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City return to action at Western Springs

Words: ACFC Media

Wednesday 31 August 2022

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC return to Northern League action for the first time since July when they take on Western Springs at Seddon Field tonight at 7.30pm NZDT.

Coach Albert Riera and his team have come through the busiest period of the season having played 14 games in the space of just eight weeks but have the incentive of going the entire Northern League campaign undefeated.

Only one club has ever gone an entire Northern League top tier season undefeated and that was Eastern Suburbs in 1965. Last season Auckland City FC lost two games, one to North Shore United 3-2 and the other a 4-3 defeat to Birkenhead United.

In the now defunct NZFC competition, Auckland City FC went undefeated in three of their 17 seasons in 2011-12, 2015-16 and 2018-19. In each case, Auckland City FC went on to lose in either the semi-final or final.

"Every game that we play is very important to us for different reasons. The main one is to build a winning mentality and its crucial to keep that intact.

"Sometimes you feel like it's maybe the time to be a bit complacent but thats the wrong message which is never going to happen with us.

"We always strive to get better and better regardless of the game in front of us. Even though the Northern League has been decided we take every game as it comes and primarily understanding we have the Chatham Cup final on September 11.

"The games with Western Springs and Auckland United are the best preparation possible. If we want to win games that mean success then you have to win every game.

"We know Western Springs will be very motivated to play a good game and so will we, we want to play good football," Riera said.

City have some injury concerns after the heavy programme with some of the players carrying niggles after the Chatham Cup semi-final win over Wellington Olympic.

The match has come too soon for injured striker Angus Kilkolly, for example, while things look optimistic for Alfie Rogers who could make his 100th appearance for the club, if selected.

"We do have some injuries so that does allow players to come in and get some game time. Every training and every game is an opportunity to fight for a starting position.

"To earn the right to start for this team is not an easy task. The plan is to get players involved like Alfie Rogers but we still have to assess things," he said.

Tonight's game is Auckland City FC's 31st game of the season and kicks off at 7.30pm NZDT at Seddon Field.

Please note that parking at Seddon Field is limited due to ongoing works.

Ends

Match Details
Northern League
Wednesday 31 August 2022
Western Springs v Auckland City FC
Seddon Field, Auckland
Kick-off: 7.30pm NZDT

AC: 1. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Christian GRAY, 6. Matt ELLIS, 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 14. Jordan VALE, 15. Aidan CAREY, 16. Joe LEE, 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
TECHNICAL: Jarrod WALLACE
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE

MATCH OFFICIALS
REFEREE: Riley GREENBURY
AR1: Charlie TSENG
AR2: Ashley WILSON

ABOUT WESTERN SPRINGS AFC

HEAD COACH - Chris ZORICICH
Chris Zoricich is well know to everyone at Kiwitea Street having coached both Central United FC and Auckland City FC's National Youth League teams in the past. A former All White of some 57 caps, Chris has been in charge at Western Springs for some time and led his team to seventh in the Northern League.

PLAYER TO WATCH - Josh MARGETTS
Josh Margetts is fondly regarded at Auckland City FC for his time with the club's Futsal Navy Blues debut season and their subsequent success in the Futsal SuperLeague competition under coach Nic Downes. Margetts used to play futsal for Manawatū and Wellington and was also New Zealand Football's futsal development manager.

The multi-talented Margetts has played football for Team Wellington in the ISPS Handa Men's Premiership and for Lotto NRFL club side Western Springs.

Much admired as both a person and a player, the Futsal Whites player has won 14 caps and scored seven goals.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

FRIENDLY
08.08.14 v. Western Springs AFC (A) won 3-0 (Joao MOREIRA 2, Tim PAYNE)

NORTHERN LEAGUE
24.04.21 v. Western Springs AFC (H) won 4-3 (Emiliano TADE 2, Angus KILKOLLY, Mohamed AWAD | Oscar BROWNE 2, Dawson STRAFFON)
14.05.22 v. Western Springs AFC (H) won 4-0 (Cam HOWIESON, Joe LEE, Angus KILKOLLY, Reid DRAKE)

ABOUT WESTERN SPRINGS AFC
Western Springs AFC has a long history tracing its roots all the way back to 1923. The current club was formed through the amalgamation of Grey Lynn Celtic and Pt Chevalier AFC in 1989. The full “family tree” of clubs leading up to the formation of Western Springs AFC shows a long history of football in the central Auckland area.

THE WESTERN SPRINGS AFC STORY
Western Springs AFC is a relatively new club with its official date of birth given as 1989. The club has enjoyed success at senior level with three Northern League Division Two title wins in 1994, 1998 and 2013. They improved on that with two Northern League Division One title victories in 2014 and 2017. In women's football, the club won the Northern Premier League in 2008 and picked up a National Women's Knockout Cup title in 2007. In 2006, they finished runners-up in the same tournament.

CURRENT FORM - NORTHERN LEAGUE

26.03.22 v. Hamilton Wanderers (A) 1-1
02.04.22 v. Waiheke United (H) 1-1
09.04.22 v. Auckland United (A) 1-2
15.04.22 v. North Shore United (H) 5-1
18.04.22 v. Birkenhead United (A) 2-5
23.04.22 v. Manukau United (A) 1-0
30.04.22 v. Melville United (A) 1-3
07.05.22 v. Eastern Suburbs (H) 2-1
14.05.22 v. Auckland City FC (A) 0-4
21.05.22 v. Takapuna (H) 1-0
28.05.22 v. Bay Olympic (A) 1-3
04.06.22 v. Hamilton Wanderers (H) 1-5
11.06.22 v. Waiheke United (A) 1-1
24.06.22 v. Auckland United (H) 1-3
02.07.22 v. North Shore United (A) 6-1
16.07.22 v. Birkenhead United (H) 1-1
30.07.22 v. Manukau United (H) 4-3
06.08.22 v. Melville United (H) 3-2
13.08.22 v. Eastern Suburbs (A) 0-0
27.08.22 v. Takapuna (A) 4-4
31.08.22 v. Auckland City FC (H)
03.09.22 v. Bay Olympic (H)

CURRENT FORM - CHATHAM CUP
06.06.22 v. Manukau United (H) 0-1

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