Auckland City’s Dylan Manickum could cap an outstanding season when he plays his 100th game for the Navy Blues in Sunday’s Grand Final of the Men’s National League.
The 30-year-old scored the winning goal in City’s 1-0 Chatham Cup final win against Eastern Suburbs in September.
He also scored for City in the semi-final of the OFC Champions League, and the side went on to win the final.
There’s no doubting Manickum’s ability to step up for the big occasion, and there’ll be none bigger this year than Sunday’s Grand Final at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland (2pm) when they meet Wellington Olympic.
And, yes, he scored against Olympic when they met in the Chatham Cup semi-final.
Main photo: Dylan Manickum … has been City’s talisman in key games this season. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Navy Blues chasing historic quadruple
If Auckland City win the Grand Final, they’ll achieve an historic sweep of four titles in one calendar year — Northern League, National League, OFC Champions League and the Chatham Cup.
Victory would bring to a close a season of 49 games in which they lost only twice.
It would also be Auckland City’s 11th consecutive national league title.
Meanwhile, Wellington Olympic go into the Grand Final with a tremendous record in 2022.
Having won the Central League, they have been the top goalscorers in the Men’s National League and have finished second on the table, despite having the best record in the competition.
Tied on points with Auckland City, the tiebreaker for the National League was the outcome of the game between the sides, not goal difference. And City won that match on the opening day of the competition.
Game to be played on Sunday December 4, 2022
Auckland City v Wellington Olympic
Mt Smart Stadium, Penrose, 2pm
Watch: The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 3
Chatham Cup semi-final
Game played Sunday August 21, 2022
Auckland City 3 (Dylan Manickum 10′, Joe Lee 45′, Emiliano Tade 68′)
Wellington Olympic 1 (Jessie Randall 54′)
National League round one
Game played Saturday October 1, 2022
Wellington Olympic 1 (Gianni Bouzoukis 75′)
Auckland City 2 (Ryan de Vries 50′, own goal 86′)
Fan meet up
Auckland City are encouraging supporters from both finalist clubs to enjoy the hospitality of The Zookeeper’s Son from noon till heading to Mt Smart, a six-minute drive away.
The Zookeeper’s Son is at 715 Mt Albert Road, Royal Oak.
Supporting the community
The death of local superette worker Janak Patel following a robbery in Sandringham has brought together those in the local community.
Auckland City have donated 30 adult tickets for the final to the Sandringham Small Business Association.
Club president Ivan Vuksich said:
“Our community has been shaken to its core after the passing of Janak Patel and it’s important we strengthen our bonds with everyone in the area.
“We hope that members of the SBA and their families can make it to Mount Smart Stadium and find a brief distraction for one afternoon as our guests.”
Cup final venue
The Grand Final is being held at Mt Smart Stadium due to the unavailability of other venues, including North Harbour Stadium which is hosting summer baseball. Mt Smart was the home ground for the All Whites during their qualifying campaign to the 1982 FIFA World Cup.