Focus the key for Junior Navy Blues

Words: ACFC Media

Thursday 30 November 2017

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - The Junior Navy Blues National Youth League title aspirations go under the microscope when they face Eastern Suburbs AFC at Bill McKinlay Park on Saturday.

Auckland City FC have a two point jump on nearest rivals Canterbury United Dragons while the Lilywhites are a further four points adrift in third place.

A win over the Lilywhites would then give Auckland City FC a tremendous boost towards a fifth National Youth League title and its first since 2014.

The unbeaten Junior Navy Blues face Team Wellington away and Tasman United at home in their final two matches but coach Aaron McFarland is eager to keep his players focus firmly on the next match.

"We are focusing on the process of how we play rather than the outcomes.

"Everyone wants to win the game and the league title and this is the motivation but that can also create a loss in focus.

"By talking and practicing the way we want to play we allow the players just to focus on the job and this will hopefully reduce the pressure on them," he told

Eastern Suburbs AFC had a good run of recent form ended by last week's 3-0 loss to Tasman United and McFarland doesn't expect the Lilywhites to make any radical changes to their style or approach to the upcoming derby clash.

"In terms of what Suburbs do that is uncontrollable from our perspective.

"We know they will stick to their style and system of play but who takes the pitch for them is an unknown at this stage.

"We know to expect a lot of physicality in this game and its potentially a game that Suburbs want to play at a high pace.

"We are preparing for this and a game-plan that allows our team to settle into the match, take the sting out of it and try and control where the match goes in our favour," he concluded.

Auckland City FC come into this game with a full complement of players to select from.

The game kicks off at 2pm at Michaels Avenue Reserve, Ellerslie, on Saturday 2 December.


Match Details
National Youth League
Saturday 2 December 2017
Eastern Suburbs AFC v Auckland City FC
Bill McKinlay Park, Mount Wellington 
Kick-off: 2pm

Other National Youth League fixtures

Saturday 2 December 2017

Hawke's Bay United v Waitakere United
Bluewater Stadium, Napier
Kick-off: 1pm

Tasman United v Wellington Phoenix U-17
Trafalgar Park, Nelson
Kick-off: 1pm

Team Wellington v Canterbury United Dragons
Memorial Park, Wellington
Kick-off: 2pm

Full league table available here.

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