28 Apr 2015

Sport: O-League champions favour return to home and away format

12:34 pm on 28 April 2015

Auckland City football coach Ramon Tribulietx believes a return to a longer format, with home and away matches, would help boost the quality of the Oceania Champions League.

Auckland won their fifth consecutive O-League title at the weekend, beating Team Wellington in a penalty shootout in Suva.

Auckland City celebrate winning the 2015 Oceania Champions League title.

Auckland City celebrate winning the 2015 Oceania Champions League title. Photo: SUPPLED

In order to keep costs down the entire competition was held in Fiji for the first time, with Auckland forced to play five matches in 16 days.

Ramon Tribulietx says mental and physical fatigue was a factor in this year's condensed format and says the best way to develop the players and confederation is to play more games over a longer period.

"Having the opportunity to play home and away I think is probably the best way to experience the games. When we play away in Oceania - anywhere we play - we always have big crowds. [For] the final we didn't have a big crowd because it was two New Zealand teams playing in Fiji so if we go back to what it was a couple of years ago, where we had group phase, then semi final and final, home and away, you were guaranteed a lot of very good games. That's the best way you're going to give you players and staff to develop at the highest level".

Auckland City's win means they will return to the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December, however whether Tribulietx is still with them is up in the air.

The Spaniard has yet to discuss renewing his contract and has been linked with the vacancy at Australian club Brisbane Roar.