Auckland United head to Solomon Islands for OFC Women’s Champions League

A young Auckland United squad have left New Zealand to create history as the first club team to represent their country in the OFC Women’s Champions League.

United, with 10 teenagers in their squad, farewelled friends, family and supporters at Auckland International Airport on Friday, en route to Honiara in the Solomon Islands where they’ll compete in the eight-team tournament, starting with their opening game on Monday against Fiji’s Labasa.

The club fundraised $140,000 to get their team to the tournament.

Main photo: The Auckland United squad at the departure gate … ready to represent their country.

Auckland United earned the right to represent New Zealand at the 2024 OFC tournament by winning the Women’s National League grand final against Southern United in November.

They will become the first New Zealand club to compete in the OFC Women’s Champions League after the withdrawal of Eastern Suburbs from the inaugural event in 2023.

It is expected that results at OFC Women’s Champions League tournaments will determine which clubs will qualify to represent Oceania at future FIFA Women’s World Cup competitions.

All games at the OFC Women’s Champions League will be streamed live and free by FIFA+ (see links below).

Auckland United will play three games in their group, against Labasa (Fiji), AS Academy Féminine (New Caledonia) and Veitongo (Tonga).

Auckland United

Goalkeeper

1 Amberley Hollis (26)

Defenders

2 Talisha Green (captain), (23)
4 Greer Macintosh (21)
6 Riley Sheldon (18)
13 Holly Rennell (17)
19 Kara McGillivray (15)
21 Kate McConnell (21)

Midfielders

8 Danielle Canham (18)
10 Pia Vlok (15)
12 Alaina Granger (20)
16 Yume Harashima (27)
17 Penny Brill (17)
25 Piper O’Neill (15)

Forwards

9 Bree Johnson (23)
11 Rene Wasi (21)
12 Alaina Granger (20)
14 Alexis Cook (18)
15 Charlotte Roche (19)
20 Poppy O’Brien (17)

Head coach

Ben Bate

Fixtures

Game to be played on Monday March 11, 2024

Labasa (Fiji) v Auckland United (NZ)
SIFF Academy, Honiara, Solomon Islands, 5pm (NZT)

Game to be played on Thursday March 14, 2024

AS Academy Féminine (New Caledonia) v Auckland United (NZ)
SIFF Academy, Honiara, Solomon Islands, 2pm (NZT)

Game to be played on Sunday March 17, 2024

Auckland United (NZ) v Veitongo FC (Tonga)
SIFF Academy, Honiara, Solomon Islands, 2pm (NZT)

Knockout stages

If Auckland United finish first or second in Group B, they’ll go into the semi-finals to be played on Wednesday March 20, 2024.

The winners of those games meet in the final on Saturday March 22, 2024, at the Solomon Islands National Stadium.

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