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Auckland FC Unveil First Signings Ahead Of Debut Season

Auckland’s newest professional sports team announces four NZ players

First club signings all have international experience at All White and U23 levels

Experienced shot stopper, Michael Woud, returns to his hometown after nine years away

Auckland FC AKA The Black Knights have unveiled the club’s first four signings ahead of their debut season in the A-League Men  Thursday 30 May 2024.

The four players; Jesse Randall, 21; Michael Woud, 25; Francis De Vries, 29 and Cameron Howieson, also 29, represent a mix of some of the best upcoming and established New Zealand talent.

Woud, De Vries and Howieson all bring international experience with the All Whites, with Randall an experienced international at Under-23 level.

Head Coach Steve Corica says, “We are building a club that has a strong connection to Auckland. We wanted our first player announcements to be talented New Zealanders who have experience both locally and internationally.

“Michael is a great shot stopper and is really excited to be returning home. I know he will be fighting for the chance to play in front of his friends and family. Both Francis and Cameron have been two of the most consistent players at a national level and we have been tracking Jesse for a while now and he has a huge amount of potential.

“All four players suit our attacking style of football, they will all be making their A-League debuts next season and will want to impress the home crowds.”

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Corica added that this was just the start, with more players to be announced in the coming weeks now the A-League season has officially ended.

Auckland FC CEO, Nick Becker says, “All four players signed today represent what we have said we would do from day one. We are building a club that is embedded in the community and creates new opportunities for players in Auckland.

“It is really special to have players who have a genuine connection to Auckland and its football clubs. Cameron Howieson has played over 114 games locally, has enjoyed a lot of local success with Auckland City and is incredibly popular with the local football community.

“Cam now has the opportunity, along with the others, to showcase their talent in the A-League and potentially overseas through our multi-club ownership,” he adds.

“The level of energy and excitement for the club from the grassroots, social leagues and on the street has been incredibly humbling. This is just the start and we’re going to make Auckland proud,” says Becker.

Auckland FC is majority owned by Bill Foley, with Ali Williams and Anna Mowbray as local co-owners, and will play their home games at Mt. Smart’s Go Media Stadium when the 2024/25 season starts in October.

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