Auckland fans have been handed an end-of-season soccer bonanza with two big games this weekend to bring the curtain down on the domestic season.
Waitakere United have forgone the opportunity to play the ASB Premiership grand final against Team Wellington at Fred Taylor Park to avoid a clash with Auckland City's first leg O-League final clash with Tahiti's AS Tefana, which will be played at Kiwitea St on Sunday.
Waitakere United events manager Rex Dawkins said his club was happy to co-operate in "the best interests of football" by switching to a Saturday night game at Trusts Stadium.
"There was no way we would have wanted to go head-to-head with Auckland City," said Dawkins.
"We could have opted for the alternate date - on the following Sunday - but Team Wellington would have been without a couple of players who have overseas commitments.
"There was a suggestion we could have played at Fred Taylor Park this Saturday afternoon.
"But there was no way we would agree to that as it would clash with local football and obviously we want as big a crowd as possible at the final."
Waitakere won hosting rights as the highest-placed finalist based on the regular season finish. Waitakere, who came back from 0-1 after the first leg to beat Canterbury United 5-3 on aggregate, finished third in the minor premiership - one place ahead of Team Wellington, who accounted for minor premiers Auckland City in their two-leg semifinal.
Team Wellington will be all out for revenge.
They lost twice to Waitakere during the regular season - the 3-1 loss at Fred Taylor Park on February 26 their last before a seven-match winning streak including victory in the inaugural White Ribbon Cup.
The two clubs met, ironically at Trusts Stadium, in the 2008-09 final after Team Wellington had eliminated Auckland City 4-3 in the preliminary final.
In the next two seasons Waitakere ended Team Wellington's hopes in the semifinals.
The stakes could not be higher for the teams pitted against each other tomorrow night with the major domestic title and the chance to join Auckland City in next season's O-League awaiting the winner.By Terry Maddaford Email Terry