Focus switches to Fuller's Festival of Football

Words: ACFC Media

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC's pre-season preparations move to Waiheke Island as they take on Hamilton Wanderers in the Fuller's Festival of Football on Saturday.

The Navy Blues got off to a rough start in their programme of friendly matches on Tuesday beaten 4-1 by New Zealand U-17 under lights at QBE Stadium.

But the Fuller's Festival of Football provides an exciting opportunity for Auckland City FC to bounce back immediately.

Festival hosts Waiheke United enjoyed a wonderful Lotto NRFL Second Division season earning promotion to the second tier of winter football in Auckland and their reputation goes before them.

Navy Blues coach Ramon Tribulietx is well aware of what the locals have achieved.

"I do know a Catalan player there, Xavi, who has been at Kiwitea Street many times watching our games.

"I have heard about the Argentinian group of supporters and it is good to have the atmosphere these very passionate people provide.

"Waiheke Island is a great place and I love going there - you can experience a different atmosphere there and people are a bit more laid back.

"It's a beautiful island backdrop for the serious work we have to do and we're looking forward to the opportunity," he said.

Auckland City FC's squad will run a coaching clinic on Friday 22 September with a signing session part of the activity. It is an event that is expected to attract up to 80-100 children.

Football, it seems, is clearly on the up at Waiheke Island.

"Waiheke United have enjoyed a series of promotions through the pyramid which speaks volumes of the work the club have put in.

"The club deserve a lot of congratulations for this success and we hope we can return their hospitality with a good game on Saturday afternoon against Wanderers," Tribulietx said.

Hamilton Wanderers preparations have been dogged by the wet weather with Ricki Herbert's outfit only just coming together following the withdrawal of Eastern Suburbs AFC and the Wellington Phoenix.

The Junior Navy Blues, co-coached by Aaron McFarland and Hiroshi Miyazawa, start their pre-season campaign on the same day when they take on the Lotto NRFL First Division newcomers Waiheke United.

The ISPS Handa Premiership gets underway on October 15 when Auckland City FC faces Team Wellington in the NZF Charity Cup at David Farrington Park in the capital.

The National Youth League campaign begins in Dunedin at Tahuna Park when Southern United host the Junior Navy Blues.

Ends

Match Details
Saturday 23 September 2017
Pre-season friendly
Auckland City FC v Hamilton Wanderers
Onetangi Domain, Waiheke Island
Kick-off: 2.45pm NZST

Waiheke United v Auckland City FC Academy
Onetangi Sports Park, Waiheke Island
Kick-off: 12pm

All Stars 7 v 7
Onetangi Sports Park, Waiheke Islands
Kick-off: 10.30am

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