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Yeah, it was alright!

Waitakere United 1, WaiBOP United 5
North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, November 19 2015


My partner Gina doesn’t often come to the football with me, but when she does she usually spends most of it on Facebook or playing Tetris. Her interest in the game is simply that by tagging along she gets to spend slightly more time with me than would otherwise be the case. In other words, she is the complete antithesis of what Bruce Holloway would call an ‘anorak’. The sum total of posts on this blog that she has read would number somewhere in the vicinity of zero. Before last night, our conversations about the game haven’t really progressed much past:

Me: Did you like the game?

Gina: It was boring.

And that pretty much goes for anything from an NRFL game we have attended together right through to the All Whites v Bahrain World Cup playoff…

But as we munched on some Mexican food on Ponsonby Road last night, before heading off to Albany for this ASB Premiership clash, we had this conversation:

Me: Who are you supporting tonight?

Gina: Ummmmm… WaiBOP.

Me: Why?

Gina: Dunno. It’s a cool name – WaiBOP. If it was WaiBOP v Auckland it would be a hard call…

Me: Wait, what? You prefer Auckland City to Waitakere, even though we live in Waitakere? Why?

Gina: Because Auckland are cool, right? I like Kiwitea. I like the atmosphere there. And they are the best team, aren’t they? And I like that Ivan guy. What’s his name? Vissavich…

Me: Vicelich. NZF are making them play some of their home games at North Harbour Stadium instead of Kiwitea Street this season, what do you think about that?

Gina: That’s wrong! Why would they do that???

Me: Because of TV. Do you think it’s better on TV and at North Harbour or not on TV and at Kiwitea?

Gina: The game should be on TV AND at Kiwitea Street! They should capture the atmosphere!! It’s the best little soccer ground I’ve been to. THEY SHOULD PICK UP THE CAMERA AND TAKE IT THERE!!!


So I reckon there are two possibilities here. One is that I’m slowly starting to turn my partner into a football fan – I think we can pretty much discount that right off the bat. The other is that she has seen a crime against football so heinous that even she is outraged about it!!!

Me, I’m not complaining on this particular occasion for reasons so obvious I hardly need to articulate them here. But I’m going to anyway. If this game hadn’t been at North Harbour Stadium, it would have been at Fred Taylor Park and we all know what happens there! Every time like clockwork!

Before yesterday, WaiBOP and Waikato FC’s last twelve games away at Waitakere have yielded 0 wins, 0 draws and 12 losses with just 7 goals scored and 38 conceded. WaiBOP have only won twice at Waitakere United, both 2-1 victories in 2006 and 2005. This was only their 5th win over Waitakere United in 26 ASB Premiership regular season encounters. Previously, their biggest win was 3-0 at home over a decade ago. Their biggest loss was a 9-1 thumping at home in 2012.

So that gives you some idea of how huge this was. Absolutely massive, and it came just four days after the big disappointment of surrendering two leads against Team Wellington on Sunday. What a way to bounce back!

But that wasn’t the biggest revelation of the night. Here’s the biggest revelation of the night:

Things I liked about it:

  1. WaiBOP won
  2. It was exciting
  3. WaiBOP won
  4. It was quite nice watching it from up high for a change
  5. WaiBOP won
  6. It was raining, yet I did not get so much as one solitary drop of water on me
  7. WaiBOP won

Things I didn’t like:

  1. The atmosphere was a bit flat
  2. .

And then, on the way back to the car last night, this conversation occurred:

Me: Did you like the game?

Gina: Yeah, it was alright!

Me: REALLY??? What did you like about it?

Gina: WaiBOP scored lots of goals! Who was that goalkeeper?

Wow. Maybe atmosphere doesn’t matter as much as we ‘anoraks’ think it does?


Categories: NZ Men's National League

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

2 replies

  1. Hey Enzo. Does Gina still like the ‘WaiBop’ name with ‘Loaded’ prefixing it? My guess is yes.. Who would not like it?
    My comment is that watching via the electric television I was impressed with the standard of play. Most won’t realise but if one could watch a 70’s national league game then this one, you would see the vast improvement in the local game. However about that pitch……

    1. Gina says “Loaded WaiBOP?? That’s bad. It sounds rude. Loaded with what? Commercialisation of names is bad. It’s like McDonalds schools.”

      As an aside “McDonalds schools” is a reference to the book ‘Jennifer Government’ by Max Barry – nothing to do with football but a cracking read if you ever get the chance.

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