You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Auckland City want FFA invite to A-League

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/11/2016 Ben McKay

Oceania powerhouses Auckland City FC will put their hands up to join the A-League, but only if they have support from Football Federation Australia.

New Zealand's most successful club is taking initial soundings to join another Kiwi club, Wellington Phoenix, in the Australian competition.

Auckland might be outside the square of FFA's current thinking, given the previous difficulties of the New Zealand Knights, which folded after two unsuccessful A-League campaigns in 2007.

With a population of 1.5 million - the biggest untapped market in the region - Auckland has a powerhouse club ready to join the A-League.

Next month, City head to Japan to attend their eighth FIFA Club World Cup off the back of a sixth-straight continental success.

Auckland City FC chairman Ivan Vuksich says the club was keen to test themselves in the A-League.

"We'd obviously like to be involved but it's been difficult to pick up when they're calling for expressions of interest," he told AAP.

"We keep hearing they're looking at a 2018/19 entry and that's quite a way off.

"We've made some tentative enquiries and talked to funders but it's very early days."

The Knights fell by the wayside after just two A-League seasons, averaging crowds of less than 3500 in Auckland.

Vuksich suggested any successful Auckland franchise would need to be based at Mount Smart Stadium - like the city's NRL side - in the city's south-east.

"A lot of people don't like North Harbour because it's a bit more exposed and it's hard for Aucklanders to get there from the southern side of the bridge. It's a hell of a place to get to," he said.

"The Warriors have a good trot there (Mt Smart) and it always looks good on the television."

Unlike some of the Australian bids - including ambitious front-runners from Tasmania and South Melbourne - which are putting their front foot forward, Auckland City is after a little bit of encouragement.

"We would like to be in the A-League but it's always been a fairyland idea that we would be asked," Vuksich said.

"If we had any inkling that there was interest from Australia - and we've never had anything like that - we would try and bed down a few of these things.

"That's as far as we've gone."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon