23 Apr 2016

Sport: Team Wellington to go on the attack in Oceania final

1:39 pm on 23 April 2016

Team Wellington are banking on an attacking approach being the key to denying Auckland City a sixth straight Oceania Champions League football title.

Both teams have chalked up four straight wins to set up a repeat of last year's Oceania final.

Wellington lost that match 4-3 on penalties but have recent history on their side, having upset Auckland in last month's New Zealand domestic final.

Team Wellington coach Matt Calcott.

Team Wellington coach Matt Calcott. Photo: OFC via Phototek

Head coach Matt Calcott said that result gave his team a major confidence boost.

"A number of teams at the tournament and also in the national league have probably backed off. We just want to get on the front foot, play higher up the park and put a bit of pressure on Auckland and we will see where that takes us."

He said the group stage of the Oceania Champions League gave his side a wake up call going into today's grand final.

After beating current the OFC champions Auckland City in the New Zealand domestic league last month, Calcott said there was a feeling in the side that they did not have to work as hard at the current tournament.

But that has now changed and he Calcott knows Auckland will be looking to turn the tables.

"We've gone through a period in the group stages where we've got through the thinking that well maybe we don't need to do as much as we were doing to get as far as we need to go and that's certainly not the case."

"They were a little bit scratchy in group stages - I think we've done what we needed to do to get to the final and now it's really ensuring that, out of possession especially, we're top notch," he said.

Auckland City are eying a record eighth regional championship and coach Ramon Tribulietx insisted his players are under enormous pressure to defend their title year after year.

"With success the expectations are also growing and it doesn't get any easier. Experience counts for something but we also have a lot of young players. The nerves will be there for all of us on the day."

Tribulietx believed this year's title decider is far too close to call.

"Wellington is team that is well put together. In my opinion they are very direct they are happy to sit back and defend but they are also dangerous on the counter. They have players like Tom Jackson, Luis Corrales and Ben Harris who suit that style of play. It will be a tough match," he said.

The winning team will also qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December.

Clayton Lewis scored twice in Auckland City's semi final win against AS Tefana.

Clayton Lewis scored twice in Auckland City's semi final win against AS Tefana. Photo: OFC via Phototek