Words: ACFC Media
Monday 27 February 2023
NORTH SHORE, Auckland - The Futsal Navy Blues pre-season stepped up a gear after an intense friendly clash with near neighbours Waikato Rapids on Sunday.
Two goals by Waikato Rapids Ethan Martin gave Waikato Rapids a 2-0 win in what was a frantic affair and set up what looks to be a very close rivalry ahead of the new Futsal campaign.
The visitors had arrived late following an unrelated accident on SH1 delaying kickoff by over half an hour but when the action started it was frantic.
Both teams started with intensity that didn’t seem to let up in the first frenetic but scoreless 20 minutes.
Waikato Rapids opened the scoring through Martin with a beautiful counter attack after much of the play was dominated by the Futsal Navy Blues.
— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) February 27, 2023
The Futsal Navy Blues pre-season stepped up a gear after an intense friendly clash with near neighbours Waikato Rapids on Sunday.
READ: https://t.co/6Y7t45FtHI pic.twitter.com/Ll9OAVmbZp
City squandered a number of great chances including when the Rapids’ keeper was caught off his line only for City to miscue an attempted lob with the goal yawning.
Rapids punished City’s mistake when Martin slammed home the second past Mike Antamanov after a slick set-piece right in front of goal midway through the second third.
Back for Nic Downes’ team was club hero Dylan Manickum but its clear from the performance that City’s large squad will have fierce competition for places.
Thomas Picken, now in his third season with the Futsal Navy Blues, was disappointed with the defeat but is otherwise optimistic about the season ahead.
"We have had two teams now blended into the one so there are more new players who are adapting to the team and so we're still working out our team chemistry.
"There were good spells for us tonight where we showed how good we can be but it will take time for that chemistry to kick in.
"Our new players are learning about our club, our team culture, our tactics and that takes some time to gel.
"It was a decent first hit out against a Waikato Rapids team we've played a lot and they're always top quality.
"They've got a few Futsal Whites in their group which means they're always a tough team to play against," he said.
The Futsal Navy Blues are next in pre-season action when they meet Bay of Plenty Surge on Sunday 4 March in Te Aroha.
Sunday 26 February 2023
North Harbour Netball Stadium
Auckland City FC   
Waikato Rapids    (Ethan MARTIN 2)
FORD FUTSAL SUPERLEAGUE FIXTURES HERE.
AUCKLAND CITY FC - FUTSAL NAVY BLUES 2023 SQUAD
AC: 1. Mike ANTAMANOV (GK), 2. Shaun MORGAN, 3. Kern PLATT-MILLS, 4. Yousif AL-KALISY, 5. Tasuku YONETO, 6. Thomas PICKEN, 7. Sean McINTEE, 8. Krit TWIGG, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 9. Stephen ASHBY-PECKHAM, 11. Brahim AHMADI, 12. Josh MARGETTS, 13. Jirayu TWIGG, 14. Aalok PAUDEL, 15. Art TWIGG, 16. Adam PAULSEN, 17. Eduardo EXPOSITO ESPINOSA, 18. Vaughan SOMERVILLE (GK), 19. Dominic HAWKINS, 20. Astor PEREZ BALDONI, 21. Max BREINGAN, 22. James MARSHALL, 23. Vhivanesh THIRUKUMAR, 24. Guilherme GARBUGLIA, 25. Lewis GUY (GK).
COACH: Nic DOWNES
ASSISTANT COACH/GK COACH: Elias BILEH
ASSISTANT COACH: Sam COYLE
MANAGER: Jason WINN
PHYSIO: Emily LO
SOCIAL MEDIA: Nick BROWN
Sunday 1 October 2023, 3pm, Kiwitea Street, Auckland