALAND CUP 1979, 1985 (2)
NZFA CHALLENGE TROPHY 1987 (1)
NZFA CHALLENGE TROPHY RUNNERS UP 1980, 1983 (2)

PREVIOUS MEETINGS
01.05.21 v North Shore United (A) 2-3 (Brian Kaltak, Angus Kilkolly | Horrace James 2, Roussin Nkoy)
07.08.21 v North Shore United (H) 4-1 (Angus Kilkolly, Reid Drake 2, Alfie Rogers | Joe Lee)
18.04.22 v North Shore United (H) 7-1 (Ryan De Vries, Aidan Carey, Angel BErlanga, Emiliano Tade 2, Sam Brotherton, Angus Kilkolly | Mohammed Fardeen)

BIGGEST WIN (LEAGUE)
v. Huntly Thistle (H) 10-5, 1971

BIGGEST DEFEAT (LEAGUE)
v. Central United (H) 2-9, 1988

CURRENT FORM

NORTHERN LEAGUE
26.03.22 v Bay Olympic (H) 0-4
02.04.22 v Birkenhead United (H) 1-2 (Andrew Abba)
09.04.22 v Manukau United (H) 2-1 (Harry Lissington, Andrew Abba)
15.04.22 v Western Springs (A) 1-5 (Jaslin Diedericks)
18.04.22 v Auckland City FC (H) 1-7 (Mohammed Fardeen)
23.04.22 v Takapuna (H) 1-3 (Giovanni Peredo)
30.04.22 v Hamilton Wanderers (A) 0-6
07.05.22 v Waiheke United (H) Sebastien Vanneste, Giovanni Peredo, Mohammed Fardeen)
14.05.22 v Auckland United (A) 2-4 (Harry Lissington, Andrew Abba)
21.05.22 v Melville United (H) 1-7 (Antonio Egusquiza-Arana)
28.05.22 v Eastern Suburbs (A) 2-4 (Giovanni Peredo 2)
04.06.22 v Bay Olympic (A) 0-7
11.06.22 v Birkenhead United (A) 0-6
25.06.22 v Manukau United (A) 0-6
02.07.22 v Western Springs (H) 1-6 (Francesco Marignoli)

CHATHAM CUP
Round 2 - 06.06.22 v Cambridge (H) 1-3 (Giovanni Peredo)

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