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Bring on Auckland A-League team: Nix boss

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/03/2017 Angelo Risso

Chris Greenacre. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Chris Greenacre. The prospect of an all-Kiwi A-League derby has received the tick of approval from Wellington Phoenix co-coach Chris Greenacre.

With A-League expansion a topic du jour in Australian football circles, Auckland remains the largest potential market without a side in the competition.

The New Zealand Knights had originally set up camp on the city's north shore in 2005 but poor results and even poorer crowds led to their 2007 dissolution.

Wellington Phoenix emerged from the Knights' ashes as New Zealand's local team and have taken occasional matches to other Kiwi cities, including Auckland.

But the team from the Kiwi capital have also had their fair share of issues with Football Federation Australia, and may face the chop if their on and off-field performance doesn't improve by 2020.

Ahead of his side's clash with Perth Glory in Albany, Greenacre told reporters he was keen to see the City of Sails get its own franchise at some point in the future.

Club World Cup perennials Auckland City have previously voiced interest in joining the league, but only with the FFA's explicit support.

"Bring it on - that'd be great, for us to have a derby," Greenacre said.

"I wasn't here before, when the last franchise was here, so I don't know the politics around that kind of thing.

"But it'd be great for the game to have a real New Zealand derby, it'd be a fantastic boost."

If Auckland does get over the line as the A-League's next target market, it doesn't appear likely to occur anytime soon.

Governance issues at the FFA forced the body's bosses to delay progress on expansion last month, with the criteria for league admission still unclear.

The body also stated last week that expansion, which wasn't slated until after 2019, would result in unsustainable losses under the current model.

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