New Zealand Football Championship

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New Zealand Football Championship (NZFC)
ASB Championship.svg
Country New Zealand New Zealand
Confederation OFC (Oceania)
Founded 2004
Number of teams 9
Levels on pyramid 1
Domestic cup(s) White Ribbon Cup
International cup(s) OFC Champions League
Current champions Auckland City FC (5th title)
(2013–14)
Current premiers Auckland City FC (5th title)
(2013–14)
Most championships Auckland City FC
Waitakere United (5 titles each)
Most premierships Auckland City FC
Waitakere United (5 titles each)
TV partners Sky Sports (Playoffs only)
Sommet Sports (Waitakere United home fixtures only)
Website [1]
2013–14 ASB Premiership

The New Zealand Football Championship (known as the ASB Premiership from 2011 for sponsorship reasons) is the national association football league in New Zealand. It is an amateur association football (soccer) sports franchise league that is operated by New Zealand Football. The league is run separately from various Winter regional club competitions, and many of the teams competing are franchises jointly run by Winter clubs. It is currently sponsored by ASB Bank.

Competition format[edit]

The league is an ten-team system, with each club playing everyone else eight times. After the end of the regular season, the top four teams progress to the playoffs. The playoffs are run as a home-and-away semi-finals series, with the winners progressing to a one-match Grand Final.

The league competition phase was initially contested by a three-round, 21-match league system, each team playing every other team three times. This system was in place for the first four seasons of the competition. It was changed to the present two-round, 14-match system in 2008, due to financial difficulties affecting some of the teams in the league.

The playoff competition phase was initially run as a three-team playoff system, in which the Minor Premier (winner of league phase) received a bye and hosting rights for the grand final, with second and third placed teams playing off in a one-game preliminary final. For the 2005-06 season, the NZFC experimented with a five team playoff (see NZFC 2005-06), however this was discontinued and the league reverted to the three-team playoff for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.

The teams that win the league phase (the "Minor Premier") and the Grand Final (the "champion") qualify for the OFC Champions League. Should the same team win both the Minor Premiership and the Championship, the second O-League spot will be granted to league runner-up. This had occurred during the 2007-08 season, where Waitakere United won both the league and the final. This resulted in Auckland City FC, league runner-up, to enter the O-League, despite Team Wellington contesting the grand final.

There are no lower divisions in the Premiership, no promotion and relegation exists, similar to leagues in Australia and in the United States.

History[edit]

Establishment in 2004-present[edit]

The New Zealand Football Championship was created as a replacement to the former New Zealand National Soccer League, a tournament involving clubs from the regional governing bodies of New Zealand Football. The NZFC would be run as a summer league involving new clubs created solely for the new competition, with these new clubs being run jointly by existing winter clubs. The only exception to this was Napier City Rovers, whose summer club would be rebranded Hawke's Bay United during the second season, to be operated jointly by other clubs in the Hawke's Bay region.

Location of clubs and the region they represent

Eleven groups bidded for franchises, with the successful bids being announced on 7 April 2004 as Auckland City FC, Canterbury United, Napier City Rovers, Otago United, Team Wellington, Waikato FC, Waitakere United and YoungHeart Manawatu, with Olé Madrids, East Auckland and Team Bay of Plenty being excluded. Unhappy at their exclusion, the Olé Madrids bid team took New Zealand Soccer to court, suing for damages and demanding inclusion in the competition, claiming that while they met NZ Soccer's criteria for inclusion, other bids who succeeded did not. The case was dropped by the Madrids team eight days before the commencement of the first NZFC season.[1] Western Suburbs, the club associated with the Olé Academy, is now a principal member of the Team Wellington franchise.[2] East Auckland also considered legal action, however this did not occur.[3]

The first match of the competition was on 15 October 2004, with Auckland City defeating Napier City Rovers 3-1 at Park Island, Napier. Auckland also won the final match of the inaugural season, defeating Waitekere United to become the first NZFC Champion. Auckland would go on to win the grand final again in the next two seasons, creating the competitions first dynasty.

The second season saw Napier City Rovers rebrand and re-organize their NZFC team as Hawke's Bay United, forming an amalgamated franchise with other local clubs. It also saw the first instance of a NZFC team winning the O-League, with Auckland City FC defeating French Polynesian team AS Pirae 3-1.

