Auckland City FC to assess squad on return

Words: ACFC Media

Friday 8 February 2019

Picture: Phototek

HONG KONG , China - Auckland City FC coach Ramon Tribulietx will assess his squad following a light training session before making any firm decisions on his team for their ISPS Handa Premiership clash with the Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.

The Navy Blues have played three games six days and will have travelled 18, 290km into the bargain when they host a Wee Nix side showing signs of life after picking up a win and a draw in recent weeks.

While Auckland City FC are used to dealing with punishing travel and fixture schedules the current run sheet is perhaps the most punishing in the club's history.

Tribulietx has a healthy respect for what the Wee Nix are capable of given the youngsters have twice knocked the Navy Blues over.

"The Wellington Phoenix is an important game for us but we definitely need to assess how everyone is when we get home.

"We've managed the workload of the team very carefully with most players getting 45 minutes in their legs with only Cam Howieson playing a full match.

"There are three days before we play again so we have to assess following a light training session when we get home.

"The Wellington Phoenix have a young talented side that haven’t scored many points but they can always give you a hard game.

"They can hold onto the ball quite well and they keep pushing teams regardless of the result which is something that will be challenging for us off the back of our efforts here in Hong Kong. 

"We're playing at Kiwitea Street and for a lot of reasons the Phoenix match represents three very important points for us given Eastern Suburbs and Team Wellington are playing each other as well," he said.

The Wee Nix are the first of three difficult domestic fixtures in the space of a week with Southern United lying in wait in Dunedin on Wednesday.

Tribulietx said he's not looking too far ahead. 

"Southern United is too far away for us to make any concrete decisions about who will play or who won't.

"We'll see how everyone is feeling when we return to Auckland and then prepare for the Wellington Phoenix match accordingly," he said.


Match Details
ISPS Handa Premiership
Sunday 10 February 2019
Auckland City FC v Wellington Phoenix
Kiwitea Street, Sandringham
Kick-off: 2pm NZST

AC (squad): 1. Enaut ZUBIKARAI (GK), 3. Takuya IWATA, 4. Mario BILEN, 5. Angel BERLANGA (c), 6. Brian KALTACK, 7. Cam HOWIESON, 8. Albert RIERA, 9. Javier LOPEZ, 10. Micah LEA'ALAFA, 11. Fabrizio TAVANO, 12. Dylan MANICKUM, 13. Patrick LUNDEMO, 14. Jordan VALE, 15. Dan MORGAN, 16. Yousif ALI, 17. Jackson WOOD, 18. Ruben PARKER (GK), 19. David BROWNE, 20. Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, 21. Maro BONSU-MARO, 22. Omar GUARDIOLA, 23. Alfie ROGERS, 24. Cameron BROWN (GK), 25. Joshua JONES.


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