Juniors end season with defeat

Words: ACFC Media

Sunday 18 December 2016

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - The curtain came down on the Junior Navy Blues National Youth League campaign as they lost 1-0 to Eastern Suburbs AFC in the day's other Gridlock Derby clash.

The Junior Navy Blues needed to win their final match and hope Waitakere United and Team Wellington both lost so they could claim second but an early goal conceded from a free-kick put paid to that.

Canterbury United left the door ajar for Auckland City FC to climb the ladder after they defeated Team Wellington 4-0 but the chase for second place was rendered all but academic after Waitakere United won 3-2 against the Wellington Phoenix.

With Hamilton Wanderers confirming their title win with a 1-0 victory at Hawke's Bay United, the Junior Navy Blues finished the season in sixth place, some seven points adrift of top spot.

Poignantly, for some Junior Navy Blues players, today was also the last time they would pull on an Auckland City FC jersey, at least at this level of the game.

AUDIO - Andy Peat

Coach Andy Peat said his overriding emotion was one of pride as his team strived to meet both competitive the developmental objectives.

"It was disappointing to end the season with a loss but we should be proud of the team as a club just as I am as a coach.

"They went out there and executed our strategy but Eastern Suburbs AFC sat deep the entire match.

"If you look at the way our team played its modelled on the way our first team has played for a long number of years.

"We've conceded from a free-kick and it was Suburbs only attempt on goal of significance and it resulted in a goal.

"Eastern Suburbs deserve credit for that but ultimately we were unsuccessful in breaking them down.

"I'm proud of the team. For many of these guys today was their final day for the Junior Navy Blues, some of them have had multiple seasons with the club, so yes, the result didn't go our way but they should be proud.

"We're here to ensure player progression and develop a style of play. Thats what we're here to do within those tactical parameters and that's what we've done," he said.

Ends

Match Result
National Youth League
Sunday 18 December, 2016
Auckland City FC 0
Eastern Suburbs AFC 1

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