City fo­cus on San­frecce Hiroshima

Central Leader - - SPORT -

Auck­land City FC’s FIFA Club World Cup prepa­ra­tion is on track af­ter a quick suc­ces­sion of mo­rale boost­ers for the team while in Ja­pan.

City over­came J-League sec­ond di­vi­sion side Mat­sumoto Ya­m­aga 2-0 in near-freez­ing con­di­tions in Tokyo on Satur­day.

This was two days af­ter coach Ra­mon Tribu­li­etx was named Sport Auck­land’s Coach of the Year.

Tribu­li­etx says it is a priv­i­lege to be recog­nised on an in­di­vid­ual ba­sis but the award is also a credit to the club as a whole.

‘‘It means the work the play­ers, coach­ing staff and the club have put in be­hind the scenes has been un­be­liev­able.’’

The Spa­niard was se­lected ahead of Ju­nior White Sox women’s soft­ball coach Venita Hokai and Auck­land Aces cricket coach Paul Strang.

Tribu­li­etx be­came the first coach in New Zealand’s Na­tional League foot­ball his­tory to lead his team to an un­de­feated record in the reg­u­lar sea­son phase of the com­pe­ti­tion dur­ing 2011-12.

A vic­tory over AS Te­fana in the OFC Cham­pi­ons League quickly fol­lowed which en­sured Auck­land City qual­i­fied for the FIFA Club World Cup for the sec­ond year in a row.

The qual­i­fi­ca­tion se­cured a US$500,000 fi­nan­cial wind­fall for the club and New Zealand Foot­ball. They also have a shot at dou­bling that amount if they can beat San­frecce Hiroshima to­mor­row.

Auck­land City was pipped at the post for Team of the Year by Olympic gold medal sailors Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie af­ter their per­for­mances in Lon­don.

Mt Al­bert Ram­blers Soft­ball Club took out the Club of the Year ac­co­lade ahead of Auck­land City’s Chatham Cup-win­ning feeder club Cen­tral United.

Auck­land City’s clash with J-League cham­pi­ons San­frecce Hiroshima will be tele­vised live on Sky Sports 3 from 11.45pm to­mor­row and auck­land­c­i­ will have live play-by-play cov­er­age of the match. The win­ner will take on African cham­pi­ons Al Ahly in the quar­ter-fi­nal on Sun­day night.


Mo­rale booster: Auck­land City FC coach Ra­mon Tribu­li­etx was named Sport Auck­land’s Coach of the Year at the Sport­ing Ex­cel­lence Awards.

Go to cen­tral­ and click Lat­est Edi­tion to hear about the team’s prepa­ra­tions from goal­keeper coach Grant Robert­son.

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