The third season saw two NZFC teams qualify for the O-League, with the eventual Grand Final runner-up Waitakere United qualifying in place of Vanuatu's Port Vila Sharks withdrawing. When Port Vila Sharks decided to withdraw, the NZFC was in their 3rd round when the OFC decided give their place to a second NZFC team. However the decision by NZF for Waitakere United to be rushed into the O-League was because they were the leading club (besides the already qualified Auckland City FC) in the NZFC after the 7th round of that season. The decision by the NZF was in a mist of controversy, as YoungHeart Manawatu was in contention to be the leading club.

However Auckland City FC had won a game against Waitakere United with a player who was not allowed to play. The player had refused to play for a nationally selected touring team citing injuries but yet had turned out to play for Auckland City FC in the NZFC. This was against NZF policy for NZFC teams, which states that a NZFC player which has cited injuries as a reason for not playing for a nationally selected team, cannot play for the NZFC team while the nationally selected team was playing at the same time. The policy was to prevent nationally selected NZFC players from using injuries as a deception to play elsewhere and not fulfill national duties. Hence there was a reversal of the result giving Waitakere United the three league points it needed to lead the NZFC and deducting the three league points that Auckland City FC had while leading the NZFC. YoungHeart Manawatu who was in second-placed, behind Auckland City FC but ahead of Waitakere United, before the reversal of the result then found themselves to be in 3rd place afterwards. YoungHeart Manawatu had lodged a formal complaint with NZF which was then turned down. Waitakere United capitalized on this opportunity by winning that year's O-League competition.

With the first three seasons completed, the NZFC granted three-season license extensions to seven of the eight franchises - all but YoungHeart Manawatu, who had to re-apply on account of the NZFC's concerns towards the clubs financial and organizational situation. However YoungHeart managed successfully earn reinstatement after beating out four rival bids - one based in Gisborne, one from North Shore City, and two from Manukau. Olé Madrids also applied for the license, however they withdrew early.[4]

The 2007/08 season saw the end of the Auckland City FC dynasty, with Team Wellington eliminating them in the preliminary final. Waitakere United went on to win the Grand Final - in doing so, completing "the treble" - winning the Youth League, the Premiership and the Championship all in one season. A year later the 2008/09 season saw the championship return to Auckland City FC, after a season dominated by minor premiers Waitakere United. After the cross-town neightbours had taken care of both Team Wellington and YoungHeart Manawatu respectively in the semi-finals, the grand final was held at Douglas Field. Waitakere United – who hadn’t lost at home for almost two full seasons, looked on course for a second successive crown when Allan Pearce benefited from Roy Krishna’s good work to tap in a 15th minute opener. A piece of Keryn Jordan magic however and a late goalkeeping error from Waitakere’s Richard Gillespie would see the trophy head back to Kiwitea Street for a fourth time in five seasons.

On 12 April 2010 Canterbury United produced arguably the result of the 2009/10 NZFC season in a stunning 3-0 victory at Kiwitea Street. This result overturned a 2-1 semi-final first leg deficit and knocked defending champions Auckland City FC out of the competition 4-2 on aggregate. The form book was almost thrown out the window at Fred Taylor Park also as Team Wellington came within seconds of defeating Waitakere United in the other semi-final. A ninety-second minute goal from Brent Fisher eventually saw Waitakere United through on the away goals rule after a 3-3 draw on aggregate. The Grand Final however had a familiar outcome despite the Dragons taking an early lead through Tom Lancaster. Solomon Islands International Benjamin Totori levelled the scores then the balance of the match was tipped in Waitakere United’s favour following the sending off of Paul Dirou. This proved to be the case as the home side scored two unanswered second half goals through Allan Pearce and a second from Benjamin Totori to win the match 3-1. This result saw Neil Emblen's side win their second Championship in three seasons.

On 2 September 2010, New Zealand Football announced a five-year sponsorship agreement with ASB Bank. The agreement included the rebranding of the NZFC as the ASB Premiership.[5]

The league has been dominated by Auckland City and Waitakere United. The pair contest a local derby.

Current clubs[edit]

There are currently nine clubs from New Zealand playing in the New Zealand Football Championship. Unlike most European leagues, there is no system for promotion and relegation. This system is similar to leagues in Australia and in the United States.

Champions and premiers[edit]

The teams that win the league phase (the "premier") and the Grand Final (the "champion") qualify for the OFC Champions League. Should the same team win both the Premiership and the Championship, the second O-League spot will be granted to league runner-up.

