Still plenty to play for as Men’s National League enters its last round of fixtures

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The Grand Finalists may have been decided but there’s plenty still to play for in this weekend’s final round of games in the Men’s National League.

While the results might not impact on the final table, here’s what will fire up the teams for their last fixtures of the year:

Main photo: Melville United … shooting for fifth win in a row and a fitting farewell for their coach.

Auckland City v Melville United

Melville United will be aiming for five wins in a row when they play Auckland City, who have been beaten only twice in all competitions this calendar year.

The Waikato side will also want to use this game to farewell coach Sam Wilkinson who is stepping down after this game.

Auckland City may well be tempted to rotate their squad to rest any tired players, and give game time to some of their up-and-coming players.

Melville say they’ll be without at least four players for the match — Josh Galletly (gone to. Australia), Ryen Lawrence (unavailable) and Quinton Kipara and Sean Lliddocat (both injured).

Auckland City’s coaching duo of Albert Riera and Ivan Vicelich have considered resting players for the final but see risks in doing that.

“We’ve talked briefly about resting players because the top two is confirmed but the momentum is there and it is difficult to take the foot off the pdeal and rest players,” Vicelich told City’s website.

“The most important thing is to work hard for a victory and keep the mindset for the final. Any decision we take will depend on niggles and there may be opportunities that arise for players as a result of that analysis.”

It all adds up to game that could produce plenty of goals.

Christchurch United v Cashmere Technical

Cashmere Technical had a tough draw in this competition, facing the big guns on the road.

But on Friday night, they get the chance to claim local bragging rights in the derby against Christchurch United.

Floodlit football always has an edge. Local rivalry adds to the excitement.

Click here for how to watch live stream >>>>

Miramar Rangers v Wellington Olympic

Last weekend, Miramar Rangers didn’t play like a side that’s bottom of the league when they went down 2-1 to Auckland City at Kiwitea Street.

They scrapped for every ball, chased every last cause and showed the gap isn’t that wide between the top and bottom sides in the league.

If they take that into their last game, against hometown rivals Wellington Olympic, they could finish the season with a win, and potentially, move as high as eighth on the 10-team table.

Rangers have come off second best to Olympic in previous games this season but Olympic may be tempted to rest key players ahead of the Grand Final.

Third place still up for grabs

Few fans will remember who came third in the race for the national title but for players, it will remain an achievement.

Three teams could end the season in third place — Birkenhead United, Auckland United and Melville United.

With nothing to lose, the three Uniteds will likely roll the dice and chase the win in their last fixtures.


Game to be played on Friday November 25, 2022

Men’s National League

Christchurch United v Cashmere Technical
Christchurch Football Centre, Christchurch, 7pm
Click here for how to watch live stream >>>>

Games to be played on Saturday November 26, 2022

Auckland United v Napier City Rovers
Keith Hay Park, Mt Roskill, 1pm

Auckland City v Melville United 
Kiwitea St, Sandringham, 3pm

Games to be played on Sunday November 27, 2022

Wellington Phoenix v Birkenhead United
Fraser Park, Wellington, 1pm

Miramar Rangers v Wellington Olympic
David Farrington Park, Wellington, 3pm


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