It is the New Zealand equivalent of England's Charity Shield, but tomorrow's season-opener at Fred Taylor Park is hardly likely to be a charitable occasion even if both clubs are supporting White Ribbon, a campaign against domestic violence.

Waitakere United and Auckland City matches always produce a meaningful contest.

While there are no points at stake, early season bragging rights and a $2000 winner-take-all cheque ensure this will be no friendly.

The Spanish connection is big at City with coach Ramon Tribulietx having fellow countrymen Angel Berlanga, Albert Riera, Manel Exposito and Guerao in his largely unchanged squad.


City have welcomed back Chad Coombes and have bolstered their squad with Argentinian Emiliano Tade from Team Wellington and included youngsters Hilili Nagime, under-17 hat-trick hero Stephen Carmichael, fellow under-17 international goalkeeper Liam Anderson, Reece Lambert, another from the under-17s, and Simon Arms.

There has been little movement at Waitakere with most of last season's squad returning.

With Roy Krishna still involved with his Fijian club, newcomer Gagame Feni is likely to get game time after moving north from Canterbury United.

He has been joined by under-17 international Bill Tuiloma who caught the eye of many at the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Mexico.

There is a decided youthful look in Neil Emblem's Waitakere squad with, Luke Adams, Ryan de Vries, Sean Lovemore, Feni, Rory Turner and Jordan Vale expected to play their part alongside more established United regulars.

Both coaches see tomorrow's game as a key part of their build-up to the ASB Premiership's opening round a week later.

Waitakere United v Auckland City
Where: Fred Taylor Park
When: Tomorrow 2pm
Referee: Chris Kerr