Partnership between Auckland City and Mt Albert Ponsonby ‘not amalgamation’

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Leaders at Auckland City FC and Mt Albert Ponsonby have allayed misconceptions about their clubs’ ongoing relationship, saying it’s not an amalgamation.

The clubs have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that provides junior and youth players from MAP access to Auckland City’s academy.

The agreement has sparked suggestions that it signifies an amalgamation of the two clubs.

Not so, says Auckland City president Ivan Vuksich (main photo).

In a statement published on his club’s website, he says:

“We hear the word (amalgamation) used but it’s not accurate at all, so we can put that to rest immediately.

“The Auckland City FC and Central United FC partnership drew similar remarks but we can reassure people this isn’t an amalgamation.

“It’s important in our partnership that we acknowledge the history, identity and culture of both Auckland City FC and Mount Albert Ponsonby AFC.”

MAP president Jason Conquer said: “It was very important to Mount Albert Ponsonby AFC and its members that we retain our own unique identity.

“Both ourselves and Auckland City FC outlined clearly from the outset that each club wished to collaborate on a project to develop better footballers and create a stronger player development pathway but not at the expense of our identity.

“Both clubs have a rich history in their own right and are keen to showcase that while also working together to enhance the sport and build on our relationship.”

Conquer said his club felt the partnership would help its junior and youth players develop into better players.

“It will also allow us to show the younger players a clearer pathway to that top level of football if they wish to aspire to that objective,” he said.

Auckland City Academy director Nic Downes said the partnership model was player-focused and its objective was to provide more choices and a wider variety of quality experiences for youngsters.

“They can stay part of the Mount Albert Ponsonby AFC club and enjoy a high-quality recreational experience or, if they have aspirations to go further, tap into the Auckland City FC youth pathway and beyond,” he said.