PLAYER PROFILE - Mario ILICH
Mario Ilich made his debut for Auckland City FC first team under coach Ramon Tribulietx before embarking on a different adventure at Team Wellington.
Ilich returned to Auckland City FC three seasons ago after a successful spell with Team Wellington in which the former Central United midfielder helped guide to an OFC Champions League and ISPS Handa Premiership title.
He was also pivotal in Team Wellington's outstanding FIFA Club World Cup campaign in 2018 when they were ousted at the playoff stage in a dramatic penalty shoot-out against Al Ain.
Ilich got on the scoresheet in that match as the then Oceania champions surrendered a 3-0 advantage to draw 3-3.
Now the deep lying midfielder is a regular first pick for coach Albert Riera and in doing so has amassed more than 50 first team appearances for the club.
He also skippered Auckland City FC in the first game of the 2022 season when he led the Navy Blues to a 2-1 win win over Melville United on 26 March 2022 at the Croatian Cultural Society.
He is firmly established as a club stalwart for both Auckland City FC and Central United FC.
Thursday 11 August 2022, Nikao Sokattak, Ngahue, 3.00pm NZDT