Auckland United are the inaugural winners of the U-17 boys’ National Youth League after beating Tauranga City 3-2 in the competition’s final.
Played at the recently-opened New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport (NZCIS) in Wellington, United were the only side of the eight finalists to go unbeaten through the tournament.
But they had to work hard to overcome a spirited Tauranga City in the three-day tournament’s final.
Thomas Page put the Bay of Plenty side ahead in the 11th minute and they took their lead into the half-time break.
Victor Barbosa levelled for Auckland United 10 minutes after the restart.
He then struck again in the 61st minute, giving the Aucklanders the lead for the first time.
However Henry Kemp found an equaliser for Tauranga in the 66th minute.
Two minutes later, Ishveer Singh-Dhillon scored his third goal of the tournament to give Auckland United a 3-2 lead, a lead that held on to for the rest of the match.
Main photo: The victorious Auckland United U-17 squad. Photo thanks to Jeannine Melville.
Games played on Sunday October 16, 2022
Auckland United 3 (Victor Barbosa 55′, 61′, Ishveer Singh-Dhillon 68′)
Tauranga City 2 (Thomas Page 11′, Henry Kemp 66′)
Birkenhead United 4 (Luke Costello 46′, Shivam Nair 48′, James Taylor 52′, 77′)
Cashmere Technical 1 (Nathan Yates 16′)
Western Suburbs 3 (Albie Albert Francis-Alles 64′, Muse Abrahaberhe 70′, Jamie Wildash-Chan 72′)
Wellington Phoenix Academy 1 (Luke Flowerdew 6′)
Nomads United 8 (Neo Tsutsui 12′, Nicholas Wilson 18′, Luca Greasley 21′, Lewis Whiteside 30′, Cody Johnson 34′, Matias Baltar 52′, 68′, James Collier 90′)
Onslow/Wellington 1 (Lachlan MacGregor 73′)
Games played on Saturday October 15, 2022
Western Suburbs 4 (Muse Abrahaberhe 7′, 86′, 90′, Michael Des Tombe 83′)
Nomads United 1 (Nicholas Wilson 3′)
Onslow/Wellington 1 (Caleb Turner 32′)
Wellington Phoenix Academy 5 (Luke Flowerdew 8′, 66′, Oliver Grosso 49′, Luke Supyk 77′, Jack Perniskie 86′)
Birkenhead United 1 (Shivam Nair 88′)
Auckland United 3 (Bronson Browne 6′, Ishveer Singh-Dhillon 22′, 66′)
Cashmere Technical 1 (Samuel Shelling 87′)
Tauranga City 2 (Thomas Page 4′, 43′)
Games played on Friday October 14, 2022
Cashmere Technical 7 (Yusuf van Dam 16′, 19′, Luka Fields 29′, 43′, Declan Allen 55′, Jamie Jeffrey-Dally 85′, Ewan Hyndman 90′)
Onslow/North Wellington 0
Western Suburbs 1 (Lucas Finnegan 90+2′)
Birkenhead United 2 (Shivam Nair 9′, Nick Petherick 10′)
Tauranga City 3 (Joby Reid 17′, Tristan Kawana 22′, Braetyn Allan 76′)
Wellington Phoenix Academy 0
Nomads United 0
Auckland United 1 (James Ray 54′)
4 — Muse Abrahaberhe (Western Suburbs)
3 — Luke Flowerdew (Wellington Phoenix), Shivam Nair (Birkenhead United), Thomas Page (Tauranga City), Ishveer Singh-Dhillon (Auckland United).
About the Youth National League
The boys’ Youth National League is a competition for players under 17 that mirrors the men’s National League.
Teams compete in three regional leagues (Northern League, Central League and Southern League) with the top sides qualifying for the Youth National League finals series.
New Zealand Football Talent Pathway Manager, and men’s U-17 head coach Martin Bullock says:
“It has been great to give some of our best U-17 talent the opportunity to play a significant number of quality games in this competition as that is going to be the best thing for their development.”
The boy’s and girl’s Youth National League competitions, supported with funding through partners New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) and FIFA, were launched this season to replace the previous week-long National Age Group Tournament following feedback from participants.
READ MORE: How the Youth National League works >>>>