Sixteen teams will play in the annual NZ Fiji AFC IDC Football Tournament beginning on Saturday October 15, 2011 at Centre Park, Mangere and ending over the Labour Weekend (October 24).
The Tournament will kick off officially on Friday, October 14 at 7 pm with the traditional IDC Cocktail in the new lounge. It will also be a part of the Diwali Festival scheduled to be held at Centre Park on Sunday, October 16.
The groups were drawn live on Apna 990 AM on October 7 and the IDC rumble has started with teams now knowing who they are playing.
In Group A, defending Champions Rewa must overcome the new younger teams of Nadogo, Bua and Savusavu.
It may seem a relatively easy pool, but Rewa cannot take things lightly as all other three teams will have enough firepower to play one-hour games.
In Group B, Runners-Up Tavua will feature with the the return of the Rakiraki team led by their Fiji Cup star Shalesh Kumar.
Association Technical Advisor Bobby Chandra is excited with the prospect of a new Rakiraki back in the association, as they had been a major attraction with quality players.
“I expect that they will bring a strong side once again,” he said.
Along with last year’s Plate Winners Kadavu and Babasiga Lions Labasa, this is a very interesting group.
In Group C, Lautoka will go head-to-head with Nadi, Naitasiri and Nadroga, which will feature the Hamilton boys who played in the Fiji Cup.
In Group D, Nasinu, Ba, Vatukoula and Suva make up the “pool of death” as they say.
Teams are preparing well for the Tournament.
According to IDC Chairman John Nath, who is also a Vice-President, this would be ‘very even contest.’
It is a very tough call to make this year as to who the likely winners would be.
The IDC Tournament will feature at the new Stadium and Shah Grandstand at Centre Park, which has already hosted several successful tournaments since it was built, Nath said.
We have decided to recognise the loyal support of the people of Auckland towards our Tournament over many years with free entry on Saturday, October 15. We know it is a hard year with the ongoing recession and hence we have decided to do this in recognition of their support.
Gate charges will only apply to adults over the Labour Weekend.
The Tournament is once again sponsored by Shah Homes Ltd and is ranked as a Traditional Tournament for the football connoisseur with a passion for football.
It is a great time to meet with family and friends while enjoying quality football and Fiji food.
It should be a great weekend of good football and fun.
The new stadium has good facilities and with free car park.
The Centre Park is gaining a lot of attraction from the Auckland patrons.
The Tournament has been going on for more than 18 years, a long time for any such event in the Fijian football community.
NZ Fiji AFC has set its very busy summer calendar starting with the IDC, the Fiji FACT in December, completing with the Battle of Giants at the Waitangi Weekend.
Other than these Tournaments, Centre Park will be the venue for the Muslim, Sanatan and Sangam Tournaments in November and the ‘SM Singh International Veterans Tournament’ over the Auckland Anniversary Weekend, which is expected to once again attract a large set of teams from Australia.
There are two other International events planned with details to be released in due course.
MCPSA President Noel Robinson has successfully secured three football fields for the summer season to enable the community enjoy good facilities and a full summer schedule.
The Stadium has completed its long term strategic and facilities development planning. Two very important projects will be launched at the IDC, which, according to Robinson, should bring good news to the users of this Park.
However, all eyes will be on the IDC for the next two weekends.