Knights crowned Australian-Croatian champions in New Zealand

The Melbourne Knights FC have been crowned Champions at the Australian and New Zealand Croatian Football Tournament held last weekend in Auckland.
Featuring 23 men’s and eight women’s teams, this year was the first time the tournament was held outside Australia, and it proved to be an outstanding success, with more than 1000 Australian’s descending on Auckland to participate.
It was only the second time in the event’s history that the Knights had won the tournament.
The Knights impressed the local crowd and travelling supporters when they qualified for the final after victories over a number of prominent Australian teams, including last year’s champions Adelaide Raiders, Canberra FC (who recently claimed their ninth ACT State League title in the past 10 years), and local sister club, St Albans Saints.
The Knights’ undefeated reign was solidified in the final with a 2-1 victory over Adelaide, thanks to goals from Joseph Franjic and Liam Cannell. Tournament captain and key defensive midfielder, Ben Surey was named Player of the Tournament, capping off a monumental weekend for the club.
The Australian-Croatian Football Tournament is the oldest still running national competition in Australia and has been won by Sydney United on 9 occassions.
Next year’s tournament hosting rights were given to King Tomislav Sydney who pipped the Knights and St. Albans who put in a joint bid to host the 37th edition of the tournament in 2011.
To view the extensive gallery of photos from the tournament, please click here.

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