Club bids to play in premiership
Te Awamutu AFC continue their plans to move forward with the Tall Poppy Real Estate first team front footing a bid to play premiership football this year. The aim of this is what the club will be doing in five years time, not in five months. The squad are extremely happy about this. Coach/director of football Richard “Hudders” Hudson pointed out that 80 per cent of those at training on Sunday said their reason for being there was to be playing the highest level of football, and their wish was granted. Hudson and the committee had met to discuss this and with four, and possibly more, teams pulling out from the premiership, it was the perfect time to jump in and play Division A football. It’s exciting times ahead for the club with where the reserves will play this year too.
Women’s football has had great players turn out to the gatherings who have never been seen in the town before but live locally. Previous players seem happy to forgive and forget, accepting an apology in relation to not providing women’s football last year and wanting to move forward. Coach Sean “Stringy” Stringfellow has listened to some of the comments and has sourced a women’s kit, drink bottles and understands that the women want to be heard and seen as much as the men are. With a FIFA Women’s World Cup coming to New Zealand next year it’s a great time to get involved. College age girls are also key for the future of the club. Stringy says he couldn’t be happier to see the women coming down consistently to the gatherings or being in communication with him. There is already a core developing and there is still two more weeks to come and check it out before the training starts. If you have even a slight interest in playing women’s football, get in touch through teawamutuafc.co.nz or Facebook, otherwise meet at Anchor Park on Monday at 6pm.
The Storyteller Over 35s have also their first session for 2022, with life member Billy Carter seen dancing around 35-year-old Simon Waite on the field like Simon wasn’t even there. The club says t it’s fantastic to see new faces in a team that needs to be built up as they are the new kids in the league. Coach Jim Grainger said that is really happy to see the club’s aim of including people over 35 into this league is appealing to people in and around the town already. The backing of Storyteller Eatery and Bar in this space and the work the two can do together going forward is very promising. Get in touch if you think over 35s football could be something for you.
Junior registrations will also open this week. The Te Awamutu community are backing Te Awamutu AFC, giving it commentary around the town. The senior team were at the Club Waipa gym during the weekend with people were driving past and tooting in support. People see how much progression the club is making and are happy to chat football. Te Awamutu AFC play their games at the stadium on Armstrong Ave.
This weekend Jack Kirwan will be at the stadium, painting a mural on the wall that was donated in 1964 by J A Russell and family. The committee have applied for Creative New Zealand Creative Communities Scheme funding with Waipa District Council. The project will be completed on Sunday afternoon. Five-a-side football has been in full swing and has continued to be a success with regards to allowing people an outlet in these restrictions the country faces.
There are two weeks left and plans are already under way for how to make next year’s event bigger and better. Organiser Ken Miezenbeek says the event brings him so much joy to be out in the community and seeing good talent come through and he too notes the community has a buzz around the club.