Regional football leagues were cancelled in northern New Zealand due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including Lotto NRFL Premier Men’s – the stronger regional league from New Zealand’s winter football season.
Despite that, local teams resumed their activities with training sessions and friendlies. One of these teams is Manukau United that recently played a friendly match against current ISPS Handa Premiership’s champions Auckland City FC.
This game was very special for seven young players: Avishek Nand, Aydin Mustahib, Etonia Dogalau, Jeremiah Ruawhare, Mohammed Nabeel, Rahul Naresh and Yunus Atiq. All these players had the opportunity to make their debut for Manukau United’s first team, after having participated throughout the year in the reserve team and the U-19 team.
Auckland City have beaten Manukau United by 2-0 with goals scored by Abdul Khalifa – who played the first half for Manukau United – and Jordan Vale in the second half as Navy Blues‘ head coach Jose Figueira made some tests in this match.
The Navy Blues will debut at 2020-21 ISPS Handa Premiership on November 15 against Eastern Suburbs at Kiwitea Street. You can check the full schedule of the upcoming Premiership’s season by clicking here.