The Diary - April 2016

 A look back at the month in NZ Football


Ryan Thomas has extended his PEC Zwolle contract until 2019, saying the Dutch club has a special place in his heart being the first club outside NZ he has played for.
Ryan Thomas

Phoenix fans get to see their two new signing's, Kosta Barbarouses & Guy Finkler in action, and the Phoenix players watch them also as Melbourne Victory win 4-1

Canterbury football stalwart, Ben Hall, who played National League football for Canterbury United and Waitakere United, loses his battle with Motor Neuron Disease. He was 33. 
Click here to read this tribute from Tony Smith of the Christchurch Press

Oceania announce TV coverage of the upcoming Oceania Champions League (OCL). In NZ Sky TV will take all Team Wellington & Auckland City games the rest will be streamed live via the OFC Facebook & Twitter channels. Non Oceania country Australia are taking all 21 games live!

NZ U17 coach, Danny Hay, has realised that there are some decent footballers outside Auckland and is actually traveling to Nelson to check out the talent. Nelson College won the schools championship last season but none of their players were selected for NZ.

Wellington Phoenix are offering 1800 free tickets to their final game as a gesture of thanks to the fans who got behind the save the nix campaign and also to farewell Ben Sigmund who is retiring and Manny Muscat who will be playing for Melbourne City next season. Oh and it will also help the metrics!

New Zealand has registered its interest in hosting the 2020 Futsal World Cup – well that's one way of ensuring qualification!

April 7th
Two defensive lapses from the Football Fern cost them a 2-0 loss to the Netherlands. Coach Tony Reddings says that they probably showed a bit too much composure and should have been more positive.

April 8th
NZ have fallen to 161 in the FIFA rankings. Maldives, who are now coached by ex NZ Coach Riki Herbert are ranked 160!!

Important announcement from NZF today – they have renewed their partnership with SsangYong, the official vehicle of NZF – good to see the are working on the important things.

Another new National League club, well sort of. Southern United hand their licence to the FootballSouth Federation

April 9th
Tasman United announce 30 year old Englishman Richard Anderson, who is currently head of player development and assistant coach with the Cook Islands FA as their coach. Nelson College director of football, Davor Tavich will be his assistant

Team Wellington open their Oceania Champion's league campaign with a 2-0 win over Suva of Fiji.
 Meanwhile AS Tefana goakeeper, Mikael Roche, scores an extremely bizarre own goal 

April 10th
Auckland City kick off their Oceania Champions League defence with a 4-0 win over the Solomon Warriors, Joao Moiera getting a hat-trick

Ben Sigmund signs off his Wellington Phoenix career with a bloodied and bandaged head and a 2-0 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers.

April 11th
It's red card day at the OCL with 9 players being sent off, 3 in the Francophile derby between New Caledonia's AS Magenta and Tahiti's AS Tefana, Which sees Magenta win 4-2, while 6 are sent off as Fiji's Nadi come from behind to beat Kiwi FC of Samoa 4-3

April 12th
Wellington's Western Suburbs appoint NZ Cricket selector (and ex footballer) Gavin Larsen as their development manager.
Western Suburbs new development manager

Team Wellington beat AS Lossi 2-1 in the OCL

You can tell its not been a great season when your Goalkeeper wins Player of the Year and Players Player of the year awards, as Glenn Moss did at the Wellington Phoenix awards! Dylan Fox wins U23 player of the year, Blake Powell secures the Golden Boot with 8 goals, 4 of them coming in a 20 minute spell against Sydney FC!
Carey McDonald is named fan of the year

130 teams have entered this years Chatham Cup, notable absentees include Nelson Suburbs & 6 times winners Christchurch United

April 13th
Auckland City leave it late to beat PNG's Lae City Dwellers 2-1

Hamilton Wanderers announce “through and through Wanderers man” Gurdeep Rana will be their General Manager for the National League. Mark Cossey will be the coach.

