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Chatham Cup Final - 'Excited and ready to go' - Riera

Words: ACFC Media

Friday 9 September 2022

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Excitement, anticipation and emotion - Auckland City FC coach Albert Riera and his team are set to go in Sunday's Gridlock Derby Chatham Cup Final at North Harbour Stadium.

Riera, 38, can't wait to get going as he attempts to guide Auckland City FC to its first ever Chatham Cup final and, he and his team hope, its first victory in this competition.

"I'm extremely motivated and excited for Sunday. You can use all the adjectives that you want and the players are the same.

"It's fantastic to have the reward of a Chatham Cup final before the National League Championship starts especially as this is Auckland City FC's first one.

"It's also the first Chatham Cup final for a lot of players in our squad. It simply doesn't get any better than that.

"We've had a whole week to prepare the game and we are ready to go," he said.

Auckland City FC come into the Chatham Cup final off the back of a flat performance in last week's 2-0 loss to Auckland United but Riera says he feels his players have drawn from powerful lessons and motivation from the experience.

"We talked about the defeat to Auckland United on Tuesday and the senior players said its all about how we bounce back as a team after losing and I completely agree.

"I think the defeat came at the right time for us and against one of the best teams in New Zealand, which is Auckland United.

"It's going to be a an interesting task to see how everyone bounces back and its the best occasion we could have to prove that," he said.

While Auckland City FC has been unrelenting this season picking up the OFC Champions League and Northern League titles, the club's record in finals has been sketchy at times.

The club has lost five ISPS Handa Premiership finals and six semifinals but Riera says there is something different about the Class of 2022.

"We have always talked about that if we were to win something this season as a team, you have to prove yourself everyday.

"Football doesn't give you many occasions that you don't deserve, you have to earn it on a daily basis.

"We've proved ourselves to this point that our spirits and our mentality is strong and intact even though we lost our last game.

"We've consistently proved to ourselves we have a strong mentality and this game is no different," he said.

Riera's task of picking a team to win the Cup is complicated but he's optimistic that he will have a full squad to choose from.

"Before a final every player is available, its the nature of things, its a funny one and seems magical.

"Its part of what the Chatham Cup final magic brings into action.

"Everyone is really looking forward to it, the players are keen and want to make selection for Sunday very hard.

"We have one more training session on Saturday morning and we have a few players who are carrying niggles so we will have to wait and see how it goes before I make any decisions on selection," he said.


In terms of what Eastern Suburbs bring to the occasion, Riera has no doubt they will be dangerous, despite a rocky first half of the season.

The Lilywhites finished in the lower reaches of the Northern League but they flipped their fortunes around in the second half of the season culminating in a raft of impressive wins in both league and Cup.

Riera takes a studious approach to evaluating City's opponents.

"My opinion is that what they have been doing lately has been working for them and I don't think they should change it really - I'm talking purely from an academic coaching perspective because if I put myself in that position it makes sense to keep doing what is working.

"We respect Eastern Suburbs because they like us are in the final on merit and they have beaten some very good teams along the way to reach the Chatham Cup final.

"I believe their approach could be similar and we have to factor in the element of emotions that come into a Chatham Cup final because in the back of your head as a player you know every mistake might cost you a lot so how you deal with that mentally is very important," he said.

Auckland City FC supporters are meeting up at The Merchant Bar in Albany at 2.00pm NZDT on Sunday and Riera says he is looking forward to a big turn out to support the Navy Blues.

"My final remark about Sunday is to encourage all our supporters to turn out in numbers and hopefully we can have a big crowd with a fantastic game of football.

"We've looked back at past Chatham Cup finals in recent years and the crowds have been exceptional so hopefully Sunday is exactly the same," he said.

Sunday's Chatham Cup Final kicks off at 4.00pm NZDT and will be live streamed by New Zealand Football.

The link will be made available on Match Day and posted to www.aucklandcityfc.com and our social media channels.

Ends

Match Details
Chatham Cup Final
Sunday 11 September 2022
Auckland City FC v Eastern Suburbs
North Harbour Stadium, Albany
Kick-off: 4.00pm NZDT

AC (Final Squad Yet To Be Confirmed) (from:) 1. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH, 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Christian GRAY, 5. Angel BERLANGA, 6. Matt ELLIS, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 8. Gerard GARIGGA, 9. Angus KILKOLLY, 10.Dylan MANICKUM, 11. Ryan DE VRIES, 12. Sam BROTHERTON, 14. Jordan VALE, 15. Aidan CAREY, 16. Joe LEE, 17. Reid DRAKE, 18. Finn DOCKERTY (GK), 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: Ben O'CONNELL
AR1: Mark RULE
AR2: Gareth SHEEHAN
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Alan WILSON

MILESTONES - CHATHAM CUP FINAL 2022

- Sunday's Chatham Cup Final is the 94th edition of the trophy. 129 clubs started the journey to the final back in April.