Season Regular season Grand final
Premiers Points Runners-up Champions Score Runners-up
2004–05
Details
Auckland City FC Aucklandcolours.png 46–40
Ladder
Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United Auckland City FC Aucklandcolours.png 3 – 2
Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United
2005–06
Details
Auckland City FC Aucklandcolours.png 48–46
Ladder
Yhmcolours.png YoungHeart Manawatu Auckland City FC Aucklandcolours.png 3 – 3 (a.e.t.)
4 – 3 (p.s.o)
Cantabcolours.png Canterbury United
2006–07
Details
Waitakere United Waitakcolours.png 47–45
Ladder
Yhmcolours.png YoungHeart Manawatu Auckland City FC Aucklandcolours.png 3 – 2
Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United
2007–08
Details
Waitakere United Waitakcolours.png 51–50
Ladder
Aucklandcolours.png Auckland City FC Waitakere United Waitakcolours.png 2 – 0
WellingtonPhoenixColours.png Team Wellington
2008–09
Details
Waitakere United Waitakcolours.png 33–25
Ladder
Aucklandcolours.png Auckland City FC Auckland City FC Aucklandcolours.png 2 – 1
Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United
2009–10
Details
Auckland City FC Aucklandcolours.png 31–29
Ladder
Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United Waitakere United Waitakcolours.png 3 – 1
Cantabcolours.png Canterbury United
2010–11
Details
Waitakere United Waitakcolours.png 36–30
Ladder
Aucklandcolours.png Auckland City FC Waitakere United Waitakcolours.png 3 – 2
Aucklandcolours.png Auckland City FC
2011–12
Details
Auckland City FC Aucklandcolours.png 36–29
Ladder
Cantabcolours.png Canterbury United Waitakere United Waitakcolours.png 4 – 1
WellingtonPhoenixColours.png Team Wellington
2012–13
Details
Waitakere United Waitakcolours.png 37–33
Ladder
Aucklandcolours.png Auckland City FC Waitakere United Waitakcolours.png 4 – 3 (a.e.t.)
Aucklandcolours.png Auckland City FC
2013–14
Details
Auckland City FC Aucklandcolours.png 33–26
Ladder
WellingtonPhoenixColours.png Team Wellington Auckland City FC Aucklandcolours.png 1 – 0
WellingtonPhoenixColours.png Team Wellington

Premiership Winners[edit]

Team Titles Runners up Years
Aucklandcolours.png Auckland City FC
5
4
2004–05, 2005–06, 2009–10, 2011–12, 2013–14
Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United
5
2
2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13
Yhmcolours.png YoungHeart Manawatu
2
Cantabcolours.png Canterbury United
1
WellingtonPhoenixColours.png Team Wellington
1

Championship Winners[edit]

Team Titles Runners up Years
Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United
5
3
2007–08, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13
Aucklandcolours.png Auckland City FC
5
2
2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2013–14
WellingtonPhoenixColours.png Team Wellington
3
Cantabcolours.png Canterbury United
2

Awards[edit]

Golden Boot[edit]

The Golden Boot is presented to the player who scores the most goals during the season.

Year Player/s Club Goals
2007–08 New Zealand Graham Little WellingtonPhoenixColours.png Team Wellington 12
2008–09 Costa Rica Luis Corrales WellingtonPhoenixColours.png Team Wellington 12
2009–10 Vanuatu Seule Soromon Yhmcolours.png YoungHeart Manawatu 9
2010–11 New Zealand Allan Pearce Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United 13
2011–12 Papua New Guinea George Slefendorfas Cantabcolours.png Canterbury United 12
2012–13 Fiji Roy Krishna Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United 12
2013–14 Argentina Emiliano Tade Aucklandcolours.png Auckland City FC 12

New Zealand Football Championship records[edit]

All-time NZFC regular season records by club[edit]

Updated to the end of the 2012/13 season[6]

