A week ago, they were fierce rivals … but this weekend, Auckland United’s Aydin Mustahib and Oliver Fay will be working together as their club begins its first Men’s National League campaign.
Last Sunday, Mustahib (18) was in goal for Fiji in the final of the OFC U-19 Championship, while Fay (19) was a member of the New Zealand side that won the tournament in Tahiti.
To add to the stretching of club/country loyalty, Auckland United’s Isaac Tetteh was also the goalkeeping coach for Fiji, who lost the final 3-0.
Main photo (from left): Aydin Mustahib, Isaac Tetteh and Oliver Fay. Photo: Auckland United FC.
Mustahib joined Auckland United for the Northern League season from Manukau United after coming through the junior ranks at Papatoetoe United. Fay has been with Auckland United since joining its foundation club Onehunga Sports as a youngster.
They and Tetteh are among a number of players and coaches returning from the tournament in time to join their New Zealand clubs for the new-look Men’s National League.
While Auckland United will host Melville United on Sunday in their season opener, a number of New Zealand’s successful U-19 team are likely to turn out for the Wellington Phoenix reserves in their Saturday fixture at Napier City Rovers.
READ MORE: Auckland United and Melville United to play A-League curtain-raisers at Sky Stadium >>>>
Wellington Phoenix players from the OFC tournament include the national captain Finn Surman, Sebastian Barton-Ginger, Charlie Beale, Fin Conchie, Isaac Hughes, Noah Karunaratne, Lukas Kelly-Heald, Marco Lorenz, Jackson Manuel, Dan McKay and Adam Supyk.
Two Samoan players from the OFC Championship will also turn out in the national league — Isaac Beltcher (Napier Rovers) and Luke Tolo-Kent (Miramar Rangers).
Other New Zealand U-19 players to feature in the national league are:
Cashmere Technical: Kian Donkers, a striker who shared the tournament’s Golden Boot, with nine goals.
Melville United: Olliver Colloty, the forward who shared the Golden Boot with Donkers.
Wellington Olympic: Theo Ettema plays for the Central League champions.
Birkenhead United: Everton O’Leary, a promising defender.
Napier City Rovers: Goalkeeper Oscar Mason.
Miramar Rangers: Attacking midfielder Wilson Souphanthavong.
READ MORE: Our coverage of the OFC U-19 Championship >>>>
More about the Men’s National League
READ MORE: Your guide to the 10 teams >>>>
READ MORE: Readers’ poll: who do you think will win >>>>>
READ MORE: Christchurch United chasing back-to-back wins, thirty years apart >>>>
READ MORE: Expectations rise for Phoenix reserves as National League gets underway >>>>
READ MORE: Melville return to National League after 24-year hiatus >>>>
Round 1 of the 2022 Men’s National League
Games to be played on Saturday October 1, 2022
Cashmere Technical v Miramar Rangers
English Park, Christchurch, 1pm
Napier City Rovers v Wellington Phoenix
Bluewater Stadium, Napier, 2pm
Wellington Olympic v Auckland City
Endeavour Park, Whitby, Wellington, 3pm
Games to be played on Sunday October 2, 2022
Birkenhead United v Christchurch United
Shepherds Park, Birkenhead, 1pm
Auckland United v Melville United
Keith Hay Park, Mt Roskill, 3pm