ASB Premiership Standings

Grand Final

Fulltime

1
0
Auckland
Wellington
Sun 16 Mar, 2.35pm, 2014
Kiwitea St, Sandringham

2013/14 ASBP Media Guide

2013/14 ASBP Draw

Auckland signings aim to make it four
26.03.14

Three-in-a-row winners Auckland City have increased their chances of adding an unprecedented fourth straight OFC Champions League title by bringing in four new faces for the tournament, the group stages of which take place in Fiji from April 7 to 15.

The Hawke's Bay United pair of striker Sean Lovemore and midfielder Sean Morris have joined while Mario Ilich is promoted from the club's youth ranks.

But the major acquisition is former K-League midfielder Daewook Kim.

Kim made his debut in the K-League, South Korea's premier competition, for Daejeon Citizen FC in 2010 before moving to National Police Agency FC then Gyeongju Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power FC.

"Kim is technically very good and very fast on the ball, he definitely has everything to be an important player for our midfield but needs some time to adjust to what we do as well," says coach Ramon Tribulietx, who is just as pleased to have signed Lovemore and Morris.

"I think Lovemore will be a very good player for us. He has unbelievable speed that will be very useful with our style of football," Tribulietx says.

"Morris is a very complete midfielder who works very hard out of possession and plays a simple game in possession, securing the ball well. He will be a good addition to our midfield."

Lovemore has good pedigree in this competition having scored four goals in eight games for former club Waitakere United and will add competition for places up front with the on-form Emiliano Tade and Joao Moreira.

"These players will fill the positions in which we have lost players and add competition to the squad, as well as the extra motivation they will bring for the Champions League. I think overall these are good additions that, with a bit of time, can be good players for our club," Tribulietx says.

The defending champions have been drawn in Group B and will face Amicale FC (Vanuatu), Nadi FC (Fiji) and AS Dragon (Tahiti) at Churchill Park in Lautoka.

Tribulietx believes each of Auckland's opponents will offer a stern challenge in differing ways.

"Dragon and Amicale are well known as we have played them in recent years and they are two of the best teams in the competition. They have also strengthened their squads very well, especially in the case of Amicale with a lot of European-based players signing for the club," he says. 

"I know a bit less about Nadi but have seen some footage and any team playing at home will be very motivated and dangerous. We will try to learn as much as we can before we play them."

For full coverage of the tournament please visit www.oceaniafootball.com