Auckland football fans will get to see New Zealand’s only professional team in action when the Wellington Phoenix take on Oceania champions Auckland City FC on 28 September 2013.
Both clubs were scheduled to play pre-season friendlies against the Central Coast Mariners but the Australians pulled out after accepting an offer to participate at the Menpora Cup in Indonesia.
Undaunted the Phoenix and Auckland City have joined forces to stage a match at City’s home ground at Kiwitea Street in Sandringham, Auckland.
Auckland City’s chairman Ivan Vuksich was delighted that the fixture has been confirmed.
“I think it’s a really good idea and I’m pleased our clubs have been able to work together to make this happen.”
“It will be a great spectacle for local fans as well as being a valuable exercise for both teams.”
“We both have big seasons ahead of us and it’s great that we can help each other out as we prepare for our respective campaigns.”
City’s coach Ramon Tribulietx was just as enthusiastic when contemplating the match up.
“A game against a professional side is always welcome as we don’t get many opportunities during a season to play against quality opposition such as the Phoenix. We are really grateful for the match and are looking forward to it.”
Tribulietx also recognised the importance of the match in terms of preparing his side for the upcoming ASB Premiership and December’s FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco.
“We hope it can help to prepare us physically and tactically for what promises to be an intense season.”
“In regards to preparing for Morocco this match provides valuable experience against high quality opposition. It’s an early taste of what competing against a professional side will be like.”
Tribulietx also had an early message for City’s supporters ahead of the 2013/14 campaign:
“It’s going to be another exciting season and we hope to be able to compete with a style that makes our fans proud.”
“We want to keep developing our possession based game and improve in areas that didn’t work so well for us last season.”
“We will work hard to prepare ourselves to compete for both the ASB Premiership and OFC Champions League titles and then we have the trip to the Club World Cup where our goal is to be as competitive as possible.”
Auckland City FC vs Wellington Phoenix
Saturday 28 September 2013
Kick-off time: 2pm