Posn
(pts)
Club
Sn
[7]
Pld
W
D
L
F
A
GD
Pts
1st
[8]
2nd
[9]
3rd
[10]
4th
[11]
1 Auckland City FC 9 154 105 27 22 386 167 +219 341* 4 4 1 -
2 Waitakere United 9 154 100 20 34 367 172 +195 322* 5 2 1 -
3 Team Wellington 9 154 71 26 57 304 262 +42 239 - - 3 5
4 Canterbury United 9 154 63 25 66 238 236 +2 214 - 1 2 4
5 YoungHeart Manawatu 9 154 51 25 78 253 344 -91 178 - 2 1 -
6 Hawke's Bay United 9 154 49 28 77 231 315 -84 175 - - - 1
7 Waikato FC 9 154 41 26 87 195 323 -128 149 - - 1 -
8 Southern United# 9 154 32 31 91 161 326 -165 127 - - - -
* Waitakere were awarded a goalless win against Auckland in 2006/07
† Includes record as Napier City Rovers
# Includes record as Otago United

All-time NZFC playoff records by club[edit]

Updated to, and including, the 2009/10 playoff semi-finals.

Posn
(pts)
Club
P/sn
[12]
Pld
W
D
L
F
A
GD
Pts
1st
[13]
2nd
[14]
3rd
[15]
1 Auckland City FC 6/6 11 7 1 3 26 20 +6 22 4 - 1
2 Waitakere United 5/6 9 5 0 4 21 13 +8 15 2 3 -
3 Team Wellington 4/6 9 3 1 5 14 21 -7 10 - 1 2*
4 Canterbury United 2/6 6 2 2 2 9 9 0 8 - 2 -
5 YoungHeart Manawatu 3/6 4 1 1 3 6 10 -4 4 - - 2*
6 Southern United# 1/6 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1 - - -
7 Waikato FC 1/6 1 0 0 1 1 4 -3 0 - - 1
- Hawke's Bay United 0/6 - - - - - - - - - - -
* Y.H. Manawatu finished 3rd in the 2008/09 playoffs with a better record than the other semi-finalist, Team Wellington. Team Wellington finished 3rd in the 2009/10 playoffs with a better record than the other semi-finalist, Auckland City.
† Includes record as Napier City Rovers
# Includes record as Otago United

Highest scoring games[edit]

Goals scored Season Date Competition Home team Result Away team
10 2005–06 7 January 2006 Regular season
WellingtonPhoenixColours.png Team Wellington
4 – 6
Aucklandcolours.png Auckland City FC
10 2007–08 20 January 2008 Regular season
Cantabcolours.png Canterbury United
1 – 9
Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United
10 2011–12 22 January 2012 Regular season
Cantabcolours.png Canterbury United
9 – 1
Yhmcolours.png YoungHeart Manawatu
10 2012–13 20 January 2013 Regular season
Waikatocolours.png Waikato FC
1 – 9
Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United
10 2012–13 9 March 2013 Finals series
Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United
6 – 4
Hawkesbaycolours.png Hawke's Bay United
10 2013-14 16 February 2013 Regular season
Otagocolours.png Southern United
0 - 10
Aucklandcolours.png Auckland City FC
9 2005–06 18 February 2006 Regular season
Yhmcolours.png YoungHeart Manawatu
8 – 1
Hawkesbaycolours.png Hawke's Bay United
9 2007–08 30 March 2008 Regular season
Waikatocolours.png Waikato FC
4 – 5
Yhmcolours.png YoungHeart Manawatu
9 2011–12 15 January 2012 Regular season
Yhmcolours.png YoungHeart Manawatu
2 – 7
Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United

Biggest winning margin[edit]

Goals margin Season Date Competition Home team Result Away team
10 2013-14 16 February 2013 Regular season
Otagocolours.png Southern United
0 - 10
Aucklandcolours.png Auckland City FC
8 2006–07 8 March 2007 Regular season
Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United
8 – 0
Otagocolours.png Southern United
8 2007–08 6 January 2008 Regular season
Yhmcolours.png YoungHeart Manawatu
0 – 8
WellingtonPhoenixColours.png Team Wellington
8 2007–08 20 January 2008 Regular season
Cantabcolours.png Canterbury United
1 – 9
Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United
8 2011–12 22 January 2012 Regular season
Cantabcolours.png Canterbury United
9 – 1
Yhmcolours.png YoungHeart Manawatu
8 2012–13 20 January 2013 Regular season
Waikatocolours.png Waikato FC
1 – 9
Waitakcolours.png Waitakere United
7 2005–06 18 February 2006 Regular season
Yhmcolours.png YoungHeart Manawatu
8 – 1
Hawkesbaycolours.png Hawke's Bay United
7 2006–07 26 January 2007 Regular season
WellingtonPhoenixColours.png Team Wellington
7 – 0
Hawkesbaycolours.png Hawke's Bay United
7 2011–12 4 February 2012 Regular season
Cantabcolours.png Canterbury United
7 – 0
Hawkesbaycolours.png Hawke's Bay United

