An ambitious project is now launched in the most populated city of New Zealand: the Auckland United FC is now launched – merging two traditional football clubs in the region: Three Kings United and Onehunga Sports. “Over the past 6 months the executive committees of Three Kings United and Onehunga Sports FC have worked closely together to assess the individual strengths and weaknesses of both clubs, and the rapidly changing landscape of football in New Zealand – working on a structure we believe will be best positioned to excel in the future“, says Three Kings United chairman Murray Holdaway.
“Bringing together two clubs and one academy under a single umbrella and to create a club for the ages was too big an opportunity to pass up”, mentions Holdaway. Both sides will unite their forces with the ambition to take part in the revamped national league New Zealand is aiming to build for the upcoming season. It is also already known Auckland United will have a premier and reserve men squad for the 2020 season of NRFL Lotto Premier League. The social men and women teams of Onehunga and Three Kings United will keep playing under their own logos and kits for the next seasons.
According to Auckland United website “Football is officially the most played game in New Zealand. There are a lot of positives in our game, with rising participation numbers, men’s and women’s national teams competing at FIFA world cup events, and a professional player pathway. However, there are some fundamental issues with the model at the club level. New Zealand Football and the regional federations are working hard to ensure club structures are aligned with their objectives and delivering a quality experience for players, coaches, club members, and supporters of the game“.
The major issues facing most clubs in Auckland right now are:
- Too many clubs supporting low player numbers;
- Financially unsustainable;
- Insufficient number of volunteers;
- Revised competition model and youth framework;
- Increased demands for NZF Club licensing;
- Incomplete player pathways;
- Overused and overcrowded fields;
- Poor facility development;
- Demand for qualified coaches.
According to their site, Auckland United has the goals to have the strongest football community and fans of the entire country and to build the number one academy to produce players to play to all levels. The team also hopes to have the best facilities of Auckland – competing with well known clubs as Auckland City and Eastern Suburbs – and to have the most influent media service of New Zealand football.
Auckland United aims to offer football activities since the 5-year old football academies until the highest football level in the country. In their website, the directors of the new club are yet to announce more details about their ambitious plan for the future of the club that will start their activities in 2020.