Words: ACFC Media
Saturday 26 May 2018
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Emiliano Tade has signed for AmaZulu FC in the South African Premier Soccer League.
The 30-year-old Argentine striker confirmed his move to www.aucklandcityfc.com and can't wait to start his new adventure in Durban in July.
Tade, in his second stint with Auckland City FC after a brief spell at Club Atletico de Mitre in his homeland two years ago, broke a raft of goalscoring records during his career with the Navy Blues but now feels the time is right to move on.
"The move to South Africa is something that has been in the background for the past few seasons.
"I've been in contact with an agent who has been very patient and understood me since the beginning of this process.
"I'm extremely excited and I can't wait to see what it will be like in South Africa.
"This move will be important for me as a footballer - its a professional contract and it means a lot to me.
"Every player dreams of becoming a professional and I'm very happy and now is the time to go," he said.
AmaZulu finished ninth in the South African Premier Division and defeated top five outfit Cape Town 1-0 in their final hit out of the season.
Based at the Princess Magogo Stadium, the Cavin Johnson-coached club can attract up to 12,000 to matches.
The move to South Africa envokes memories of Grant Young and the late Keryn Jordan which Tade says is easy to compare.
"I never saw Grant or Keryn play or train day-in-day-out but there is a sense of destiny for both that they came from South Africa to Auckland City FC.
"I've seen videos of their goals and games they played in and they were great players at the club but not only do you think of Keryn or Grant but also Ryan De Vries.
"I enjoyed a great relationship with Ryan and so many memorable moments so he's one of the players I have one of the deepest connections with in my entire football career.
"Since the beginning of the move to AmaZulu, the name that occurs to me is Ryan De Vries," he said.
Tade's exploits in the colours of Auckland City FC see him finish his career with the club with 162 matches, 107 goals.
He is the club's all-time leading goalscorer, some 41 goals ahead of the nearest challenge in Grant Young.
Tade won an incredible 23 honours since joining the club in 2011 and in his early spell with the club was often second or third choice for coach Ramon Tribulietx.
He steadily won his way to the front of queue and in the last four years has been instrumental in Auckland City FC's drive for titles.
This strong sense of achievement made Tade wonder if it was time to choose a new challenge.
"The move was concluded vonly ery recently. AmaZulu are very excited and I believe I can contribute something to their team in a different way than what they were used to in the past.
"The mixture of my style and AmaZulu's could be interesting for everyone concerned and we're all very excited about the possibilities," he said.
Tade's decision to make the move to South Africa came following a deep period of introspection about where his future lay and what his priorities would be for the next stage in his life.
The away goals defeat to Team Wellington in the OFC Champions League semi-finals cast a pall over Tade and made him stop to think carefully about his next move.
It was far from easy and he took his time about reaching a conclusion.
"When I finished the season after we lost to Team Wellington in the OFC Champions League, I felt a profound sense of mental exhaustion.
"It was the result of so many years of being at the top of the Oceania Champions League and ISPS Handa Premiership and so many FIFA Club World Cups.
"Suddenly there was a sense of helplessness that we couldn't get the result we wanted.
"It was a huge feeling for me and one of the biggest lessons I have ever had in football or in my life.
"I felt I had given 100 percent to the club, to myself and yet we just didn't get the result and I felt I needed either a very long break or something that excites me like this opportunity with AmaZulu.
"I couldn't give anything else at Auckland City FC and the time was right for a move to AmaZulu," he said.
But Tade has been here once before.
After the FIFA Club World Cup heroics in Morocco in 2014, Tade took up the chance to play professional football in Argentina and although that proved a short stint, Tade eventually found his way back to Kiwitea Street.
The question is would he rule out coming back to Auckland City FC for a third time?
"100 percent - I can see myself finishing my career with Auckland City FC one day.
"Auckland City FC taught me everything about how to be as professional as I can be both on and off the field and its where my best memories in football, so far, live.
"I love Auckland City FC, it was my club and when I talk about my time here its a deep part of who I am, and vice versa.
"When I met the chairman Ivan Vuksich to discuss everything I said to him this is the club where I feel a sense of belonging, nothing will change that, its a normal feeling after so long here and enjoying so many good memories and victories.
"I would be very happy to one day come back to Auckland City FC - its been a privilege to wear the Navy Blues jersey and I want to thank everyone connected to the club for everything they've done for me.
"I wish only the best for chairman, the coaching staff, my team-mates and the supporters."
Name: Emiliano Tade
Birthplace: Santiago del Estero, Argentina
Auckland City FC (NZL) 162/107
Club Atletico Mitre (ARG) 14/3
Team Wellington (NZL) 14/6
FIFA Club World Cup 2014 bronze medal (1)
OFC Champions League 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 (5)
OFC President's Cup 2014 (1)
ISPS Handa Premiership 2013-14, 2014-15, 2017-18 (3)
ISPS Handa Premiership Minors 2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 (6)
Nike Lunar New Year Cup 2017 (1)
NZF Charity Cup 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016 (4)
ISPS Handa Chatham Cup 2012 (1)
Lotto NRFL Premier Division 2016 (1)
OFC Champions League
Golden Ball Winner 2013-14
Golden Boot Winner 2013-14, 2017-18 (2)
ISPS Handa Premiership
Golden Boot Winner 2013-14, 2017-18 (2)
Auckland City FC
Golden Boot 2013-14, 2016-17, 2017-18
Players' Player of the Year 2013-14
Supporters' Player of the Year 2013-14
Club's All-Time Leading Goalscorer (107)
Top 5 Appearances
James Pritchett 203/5
Angel Berlanga 177/6
Ivan Vicelich 171/15
Emiliano Tade 162/107
Chad Coombes 151/26
Top 5 Goalscorers
Emiliano Tade 162/107
Grant Young 128/66
Keryn Jordan 80/62
Paul Urlovic 115/51
Ryan De Vries 111/50
Sat 26 Jan 2019, kick-off 4pm NZST, Kiwitea Street