Player picked for Phoenix
There’s something in the water at Kiwitea St.
The ground’s home team, Auckland City FC, have gone from strength to strength in the last few seasons and are strong contenders to take home the ASB Premiership title this year.
And scouts are starting to take notice, hand-picking City players to move up the New Zealand football ladder.
The most recent ascent is striker Roy Krishna’s signing to the Wellington Phoenix on January 7 to replace Paul Ifill until the end of the 2013-14 season.
The move means he is poised to become the first Fijian footballer in the Hyundai A-League.
He follows former Auckland teammate Albert Riera who was signed to the only New Zealand side in the professional A-League in October.
Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx says the team will feel the loss of the players but on the whole it means good things for his club.
‘‘It’s good for the reputation of the club. It’s not a good position for us to lose Albert and Krishna – they are good players – but on the other hand it raises our reputation in the world of football. The club has got to be happy that the world of football is looking at us.’’
Tribulietx says the club has been strengthened by passionate supporters and now acts as a kind of ‘‘bridge’’ between amateur and professional football.
Krishna says the chance to play with the professional Phoenix is a dream come true.
‘‘I love scoring goals and my goal is to get in the team and do just that. I am up for the challenge and really pleased that Auckland City have allowed me to take up this opportunity. They always said that if a professional club came for me they would let me go and they have kept their word.’’