Melbourne Victory's Besart Berisha who was sent off in the game against the Phoenix has his 2 game ban reduced to 1 after telling the FFA disciplinary committee that Durante had moved his boot into his hip and arm into his throat while he was lying on the ground. Andrew Durante responds via Twitter Saying 
“What a bunch of disgraceful lies....I won't have my name tarnished by lies”

AFC Fury, whose founder Dave Cook, passed away last month withdraw from the Northern League 2nd Division

April 14th
Ben Sigmund is returning to where he started and has signed for Cashmere Technical in the Mainland Premier League.

April 15th
The Football Ferns are given a tough draw at the Olympics in the same group as France, Colombia & USA.

Nelson Suburbs say that their non entry to the Chatham cup for a 4th consecutive year is a protest directed at the competitions structure and lack of financial support for clubs in isolated areas.

Willy Gerdsen is re-appointed coach of Canterbury United for 2 more seasons

April 16th
Team Wellington book a place in the OCL Semi Final's with a 4-0 win over PNG's Hekari United, they will meet Magenta of New Caledonia

April 17th
Auckland City leave it late again but beat Amicale 3-1 and will meet AS Tefana in the semi finals of the OCL

Wellington Phoenix are seeking an explanation from FFA over the reducing of the Berisha ban, saying overwhelming video evidence was ignored and are “concerned unfounded comments about his (Durante) actions have been made public

Last season's SWANZ cup finalists, Massey University, discover it can be hard losing your whole team when they lose 16-2 to Wellington United in the Women's Central League

April 18th
Wellington Phoenix have signed a new 3 year sponsorship deal with Huawei, reported to be the largest in NZ football history. It's so big they won't say how much it is, although rumours put it at around $2 million a season.

April 19th
The main beneficiary of the Alex Jones transfer saga, Hamish Watson, signs a one year deal with the Phoenix.

April 20th
It will be a repeat of last years OCL final when Auckland City beat Tefana 4-2 and Team Wellington beat Magenta 2-0 in the Semi Finals

April 22nd
Four players sent off in the Northern League Premier Division game between Birkenhead United and Central United. Two players continued their dispute in the changing rooms with one breaking a broomstick over the others back, no truth to the rumour that the Northern League will sweep the incident under the carpet!

Want to buy an Ice Cream from a world cup footballer – get down to Quay square in Plymouth, England and get one from The Cowlick Creamery, owned by Rory Fallon and his wife Carly, recently relocated from Yorkshire

April 23rd
Auckland City become the first club in all confederations to win their confederation champions league 6 times in a row (even Real Madrid have only done 5 in a row) when the beat Team Wellington 3-0
6 in a row - Auckland City Oceania Champions

April 25th
The preliminary round of the Chatham Cup is played. The team going for longest name Mt Wellington Unimount Bohemian Celtic beat Northern United 5-2. Roy of the Rovers obviously isn't present when Dunedin's Melchester Rovers go down 3-2 to Gore Wanderers. But story of the round is the Northern Wairoa fan who watched his club's first ever Chatham Cup game from Melbourne, with his parents using their phone to enable him to do so – unfortunately they lost 6-2 to University of Auckland

April 26th
The biggest match drawn in the first round of the Chatham cup drawn today is Central League teams and former winners Wellington Olympic v Miramar Rangers

April 27th
NON NZ – Justice for the 96 at last - A jury in England concludes that the 96 Liverpool fans that died at Hillsbrough in the 1989 FA Cup Semi Final game against Nottingham Forest, were unlawfully killed and blames the Police. 

April 29th
Need a reason to go to Canberra? – well yes and be honest it would have to be a pretty good one, not just direct flights from Wellington with Singapore Airlines. 
Central Coast Mariners v Wellington Phoenix next season good enough? Well one of CCM's games against the Phoenix will be played there.

Ben Sigmund has a book to sell and says he is “done” with ex NZ & Phoenix manager Riki Herbert
Buy from

April 30th
A Mainland Women's Premier League record is set as Cashmere Technical destroy Waimakariri United 23-0 in the Mainland Women's Premier League. Amazing as well as Waimakariri are 4th in the 7 team league!

San Jose Earthquakes send NZ player Kip Colvey out on loan to Sacramento Republic in the USL (basically the 3rd tier of US football)