- If selected, Conor Tracey will make his 50th appearance for Auckland City FC. Only three goalkeepers have more appearances, Ross Nicholson (100), Jacon Spoonley (99) and Tamati Williams (93).

- This is Auckland City FC's first ever Chatham Cup Final but sister club Central United FC won the trophy fives times (1997, 1998, 2005, 2007 and 2012).

- Eastern Suburbs have won the Chatham Cup six times (1951, 1953, 1965, 1968, 1969, 2015). If they win on Sunday they move level with Uni-Mount Wellington with seven CUp wins each, equalling the record for most Chatham Cup wins.

- Eastern Suburbs have lost three Chatham Cup finals in the past (1955, 1976 and 2006).

- Eastern Suburbs won a Northern League & Chatham Cup double twice in 1965 and 2015. Only Waitakere City (1995 Superclub), Central United FC (2007) and Onehunga Sports (2017) have done the same.

- Blockhouse Bay (1970), Christchurch United (1975, 1991), Napier City Rovers (1993, 2000), Waitakere City (1995, 1996) Mount Wellington (1980, 1982) are the only clubs to win a National League and Chatham Cup double.

- Auckland City FC is in line for a unique treble - OFC Champions League, Northern League and Chatham Cup titles. They would become the first New Zealand club in history to hold three trophies of this kind.

AUCKLAND CITY FC - ROAD TO THE CHATHAM CUP FINAL

14.06.22 v Albany United (H) won 6-1 (Lobo, Manickum 2, De Vries, Tade, R. Drake) - R2
18.06.22 v Manukau United (H) won 6-0 (Ellis 2, De Vries 2, Howieson, Brotherton)- R3
09.07.22 v Bay Olympic (A) won 2-1 (Ilich, R. Drake) - R4
31.07.22 v Dunedin City Royals (A) won 6-0 (De Vries 3, Howieson, Lee, Tade) - QF
21.08.22 v Wellington Olympic (H) won 3-1 (Lee, Manickum, Tade) - SF

CURRENT FORM - NORTHERN LEAGUE
26.03.22 v Melville United (H) won 2-1 (Kilkolly, Manickum)
02.04.22 v Takapuna (H) won 2-1 (Brotherton, Lobo)
09.04.22 v Hamilton Wanderers (A) drew 1-1 (Lee)
15.04.22 v Waiheke United (H) won 4-0 (Tade, Kilkolly, Brotherton, Manickum)
18.04.22 v North Shore United (A) won 7-1 (Brotherton, Berlanga, De Vries, Carey. Tade 2, Kilkolly)
23.04.22 v Bay Olympic (A) won 4-0 (De Vries, Kilkolly 3)
30.04.22 v Birkenhead United (H) won 3-0 (Howieson, Kilkolly, Tade)
07.05.22 v Manukau United (A) won 3-0 (Ilich, Kilkolly, Tade)
14.05.22 v Western Springs (H) won 4-0 (Howieson, Lee, Kilkolly, R. Drake)
21.05.22 v Eastern Suburbs (A) won 4-1 (Mitchell, De Vries, R. Drake, Manickum)
28.05.22 v Auckland United (H) won 2-0 (Howieson, Manickum)
04.06.22 v Melville United (A) won 1-0 (Lee)
11.06.22 v Takapuna (A) won 4-0 (Gillion 2, Manickum 2)
25.06.22 v Hamilton Wanderers (H) won 2-0 (R. Drake, Tade)
29.06.22 v Eastern Suburbs (H) won 2-1 (Howieson, Kilkolly)
02.07.22 v Waiheke United (A) won 2-0 (R. Drake, De Vries)
13.07.22 v Birkenhead United (A) won 5-3 (Mitchell, Ilich, Kilkolly, De Vries, Lee)
16.07.22 v North Shore United (H) won 6-0 (Tade 4, Hameedi, Ellis)
19.07.22 v Manukau United (H) won 3-1 (Ellis, Ilich, R. Drake)
23.07.22 v Bay Olympic (H) won 2-1 (Howieson, Tade)
31.08.22 v Western Springs (A) won 5-3 (Ellis 3, Lee, Tade)
30.09.22 v Auckland United (A) lost 0-2

CURRENT FORM - OFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
05.08.22 v Hienghene Sport (N) won 5-0 (Howieson, Mitchell, Ilich, Manickum, Gillion)
08.08.22 v Rewa (N) won 3-0 (Howieson, Ilich, Tade)
11.08.22 v Nikao Sokattak (N) won 4-1 (Ellis, Garigga 2, Lee)
14.08.22 v Central Coast (N) won 2-0 Mitchell, Manickum) - Semi Final
17.08.22 v AS Venus (N) won 3-0 (Howieson, Garriga, Tade) - Final

