Auckland City have announced a third signing — the second from neighbours Auckland United — as the Navy Blues prepare to head to the FIFA Club World Cup.
The latest is midfielder Michael den Heijer (26) who returns to Kiwitea St for his second spell after previously helping the club to two OFC Champions League titles, a national league title and an NZ Football Charity Cup.
His previous clubs include Kashiwa Reysol (Japan), NEC Nijmegen, SV DFS (both Netherlands), 1.FC Kleve (Germany) before joining United at Keith Hay Park.
Main photo: Michael den Heijer (centre) training with Auckland City in preparation for the FIFA Club World Cup.Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
“It feels very good to be back at Auckland City FC. I’ve been with the club before and experienced the taste of success and I’m looking forward to doing my best and help the club go forward.
“I’m very excited about the FIFA Club World Cup and playing Al Ahly. They’re the most successful club side in Egypt and have won back-to-back bronze medals at the FIFA Club World Cup but with the team we have we are determined to give our best.”
Head coach Albert Riera said:
“I remember the first time I saw Michael play here and was very impressed by him. Michael is a very good player and adds competition for places in our midfield.
“He’s a big lad but very quick for his size and he can play in this position which is not very common in New Zealand so I am very happy to have him on board for this season,”
The Navy Blues face Egyptian Premier League leaders Al Ahly in the first round, sudden death tie on Tuesday February 2 (8am, NZT).
The Auckland City contingent leave New Zealand on two flights on Monday and Tuesday, heading for Spain where they will play three warm-up games while in training camp near Barcelona.