On Saturday I blogged about Manukau City AFC’s amazing come from behind penalty shootout upset of first division Papatoetoe in the Chatham Cup.
Manukau City is a club that has had to overcome significant adversity this season and back over the years to get where they are today. This is mostly due to that which has ailed most football clubs post tobacco sponsorship – lack of funds. But even by New Zealand football standards this is not, by any stretch, a well-resourced club. They represent a part of Auckland that has one of the highest instances of poverty in New Zealand and everything they have achieved has had to be gained through a lot of hard struggle.
They also unfortunately attracted some negative headlines earlier this season when a player assaulted a referee during their game against Tauranga City. However one rogue player (who was immediately stood down indefinitely by the club) should not be allowed to detract from what a great little community organisation this is that is doing excellent work with as many as 200 local young people across 13 teams.
They have a wonderful, friendly and welcoming family atmosphere at Walter Massey Park, with everything from sausage sizzles to vuvuzelas and one of the most multi-cultural vibes I’ve experienced in New Zealand football. I can categorically say from first-hand experience what a great bunch of people they are who deserve every bit of success they get, not to mention the positive publicity this cup run has afforded them.
Their current place in the standings, second from bottom in the third tier of the Northern Regional Football League, really underlines what a significant achievement making the quarter finals of the Chatham Cup is for this little club that could.
But their reward for this success has been the roughest quarter final draw they could possibly have imagined. An away trip to Southern Premier League leaders Caversham on the 20th or 21st of July. They must now find around $10,000 to transport, feed and accommodate their whole squad to and from Dunedin in the space of only two weeks. This is an enormous cost burden for any club, let alone one that draws its supporters from such a low income area. It’s the sort of thing that has been known to cripple football clubs in the past. The alternative to not raising this money is they may have to forfeit.
So they need your help. It would be wonderful to see the football community rally to support these guys and help them to represent South Auckland in the Deep South. You can be a part of their historic journey by depositing your donation, no matter how big or small, into this account:
Account name: Manukau City Association Football Club
Account number: 12-3436-0032031-00
[reference “Chatham Cup” and your name]
And go to this facebook event, join and share! https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/336866389724212/
Categories: NZ Chatham Cup
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.