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The case for Onehunga Sports

One Tree Hill in the background

By Jo Dawkins

Onehunga Sports FC has gone from strength to strength over the past decade. Recently our success at youth level, mainly distinguished by the consistent achievement at the Manchester United Premier Cup (2 time Pacific Final winners), has been transferred to men’s football.

2015 was a benchmark year for the club with the integration of the Wellington Phoenix Soccer School, which provides a community and elite training program for aspiring football players from 5 – 18 years old.

The Club Premier Team and Soccer School are led by long term Technical Director Hiroshi Miyazawa.

In 2015, Onehunga Sports boasted a number of accolades with the players we have been developing at youth level for several years, including;

  • Manchester United Premier Cup – New Zealand Champions and Pacific Runners Up,
  • ACFC National U17 Tournament – National Runners Up,
  • U19 Metro League Champions,
  • NRFL Premier Reserves – League and Cup Champions,
  • FIFA U17 World Cup – Four Representitives at the finals Including Captain Ben Mata,
  • FIFA U20 World Cup – Three players at the finals (including goalscorer Stuart Holtusen).
  • Olympic U23 Qualifying – Three Players at the finals.
  • New Zealand All Whites – Three players debut in 2015 (Only amateur club with representitives/ Including Youngest player Moses Dyer).
  • New Zealand ‘A’ – Four Players selected.

We currently have 9 players signed in the ASB Premiership (Including three with Auckland City FC at the FIFA Club World Cup) and various ASB Youth League Players – including 6 with the Wellington Phoenix ASB Youth League squad in Wellington.

Our bid features a dual facility offering with the existing Waikaraka Park as well as Mount Smart Stadium with whom we have had initial and supportive discussions.

The club’s proven development structure is second-to-none and the bid for a national league Spot will provide a vital pathway for our locally produced talent to excel on the national stage.

[This is the third in a series of guest posts from bidding entities stating why they would make great ASB Premiership clubs. If you are bidding for a spot and would like to participate in this feature, e-mail me via casagiordani at orcon dot net dot nz – I have already been in touch with most but don’t have contact details for everyone. I’m not leaving you out on purpose! 🙂 ]

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.

1 reply

  1. Hi Jo,

    Congratulations on the national league bid from a club which has been a pillar of the northern league. But please let me play devil’s advocate and pose a few questions about the Onehunga bid.

    Last week Fairfax media reported your bid under the name, “Onehunga Soccer”. Is this correct, and if so, could you explain the set-up and structurally how it relates to the Onehunga Sports club?

    Does your tenancy at Waikaraka Park allow for the development of seating and other main-pitch infrastructure?

    Does your club have any administrators or employees experienced in the demands of operating at national league level?

    You say your bid for a national league spot will provide “a vital pathway for our locally produced talent”. But doesn’t the fact you already have nine players active in the ASB Premiership suggest that a very active and successful pathway already exists?

    One of the objectives of the national league revamp is to move to a more “open” competition (promotion-relegation) to satisfy Fifa dictates. But while your club has, as you say, gone from strength to strength at many levels, in 50 years Onehunga has never won the northern premier league. Does Onehunga have the performance pedigree to justify a place in the national league, considering it would not have qualified under a promotion-relegation system?

    If successful, Onehunga would be operating just a few kilometres from Auckland City, the most successful club in the the NZFC/ASB Premiership era. Back in the 1980-90s it was perceived to be a problem in some quarters in having two national league clubs operating in the same neighbourhood. What spectator support base would you be serving which is not already served by the national league?

    When the NZFC was introduced in 2004, entities were required to be constituted as single-team operations, so that the focus was exclusively on the national league. Is there a danger Onehunga would be distracted from such a singular focus by its involvement in its (obviously successful) other activities at community level?

    There area host of Auckland-based bids on the table. In your view how many teams could Auckland successfully support in terms of its fan base, player base and grant funding base?

    Please don’t be offended by these questions if they seem a bit pointed. The objective is simply to employ the Socratic method to best illuminate ideas and proposals.

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