HONOURS
FIFA Club World Cup Bronze Medal 2014 (1)
Nike Lunar New Year Cup 2017 (1)
OFC Champions League Winners 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2022 (10)
OFC Presidents Cup Winners 2014 (1)
ISPS Handa Premiership Winners 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2008/09, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2017/18, 2019/20* (8)
ISPS Handa Premiership Runners-Up 2010/11, 2012/13, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2020/21 (5)
ISPS Handa Premiership Premiers 2004/05, 2005/06, 2009/10, 2011/12, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20*, 2020/21 (12)
Northern League 2021, 2022 (2)
NZF Charity Cup 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 (7)
NZF Charity Cup Runners-Up 2012, 2014, 2017 (3)
NZF National Youth League Champions 2006/07, 2008/09, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2017/18, 2018/19 (6)
Lotto NRFL U-23 Premier Division Champions 2021, 2022 (2)
Steve Sumner Memorial Trophy Winners 2017, 2022 (2)
Mediterranean Cup Winners 2022 (1)

BIGGEST WIN (LEAGUE)
v. Southern United (A) won 10-0, 16 February 2014, NZFC.

BIGGEST DEFEAT (LEAGUE)
v. Team Wellington (A) lost 0-4, 29 November 2014, NZFC.

BIGGEST WIN (CHATHAM CUP)
v. Ellerslie (H) won 7-0, 5 June 2021, Chatham Cup 2nd Round.

BIGGEST DEFEAT (CHATHAM CUP)
v. Miramar Rangers (A) lost 0-2, 1 August 2021, Chatham Cup Quarter Final.

BIGGEST WIN (OFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE)
v. Tupapa Maraerenga (N) won 15-0, 27 February 2019, Group Stage.

BIGGEST DEFEAT (OFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE)
v. AS Dragon (H) lost 1-3, 17 April 2013, Group Stage.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

Northern League
28.06.22 v Eastern Suburbs (H) won 2-1 (Howieson, Kilkolly | Raj)
21.05.22 v Eastern Suburbs (A) won 4-1 (Mitchell, De Vries, R. Drake, Manickum | Built)

22.05.21 v Eastern Suburbs (A) won 5-0 (Kilkolly 2, Tade 3)

ISPS Handa Premiership

2020-21
14.03.21 v Eastern Suburbs (A) won 2-1 (Manickum, C. Gray OG | Fuetz) - Semi Final
24.01.21 v Eastern Suburbs (A) drew 1-1 (Manickum | Mitchell OG)
15.11.20 v Eastern Suburbs (H) won 1-0 (Tade)

2019-20
15.03.20 v Eastern Suburbs (A) won 2-0 (Kaltalk, Bevan)
14.12.19 v Eastern Suburbs (H) drew 0-0

2018-19
26.01.19 v Eastern Suburbs (H) won 3-2 (Lea'alafa 2, Kaltak | McCowatt, Wooldridge)
11.11.18 v Eastern Suburbs (A) won 1-0 (Manickum)

2017-18
24.03.18 v Eastern Suburbs (H) won 4-0 (Tade 2, McCowatt, Wilkins) - Semi Final
11.03.18 v Eastern Suburbs (H) won 1-0 (McCowatt)
24.01.18 v Eastern Suburbs (A) won 2-0 (Tade, Lea'alafa)

2016-17
05.03.17 v Eastern Suburbs (H) won 2-1 (Moreira, Tade | Dyer)
18.12.16 v Eastern Suburbs (A) won 1-0 (Tade)

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EASTERN SUBURBS

EASTERN SUBURBS - ROAD TO THE CHATHAM CUP FINAL
06.06.22 v Mount Albert Ponsonby (A) won 3-0 (Jarvie, Built 2)
18.06.22 v Fencibles United (A) drew 2-2* (Carlson-Du Toit, Champness)
20.07.22 v Birkenhead United (A) won 2-0 (Mechell, Carlson-Du Toit)
30.07.22 v Waiheke United (A) won 1-0 (Mechell)
20.08.22 v Hamilton Wanderers (H) won 1-0 (Thurston)
*Eastern Suburbs won 5-4 on penalty kicks

CURRENT FORM - NORTHERN LEAGUE (EASTERN SUBURBS)
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)

HONOURS
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

BIGGEST WIN (OFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE)
v. Hienghene Sport (N) won 4-0, 22 February 2020, Group Stage.

BIGGEST DEFEAT (OFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE)
Eastern Suburbs have never lost a game in the OFC Champions League.

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