White epitomises club ethos

At the heart of Navy Blues’ success is a healthy work ethic and professionalism on the part of the players and coaching staff.
Over the past three years, defender Darren White has epitomised what makes this club special.
The down-to-earth 27-year-old couldn’t be living further from the glamorous lifestyle so often associated with elite footballers.
He has a full-time job as a sales representative for a painting company and spends his days driving across Auckland to meet with his clients.
After work he is straight off to training.
“I leave the house at seven every morning and I don’t get home until after eight at night,” he says.
“We train five times a week and also on Saturday morning on match days. And even when we don’t have a game I might go and watch somebody else play. I do have the odd day off on the weekend but it’s a rarity.”
The former striker says one of his biggest daily challenges is battling Auckland’s notorious traffic to get to training on time.
“I’m always fighting the traffic. I jump in the car after work trying to beat the rush hour. It doesn’t always work. Sometimes I’m late. I’ve missed a few sessions because I simply couldn’t get there on time.”
The Englishman, who will become a New Zealand citizen in September, says he hardly has free-time outside of work and football, but he insists he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I don’t want to complain because I love doing it,” he says.
“It can be tough and tiring and it does take away from your personal life. But you do it because you love the game and I’m lucky to have an understanding girlfriend.”
Auckland City FC will face Tahitian side AS Tefana in Wednesday’s semi-final from 12pm at Auckland’s QBE Stadium.

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