Oceania Football Confederation > News > ASB Trans Tasman Cup > Trans-Tasman futsal rivals set to clash

Trans-Tasman futsal rivals set to clash

It will be the first time a FIFA-sanctioned futsal international has been played on New Zealand soil with ASB Stadium in Kohimarama set to host the matches on September 21, 22 and 23.
New Zealand is yet to defeat their neighbours in eight attempts with the trans-Tasman rivals having last met in 2008. The Solomon Islands have emerged as the Oceania heavyweights since Australia’s departure to the Asian confederation in 2006 but there is still a rivalry between the sides according to Futsal Whites captain Marvin Eakins.
“I think anytime a New Zealand team steps out against an Australian team there is a sense of rivalry and these matches will be no different,” he says.
“We haven’t played for a few years and we haven’t always been on the right end of the scoreline so we’ll be out to prove a point.”
There is added spice in the series as former Futsalroos coach Scott Gilligan has crossed the ditch and is now in charge of New Zealand.
Gilligan has named a fresh-looking first squad since taking over with seven uncapped players, including four teenagers, among the 16-strong group selected for the series.
The Futsalroos are currently preparing for November’s FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand, a tournament New Zealand missed out on after falling at the semi-final stage of the OFC Futsal Championship last year in Fiji.
The ASB Trans Tasman Cup is the first step on the journey to the next edition of futsal’s pinnacle event in four years’ time.
“We’ve got an eye on the future as qualifying for the 2016 World Cup is the ultimate aim. We’re taking a long-term approach for the next four years. We have never qualified for a FIFA World Cup and we must mould a side that is firstly capable of qualifying,” Gilligan says.
With no fewer than six Futsal Whites playing out of ASB Stadium on a regular basis there is high hopes for home court advantage and Eakins – who doubles as Auckland Football’s futsal development officer – has issued a call to fans to turn out to watch and participate.
“It would be great to get a good crowd down to ASB Stadium to support us and really let the Futsalroos know they’re in our backyard,” he says.
“There are a number of other events going on before our matches so it’s also an opportunity for people to get involved before watching the internationals.”
The ASB Trans Tasman Cup matches will form part of a futsal showcase at the Auckland venue with exhibition games for junior and youth players taking place and international players holding “have-a-go” sessions with those wanting to try out the sport.
Admission to any of the matches is $10 per game or $15 for all three. Students and U-20s get in free.
ASB Trans-Tasman Cup
New Zealand v Australia
ASB Stadium, Kohimarama, Auckland
Match One: Friday 21 September, 7.30pm
Match Two: Saturday 22 September, 7.30pm
Match Three: Sunday 23 September, noon
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football.
For more on New Zealand Football visit www.nzfootball.co.nz

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