Related competitions[edit]

ASB Phoenix Challenge[edit]

Main article: ASB Phoenix Challenge

The 2010-11 season saw the introduction of the ASB Challenge Series. This was an individual friendly competition in which the eight Premiership teams competed against a reserve team attached to Wellington Phoenix FC, a New Zealand based team playing in the Australian A-League. The ASB Phoenix Challenge was discontinued after the 2010-11 season but reinstated for 2012-2013.

ASB National Youth League[edit]

New Zealand Football also runs the Under-20 ASB National Youth League. The 2011/12 season consists of two four-team conferences (North and South) that play against each conference opponent twice (home and away), for six regular season games. At the conclusion of the youth league regular season, the top ranked Northern team hosts the second ranked Southern team, and the top ranked Southern team hosts the second ranked Northern team for the semi finals. The winners of these matches will face each other in the grand final. The current Youth League champion is Canterbury United, having defeated Waitakere United 2 - 1 after extra time at Bill McKinlay Park, Auckland[16] For the 2012-13 season the competition was expanded to 10 teams with the Nelson Falcons competing in the southern conference and Northern U17's connected to the New Zealand national team in the Northern conference.

Season Winner Score Runner-up
2007–08 Waitakere United 6 – 3 (AET) Canterbury United
2008–09 Auckland City 6 – 4 (AET) Waitakere United
2009–10 Canterbury United 6 – 0 Waitakere United
2010–11 Waitakere United 2 – 0 Canterbury United
2011–12 Canterbury United 2 – 1 (AET) Waitakere United
2012–13 Auckland City 3 – 0 Southern United

OFC Champions League[edit]

Main article: OFC Champions League

The OFC Champions League, also known as the O-League, is the premier football competition in Oceania. It is organized by the OFC, Oceania's football governing body. It has been organized since 2007 under the current format, following its successor, the Oceania Club Championship. Two teams from the ASB Championship participate annually. Four O-League titles have been won by teams from New Zealand.

White Ribbon Cup[edit]

Main article: White Ribbon Cup

The White Ribbon Cup, is a knockout cup competition run by New Zealand Football. The 2011-12 season will be the inaugural season of the NZF Cup.

It was established in 2011 to provide regular football for the six clubs not participating in the Oceania Champions League and runs in conjunction with the ASB Premiership regular season.[17]

Season Winner Score Runner-up
2011–12 Team Wellington 6 – 1 Waikato FC

Referees[edit]

Referees are selected from around New Zealand and occasionally include guest referees from other nations, most notably Australia. Whilst the match referees may travel to games outside their home federation, assistant referees and fourth officials are from generally within the hosting federation.

Logos[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "BLACK YEAR FOR NEW ZEALAND AFTER ALL WHITES LOSS. | Asia Africa Intelligence Wire (December , 2004)". Accessmylibrary.com. 29 December 2004. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  2. ^ "Team Wellington :: Home - National Service". Tw.org.nz. 14 February 2005. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  3. ^ Published: 4:30PM Tuesday 6 April 2004 (6 April 2004). "New soccer franchises revealed | FOOTBALL | SPORT". tvnz.co.nz. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  4. ^ http://www.sportsweb.co.nz/cgi-bin/control.pl?Function=News&Item=soccer_nzfc_20061017.txt&pageid=1161025585
  5. ^ http://nzfootball.co.nz/index.php?id=11&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=701&tx_ttnews[backPid]=10&cHash=55004bef0a
  6. ^ www.Aragon.Ws/SoccerDB: NZFC Eternal Table
  7. ^ Seasons played
  8. ^ Regular season champions
  9. ^ Regular season runners-up
  10. ^ Regular season third
  11. ^ Regular season fourth
  12. ^ Playoffs reached/seasons played
  13. ^ Playoff champions
  14. ^ Playoff runners-up
  15. ^ Playoff third
  16. ^ http://www.nzfc.co.nz/index.php?id=14
  17. ^ Hallett, David (30 November 2011). "Canterbury United's Kamo unlikely for first round". The Press. Retrieved 2011-11-30. 

External links[edit]