The Diary - March 2016

An irreverent look back at the month in NZ Football

March 2nd
NZF CEO Andy Martin says fans can be very confident that the game in NZ is in good hands. So that's OK then!
Andy Martin - NZ Football in good hands?
It appears that Russia wanted to play New Zealand in the upcoming March international window, but NZF turned it down because they were unwilling to break their current plans for a training camp in Australia. Some fans believe Andy Martin should have gone to Siberia long ago!

Another day another Phoenix player signs on for another 2 years, 
this time it is Michael McGlinchley

Kelsey Kennard, who played for FootballSouth in the Women's National League is banned for 6 months for unintentionally taking a banned substance (Probenecid). The ban was reduced from the standard 2 years to 6 months due to the tribunal being satisfied she established no significant fault to the violation. - They may also have looked at FootballSouth's record and realised that in no way was the banned substance performance enhancing!

March 3rd
The Football Ferns lose 1-0 to Brazil in their 1st Algarve Cup match

Phoenix defender, the Maltese Australian Manny Muscat, is heading back to Australia to be closer to family and has signed for Melbourne City for next season

Ex NZ International Bob Morrison passes away at the age of 90. Morrison made 20 appearances for New Zealand in the 1950's and played for the Brigadiers club in Southland.

March 4th
In their 2nd Algarve Cup match, the Football Ferns are held to a 0-0 draw by Russia

March 5th
Adelaide United show why they are at the top of the table and the Phoenix are near the bottom thrashing them 4-0. Ernie Merrick blaming the lack of a winning mentality.

Canterbury United are unable to leave Christchurch due to fog so their ASB Premiership Semi-Final against Auckland City is postponed by a day.

March 6th
Auckland City get another win and another final appearance beating Canterbury United 2-1
Team Wellington see off Hawke's Bay United 3-1 in Napier.

The Football Ferns record their first win at the Algarve Cup, beating hosts Portugal 1-0

March 7th
Kip Colvey is given a contract and makes his debut for MLS side San Jose Earthquakes, coming off the bench in a 1-0 win over Colorado Rapids.

March 8th
In a badly kept secret Wellington Phoenix confirm the signing of Kosta Barbarouses from Melbourne Victory on a 3 year deal.

March 9th
The Phoenix are set to get a new training base, as the Wellington City Council agree to fund the upgrade of 2 grounds at Martin Luckie Park to elite training level.

Meanwhile desperation in the South as Southern United launch a Givealittle page to try and raise funds for next season.

March 10th
The Football Ferns, finish 4th at the Algarve Cup, losing on penalties to Iceland after a 1-1 draw, ex NZ Coach John Herdman leads Canada to the Cup.

Team Wellington are the new National League Champions beating Auckland City 4-2 at the Sandpit. They also qualify for the 2017 Champions League

March 11th
The Papua New Guinea FA has been fined $15 000 and warned by FIFA over their future conduct after withdrawing from the 2nd leg of the Women's Oceania Olympic Qualifying tie with New Zealand in January.

Ex All-White Gavin Wilkinson signs a new long term contract with US MLS side Portland Timbers, the contract better reflects the role he has within the club and gives him the rather grand title of “President of Soccer”

March 12th
Wellington Phoenix continue their Jekyll & Hyde season comfortably beating Sydney FC 3-1 in Sydney

March 15th
New National League team, Tasman United, release their new logo and also reveal All White Jeremy Brockie will have a role as club adviser. His dad, Paul, is also on the clubs board.

March 16th
The effect of the licence renewal is definitely being felt at the Phoenix with Dylan Fox (3 years), Matt Ridenton (2 years), Lewis Italiano, Alex Rodriguez, Tom Doyle & Blake Powell (all 1 year) all signing contract extensions.

March 17th
Another day another Phoenix signing this time goal keeping coach, Des Buckingham, who will also become an assistant coach to Ernie Merrick.

Also Roy Krishna and Albert Riera are looking to obtain NZ citizenship which will free up two import spaces on the Phoenix roster

March 18th
The Women's U20 world cup draw sees New Zealand drawn with France, USA & Ghana

The 2016 winter season kicks off with a Mainland Women's Premier League game between FC Twenty11 & Parklands ending in a 0-0 draw.

March 19th
It is reported that Winston Reid & Tommy Smith may not travel with NZ to the Oceania Nations Cup in PNG. Anthony Hudson is apparently trying to tempt Andrew Durante out of international retirement for the tournament.

March 20th
The Phoenix lose the “prestigious” Long distance trophy going down 2-1 to Perth Glory 
New Zealand's oldest pre-season competition in its 61st season, the Hilton-Petone Cup, is won by Lower Hutt City who beat Wellington Olympic 5-2

March 22nd
The Men may be struggling to get a game, but the Women have no problem having organised an away friendly against Netherlands on April 7th

March 24th
Wellington Phoenix continue their quest to become Melbourne Victory with the signing of Victory's Brazillian midfielder Gui Finkler.

While NZF struggle to organise an International game for the All White's, Samoa organise 3 in Wellington! They lose the first 7-0 to Lower Hutt City at Fraser Park.

Not NZ, but one of the best footballers the world has ever seen, Johann Cruyff dies of lung cancer at the age of 68
Johann Cruyff 1947-2016 RIP

March 25th
Bay of Plenty football identity, Dave Cook, passes away

Samoa beat Stop Out 2-1 in their 2nd game of their mini tour
Samoa scoring the winner in their game against Stop Out

March 28th
Wellington Phoenix seem to be hanging out for the season to end and go down 3-0 to Melbourne City

March 29th
Samoa lose the last game of their mini tour 5-1 to Western Suburbs, Head coach Scott Easthope says the experience has been massive and the performances have improved put of sight since game one.

March 31st
The All Whites appear to have organised a game, against.....wait for it........Western Pride! Yes an Australia 2nd tier side based in Ipswich. There is no truth in the rumours that bookies have installed Western Pride as favourites!
The All White's next opponents?


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