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A glass half full

[This piece first appeared in the Hamilton Wanderers match day programme ‘Sidelined’ on the 24th of February 2018] New Zealand is the best place in the world to be a football fan. Trust me, it is. Yet crowds at our national league games continue to be insanely low. Why? In […]

Prizegiving

‘Tis the season! Now that the 2013 winter leagues are all done and dusted, clubs up and down this fair nation of ours are holding their annual prizegiving celebrations literally as we speak. In clubrooms, restaurants, pubs and function centres in every town and suburb in New Zealand, cups are […]

Guest Post – Eagles rising

By Stephen Coutts “Of course, their current lodgings are a bit temporary. But they should see it like a weekend of camping.” – Silvio Berlusconi after the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake. According to students saviour and pub quiz hero, Wikipedia, the Italian city of L’Aquila has over 66,000 inhabitants and nestles […]

An Onehunga too far

Onehunga Sports 4, Ngaruawahia United 0 Waikaraka Park, Auckland, June 29 2013 Onehunga Sports was an Onehunga too far for Ngaruawahia United yesterday, as they finally fell in the fourth round of the Chatham Cup. Despite having dispatched Onehunga Mangere the previous round, they weren’t able to claim the double […]

Battle of the bays

Bay Olympic 2, East Coast Bays 4 Olympic Park, Auckland, April 6 2013 Two clubs don’t need to be neighbours to be fierce derby rivals. As Real Madrid and Barcelona, Manchester United and Liverpool or Juventus and Internazionale can attest, sometimes derbies are as much about two dominant teams as […]

Classy Claudelands

Claudelands Rovers 7, Lynn Avon United 1 Galloway Park, Hamilton, September 2 2012 Always check the schedule immediately before you travel to New Zealand club football. Not a couple of days before. Immediately before. I have been dealt harsh lessons on this in the past. But it is apparently still […]

A Ngara loss

Papatoetoe AFC 3, Ngaruawahia United 2 Murdoch Park, Auckland, August 18 2012 Winter is almost over and with it, just as the cold and flu season is replaced by flies and mosquitos buzzing around your head, the club football season is drawing to a close to be replaced by New […]

Swiftly Swiftly

North Shore United 3, Matamata Swifts AFC 2 Allen Hill Stadium, Auckland, June 10 2012 Over the past few months, I have been complimented many times by players, coaches and fans for my “unbiased and sensible” write-ups of local New Zealand football. I continue to be touched by this and […]

One weekend, two Olympics

Bay Olympic 4, East Coast Bays 3 Olympic Park, Auckland, June 4 2012 It’s only round two of the Chatham Cup but already the draw is throwing up some interesting ties. Part of the allure of cup competitions is that the two best teams can meet at any time from […]