September 18, 2012
AUCKLAND – New Zealand will face Australia in an historic three match futsal series for the ASB Trans Tasman Cup in Auckland later this week.
It will be the first time that a FIFA-sanctioned futsal international has been played on New Zealand soil with ASB Stadium in Kohimarama set host the matches on September 21, 22 and 23.
New Zealand is yet to defeat their neighbours in eight attempts with the trans-Tasman rivals having last met in 2008. The Solomon Islands have emerged as the Oceania heavyweights since Australia’s departure to Asia in 2006 but there is still a rivalry between the sides according to Futsal Whites captain Marvin Eakins.
"I think anytime a New Zealand team steps out against an Australian team there is a sense of rivalry and these matches will be no different. We haven’t played for a few years and we haven't always been on the right end of the scoreline so we’ll be out to prove a point," said Eakins.
There is added spice in the series as former Futsalroos coach, Scott Gilligan, has crossed the ditch and is now in charge of New Zealand.
Gilligan has named a fresh looking first squad since taking over with seven uncapped players, including four teenagers, among the 16 man squad selected for the series.
The Futsalroos are currently preparing for November’s FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand, a tournament New Zealand missed out on after falling at the semi-final stage of the OFC Futsal Championship last year in Fiji.
The ASB Trans Tasman Cup is the first step on the journey to the next edition of futsal’s pinnacle event in four years time.
"We’ve got an eye on the future as qualifying for the 2016 Futsal World Cup is the ultimate aim. We’re taking a long term approach for the next four years. We have never qualified for a FIFA World Cup and we must mould a side that is firstly capable of qualifying," said Gilligan.
With no fewer than six Futsal Whites playing out of ASB Stadium on a regular basis there is high hopes for home court advantage with Eakins – who doubles as Auckland Football’s Futsal Development Officer – issuing a call to fans to turn out to watch and participate.
"It would be great to get a good crowd down to ASB Stadium to support us and really let the Futsalroos know they’re in our backyard.
"There are a number of other events going on before our matches so it’s also an opportunity for people to get involved before watching the internationals," Eakins added.
The ASB Trans Tasman Cup matches will form part of a futsal showcase at the Auckland venue with exhibition games for junior and youth players taking place and international players holding "have-a-go" sessions with players wanting to try out the sport.
Admission to any of the matches is $10 per game or $15 for all three. Students and under 20s get in free.
New Zealand futsal squad for ASB Trans-Tasman Cup
1-Clayton CHAPPELL (AFF-Futsal)
2-James VAUGHAN (AFF-Futsal)
3-Dylan MANICKUM (AFF-Futsal)
4-Jan FISCHER (Northern Futsal)
5-Miro MAJOR (AFF-Futsal)
6-Michael SANNUM (Futsal South)
7-Marvin EAKINS (captain) (AFF-Futsal)
8-Daniel BURNS (Mainland Futsal)
9-Jakub SINKORA (Mainland Futsal)
10-Lucas SILVA (Capital Futsal)
11-Micky MALIVUK (Capital Futsal)
12-David PLOWRIGHT (Capital Futsal)
13-Elliot COLLIER (WAIBOP-Futsal)
14-Tai BARHAM (Central Futsal)
15-Harvey MILLS (Northern Futsal)
16-Bakr AL-SAUDI (AFF-Futsal)
Coach: Scott GILLIGAN
Assistant Coach: Felipe BERNADI
GK Coach: Andy READINGS
Manager: Carl EDWARDS
Physio: Andrew NEWMARCH
ASB Trans-Tasman Cup
New Zealand v Australia
ASB Stadium, Kohimarama, Auckland
Match One: Friday 21 September, 7.30pm
Match Two: Saturday 22 September, 7.30pm
Match Three: Sunday 23 September, noon
Adults - $10 per game / $15 for all three
Students and U-20s free entry.
Friday 21 September
5.45pm: Girls showcase game
Saturday 22 September
4.30pm: U-14s showcase game
5pm-5.45pm: ‘Have a go’ open session
5.45pm: U-19s showcase game
Sunday 23 September
9am: U-10s showcase game
9.30am-10.15am: ‘Have a go’ open session
10.15am: U-12s showcase game