|Full name||YoungHeart Manawatu|
Palmerston North, New Zealand
|League||ASB Youth League|
YoungHeart Manawatu was formed in 2004 to compete in the New Zealand Football Championship (NZFC). Based in Palmerston North, they are the sole franchise in the region.
In the inaugural NZFC season (2004–2005), YoungHeart Manawatu finished bottom, easily the worst team in the league.
However, in 2005-2006 they finished runner-up to champions Auckland City FC at the end of the regular season. In the finals, YoungHeart lost both their playoff matches and exited early.
The 2006-07 season was again fruitful. YoungHeart finished second again at the conclusion of the regular season, this time behind Waitakere United. YoungHeart lost their preliminary final to Auckland and missed out on a spot in the O-League as a result.
2007-08 was a somewhat disappointing campaign given the success of the previous two seasons. YoungHeart Manawatu finished the regular season placed sixth on the table, well adrift of the playoffs.
A return to the playoffs came in the 2008/09 season, as YoungHeart finished in third place in the condensed regular season. What followed was an emphatic two-goal victory in the first leg of a two-legged semi-final against Auckland City FC in Palmerston North. In the return leg Auckland used their home advantage equally as well to win 3-0, consigning YoungHeart Manawatu to a 4-3 defeat on aggregate and another missed grand final and O-League appearance. Auckland went on to win the final.
2009-10 was a frustrating season for the YoungHeart faithful as the side finished in sixth place but only two points away from a playoff spot. Perhaps the highlight of the season was an unexpected 4-1 victory over Auckland City at Kiwitea Street. A bittersweet moment came during the 2010 off-season as standout young player Cory Chettleburgh signed a contract with professional Dutch club Sparta Rotterdam. This is a significant loss for the side as they look to bounce back from a fairly disappointing campaign.At the conclusion of the 2012-13 season the franchise didn't have their league license renewed and have been replaced by a New Zealand Under 20 squad for the 2013-14 season although they will retain a team in the ASB Youth League.
Memorial Park is the home ground of YoungHeart Manawatu. They have played at this ground since the 2008-09 season, having previously played their home fixtures at FMG Stadium. Memorial Park has a capacity of approximately 8000 people.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Team Manager: Steve Green.
- Head Coach: Stu Jacobs.
- Assistant Coach: Andy Sawyer.
- Goalkeeper coach: Steve Green.
- Physiotherapist: Rodney Brooks-Mann.
- General Manager: Neil Perry
- Sponsorship & Marketing Manager:
- All-time leading goalscorer: Benjamin Totori (33)
- Most goals in a season: Benjamin Totori (24 in 2006/07 season)
- Biggest win: 8-1 vs. Hawke's Bay United, 2005/06 season
- Biggest loss: 0-8 vs. Team Wellington, 2007/08 season
Performance in OFC competitions
- Oceania Club Championship: (1 appearance)
- New Zealand Football Championship (official league site)
- Official club site
- Youth Soccer Palmerston North