Manukau se­cure pro­mo­tion again


‘‘We have some great knowl­edge and skills at the club and that's all com­ing to­gether re­ally nicely.’’

Manukau City will be play­ing in the North­ern Re­gion Foot­ball League’s pre­mier di­vi­sion next sea­son.

The Wal­ter Massey Park-based club fit­tingly se­cured pro­mo­tion in front of a ju­bi­lant home crowd with its 1-0 win over Melville United last Satur­day.

The vic­tory, Manukau City’s 16th of the sea­son against four draws and a sin­gle loss, came in the sec­ond to last round of the di­vi­sion one cham­pi­onship. It was a vi­tal win be­cause it knocked the Hamil­ton club out of the race for the two places avail­able in the pre­mier league next sea­son. Melville were two points be­hind Manukau head­ing into the match and might have even edged Manukau out of pro­mo­tion had they won. The two places will be filled by Manukau City and Western Springs whose po­si­tion at the top of the di­vi­sion one stand­ings is al­most unas­sail­able. Both head into the fi­nal round of the premier­ship on Satur­day with pro­mo­tion in their pock­ets and the premier­ship still up for grabs.

Both are level on 54 points but Western Springs who host eighth place Hibis­cus Coast are favoured to take premier­ship be­cause they have the su­pe­rior points dif­fer­en­tial.

That’s cour­tesy of hav­ing scored nearly twice as many goals as Manukau, 84 com­pared to 43 and con­ced­ing just as many, 24 ver­sus 21.

Nev­er­the­less, Manukau are tak­ing their away game against fourth placed North Shore at Allen Hill Sta­dium as a must win. They know that a win in Devon­port and a stum­ble - a draw or a lost - by Western Springs and the ti­tle will be theirs. Cap­tain Hone Fowler says the club is stoked with their pro­mo­tion, their sec­ond is as many years un­der coach Kevin Fal­loon.

He says it’s a huge achieve­ment for his South Auck­land club and that it took a lot of plan­ning and ef­fort to make it hap­pen.

‘‘There has been a lot of ef­fort put into the club’s suc­cess over the last few years,’’ he says.

‘‘It has seen rapid growth over the last few years. Peo­ple have put in a lot of hours to see pos­i­tive change. It is a much needed de­vel­op­ment that has hap­pened in the com­mu­nity, of­fer­ing qual­ity op­por­tu­ni­ties through foot­ball and pro­vid­ing a path­way for you peo­ple into this sport. Mak­ing it ac­ces­si­ble is some­thing we’ve re­ally been fo­cused on achiev­ing. We have some great knowl­edge and skills at the club and that’s all com­ing to­gether re­ally nicely.’’

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