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Fraternising with the enemy

Waitakere United 1, Canterbury United Dragons 1 Trusts Stadium, Auckland, January 14 2017 This was my third men’s national league football game since the 2017/18 season began, and it was also my third Waitakere United game of the summer. Is it time to admit I’ve got a problem? They say […]

I’ve (re)found that lovin’ feeling

Telling people you’re a Nottingham Forest supporter in New Zealand tends to elicit one of the following responses. A blank look and mumbled ‘sorry, never heard of them’ from those who think football begins with Arsenal and ends with Manchester United. A pitying smile and avuncular ‘well, I suppose you’re […]

Get plover it

Auckland City 2, Waitakere United 2 Kiwitea Street, Auckland, January 7 2018 Yesterday I picked the official football calendar back up again where I had left it before Christmas, at Kiwitea Street, where precious little seemed to have changed in the past two weeks. Despite my giving groundsman Tom a […]

Tenth labour

Coastal Spirit U-19 Tournament Labour WeekendChristchurch I’ve volunteered at the U-19 Tournament (hosted by Coastal Spirit FC in Christchurch) for most of the ten Labour Weekends since the Tournament’s inception in 2008. The tournament was originally designed to give South Island clubs an alternative to the costs and logistics of […]

Kick to the Future

Johnny Lightyear dragged his fathers’s arm and said “C’mon Dad we can’t miss kick off!” Father and son surged with with the masses through the body scanners into the stadium. My first live match! thought Johnny. As they took their seats Johnny urged his dad, “Tell me about Future Football? […]

The Virgili Cup

Nerazzurri 5, Golden Barbarians 1 Kahoe Stadium, Kaeo, January 1 2018 It’s billed as ‘the dawn of football’. Kahoe Stadium, situated at the backpackers’ hostel that Stefano Virgili and his wife Lyndsey run, has hosted a four-a-side football tournament every New Year’s Eve for the past 26 years. The evening […]

The Hudson Legacy

When Anthony Hudson departed as the All Whites head coach last year, headed for Colorado and the MLS, much was made over the improvements he had introduced as the senior man in NZ Football. Video analysts, sports scientists and enhanced medical staff were three of the things cited as Hudson successes, […]

New year, new décor

I apologise if you’ve heard most of this before. I’ll make it mercifully brief this year. It has become an annual, (some might say anal) tradition of mine to change up the décor of this blog on New Year’s Day every year and today is no exception. This used to […]

VAR: A referee’s perspective

There’s not much that unites football fans apart from our love of the game. We come from diverse ethnic, religious and political backgrounds. We eat different foods, speak different languages, and most importantly of all we support different teams. That’s what keeps the game going. Because if we all held […]