Auckland City FC and Metro FC sign MOU
The partnership continues Auckland City FC's relationship with local clubs with the objective to expand the growth, development and retention of junior and youth players.
Auckland City FC chairman Ivan Vuksich was delighted to sign the agreement along with Metro FC's Ant Owens.
"Auckland City FC is committed to providing an opportunity for any junior and youth players who wish to access a higher level of training, with qualified coaches, and then still represent their local club in weekend competitions.
“For those aspiring youth players, there is also now a clearer pathway to represent Auckland City FC.
"Metro FC is a club with a great history and it is an honour for Auckland City FC to draw closer as a result of this partnership," Vuksich said.
The essential element of the MOU enables Metro FC's junior and youth players the chance to remain connected with the Phyllis Street club but opens pathways into the senior ranks with Auckland City FC and its Academy programmes.
Vuksich said the player development journey at senior level presented multiple options for players.
"When youth players reach the senior ranks, Auckland City FC can provide a lot of options.
"They can compete for a slot in our first team, explore options through our connections in North America with Striv3, including academic and sporting opportunities or they can connect back to their local club they grew up playing for.
"Our strategy to build a local network of partnerships is not about taking players from other clubs and giving nothing back - we see this as a reciprocal relationship.
"We're investing our time and commitment into not only building better players for the future for Auckland City FC, but for every club we're connected with.
"More importantly, we believe this is about the players themselves and providing them with a diverse and varied range of quality coaching that culminates in an interesting array of opportunities in the future to play football at home or abroad," he said.
Metro FC Chairman Ants Owens was delighted with the new relationship with Auckland City FC
"The MOU provides a pathway to a well-run, focused and professional coaching set up for our Youth who have aspirations for football at a higher level (Lotto NRFL Youth League), something a club our size currently could not provide to the same level without the players having to leave the club to access this.
"The partnership with Auckland City FC, along with the development of Phyllis Street currently in progress, will enable the club to continue to provide the best possible football to our members," he said.
One element that encouraged Owens about the future of both clubs was the retention of Metro FC players within their club culture while accessing the best coaching.
"The ability of the partnership to allow our members to remain registered to Metro FC as well as representing ACFC in the NRFL Youth competitions is key.
"This allows our members access to the top coaching provided by ACFC, whilst competing in a quality competition," he said.
Owens said Metro FC remained proud of its long history as one of the Auckland regions oldest clubs, the 1990s and early 2000’s the club was a force within Northern League football and winning the National Superclub title in 1996 remained its pinnacle achievement.
But times have changed and Owens emphasised Metro FC's emphasis on the betterment of its local area and inviting congenial approach to delivering football.
"We pride ourselves on being a community club with a focus on its family atmosphere. The development occurring with the facility at Phyllis Street will ensure the club can continue to grow and develop, whilst providing excellent facilities to our members.
"In five years, we hope to see the new facility completed, a strong youth section of the club whilst retaining our commitment to the family atmosphere.
"Trust is an important factor of any partnership and Ivan Vuksich’s track record was a key influencer in the decision to progress with this new and exciting relationship.
"Long term this relationship will hopefully continue to grow and become fruitful for both parties," Owens said.