Professional football in New Zealand will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2019 which, despite the relative fragility of the status of the Wellington Phoenix in the Australian A-League, is no mean achievement.
We’ve looked at the Football Kingz before, particularly the promo adverts which could not be any more turn of the century if they were soundtracked by Barenaked Ladies – One Week. However a year into Sa’id Milton’s regular uploads to the Football Kingz channel of the footage he has collected, there are nearly three complete seasons of Kingz highlights on offer.
From the very first highlights package where the firework laden introduction is interspersed by the commentator struggling with his words and commentating, ‘Fuck, it’s loud’ to a 2 – 0 Season 5 clash against South Melbourne at an under-construction Mt Smart Stadium, where mention of ‘the new league’ features in the commentary.
Recently there have been compilations of all of Wynton Rufer’s goals for the Auckland side;
As well as a Best Kingz Goals highlights reel;
Looking over the three seasons that are almost fully available, it’s the 1999 – 2001 Kingz which really catch the eye. You can see how a team which finished mid-table for it’s first few seasons before the off-field ructions, managed to get there. Michael Utting’s frenzied goalkeeping, a young Ivan Vicelich threading balls through the midfield and a strike trio of Fred De Jong, Wynton Rufer and Harry Ngata.
The crowd noise too, is impressive, as are the array of late nineties stadia to which the Kingz visit. Sydney United’s terracing and the rush of supporters as they score their first goal would give the Red Badge Security of today’s A League a stomach ulcer.
The Kingz were bloody good though, though their legacy is somewhat tarnished by their dreadful final seasons and the brief and forgettable rebranding as the Knights. To find out how good they were, or maybe to jog your memory – head over to the Football Kingz YouTube channel.
Categories: Throwback Thursday
John Palethorpe lives in South Auckland which is very far away from Fratton Park and Champion Hill. Having been told there was no football in New Zealand, he was delighted to find that there is.