Nikko Boxall returns to Kiwitea Street

Words: ACFC Media

Friday 13 January 2023

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC are today delighted to announce that All Whites central defender Nikko Boxall has joined the club from San Diego Loyal.

30-year-old Boxall follows in the footsteps of his brother and fellow All Whites international Michael in becoming a Navy Blues player, with the club already well-underway in their planning for the FIFA Club World Cup and 2023 season.

Michael Boxall, now 34, made his debut for Auckland City FC as a replacement for Paul Seaman on 20 December 2006 in a 4-3 win over Waitakere United in the NZFC, a match then famous for referee Neil Fox's decision to add on 12 minutes additional time.

Michael went on to make six appearances for Auckland City FC under then coach Paul Marshall before signing with MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps in 2007 before going on to win 39 caps for New Zealand.

Nikko Boxall turned out for Auckland City FC's National Youth League side and Central United FC before embarking on a professional career with SVN Zweibrucken (Germany), Vaasan Palloseura (Finland), Kuopion Palloseura (Finland), Viborg FF (Denmark), Seinajoen Jalkapallokerho (Finland) and then San Diego Loyal (USA).

"I played for Auckland City FC in the National Youth League and we weren't winning that competition back then but I do remember playing against a very young Ryan De Vries when he was at Waitakere United.

"I also played for Central United FC and always enjoyed my time here at Kiwitea Street. I played a handful of first team games for Central United FC before I left for the US. Kiwitea Street is my home in a football sense here in New Zealand and I'm happy to be here," he said.

Boxall made his international debut for New Zealand under then coach Fritz Schmid in a 2-1 defeat to Kenya in the Intercontinental Cup, a competition he played a further two matches in in wins over Chinese Taipei (1-0) and India (2-1).

In 2019 he was called up for matches with Curucao, Bahrain and Jordan under Danny Hay but didn't make it off the bench before Hay played him in FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Papua New Guinea (1-0), Fiji (4-0) and New Caledonia (7-1).

Powerful and pacey, Boxall will add to the increased competition in the defensive area of the pitch for Albert Riera's team.

Speaking after agreeing to join City, Boxall commented: “I am very much excited to start this journey with Auckland City FC. It has been one of my dreams to go to a FIFA Club World Cup, and I feel like this is a great opportunity at the right time.

"I always kept my eye on Auckland City FC at past FIFA Club World Cups and wanted them to cause an upset. For a football club in New Zealand its the dream to make it there and make something happen. I want to give my best for the club in Morocco.

"Al Ahly will be a big challenge for us because they are one of the biggest most successful clubs in African football history. We want to give it everything and be ready for what will be a tough game."

Auckland City FC coach, Albert Riera said: “Nikko is a player who we have been aware of for some time and whom we know very well. He fits our profile and has the attributes to not only thrive for us but bring experience that benefits the whole club.

"We know Nikko through his brother Michael and they are both athletes who take care of themselves and the Boxall name has a history with our club. You can already tell from the first few training sessions that Nikko is a very good player and a good communicator with great experience."


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