Mainland Premier League

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Robbie's Mainland Premier League
Mainland Football Logo.jpg
Country New Zealand
Confederation OFC (Oceania)
Founded 1998
Number of teams 8
Level on pyramid 2
Domestic cup(s) Chatham Cup
Current champions Cashmere Technical
Most championships Cashmere Technical, Ferrymead Bays (4 titles each)
Website Mainland Football

The Mainland Premier League, or Robbie's Mainland Premier League for sponsorship reasons, is an amateur-status league competition run by Mainland Football for association football clubs located in the northern half of the South Island, New Zealand.

It is currently regarded by the New Zealand footballing community as the strongest football league in the South Island of New Zealand and features current and former ASB Premiership players. The competition currently runs between March and August each year, and consists of seven teams based in Christchurch, and one team in Nelson. There are 21 rounds where teams play each other three times. The winner of the league qualifies for the South Island Championship, a one-off game against the winner of the FootballSouth Premier League, which is hosted by the two federations in alternate years. Cashmere Technical are the current holders of the South Island Championship.

By statute, the winners of the Mainland Football, and Nelson Bays region's Division One League play in a home and away play-off, with the winner of the tie receiving promotion to the Premier League. However, due to potential extra costs including travel, the winner of the Nelson Bay's Division One title forgoes the right to a play-off. This effectively means that the winner of the Mainland Football Division One title is promoted to the Premier League.

Formerly, the 2010 league was named Matson's Premier Football League due to the sponsorship agreement with the New Zealand beverage company Matson's Brewery. As of 2011, the Mainland Football top-tier football competition has been named the Robbie's Premier Football League with a one-year sponsorship agreement with the New Zealand beverage and food restaurant chain company Robbie's Bar & Bistro, which has been extended each year.

In 2012, Woolston Technical and Cashmere Wanderers were merged into Cashmere Technical, they replaced the Woolston side that had finished 6th in the 2011 competition. Recently merged teams Coastal Spirit (Established between New Brighton AFC and Rangers AFC in 2008), and FC Twenty Eleven (Established between Avon United and Burnside AFC in 2011) entered the Premier League through promotion from the Division One competition.


In the 2012 season, Christchurch United were relegated from the league after a season-long relegation battle with FC Twenty Eleven. Nomads United, who won the Division One title, have been promoted back up to the Premier League. Coastal Spirit completed a switch of home ground for the 2013 season from Linfield Park to Cuthberts Green. However, in 2014 they were forced to move back to Linfield because Cuthberts was deemed not up to be up to Premier League standard by Mainland Football. Universities were also forced to play their home games away from Ilam fields for the same reason.


The 2013 season was one of the closest competitions in recent memory. Ferrymead Bays set the pace early on, but soon fell away in the middle of the season after 4–0 home defeat to Nelson Suburbs in a top of the table clash. Eventually after several strong title challenges by the top four teams Cashmere Technical emerged victorious, succumbing to only two losses in the league, and 3 in a season that saw them win the treble which also included the South Island Championship, and the Chatham Cup. FC Twenty Eleven were relegated to the Mainland Division One Competition, with the University of Canterbury replacing them after securing the Mainland Division One title.


The 2014 season began with Nelson Suburbs being beaten 4-1 at home by the newly promoted Universities. Both Cashmere Technical and Western continued their strong form from the 2013 season. Cashmere were unbeaten for the first 10 games until an 11th round 1-0 defeat to Nelson Suburbs on 31 May. This was Cashmere's first defeat since 1 June 2013. Tech rebounded, however, and secured their second straight title, with two games to spare. In the final round, University managed a 6-2 win over Coastal, which was enough to secure their 2015 MPL status through goal difference. Their closest rivals, Nomads, only needed to win, but could only muster a 2-2 draw with Nelson. In Division One, Christchurch United secured promotion to the 2015 MPL after a close battle with Selwyn. For Cashmere, it was another successful season where they also retained the South Island Championship and won the Chatham Cup.

English Cup[edit]

The English Cup is a knock-out competition that is sponsored by Stadium Cars, and features all clubs within the Mainland Football Federation. All games are currently played mid-week (with exception to the final, which is a Saturday afternoon) at the neutral venue of English Park. Currently, Western AFC are the current holders of the trophy after defeating Cashmere Technical 1-0.

The 2015 English Cup commences on Tuesday 12 May with Ferrymead Bays facing Cashmere Technical. A total of 16 teams entered the competition. Included are all Mainland Premier League, and Division One teams (with the exception of Nelson Suburbs, and the Cashmere Technical, and Ferrymead Bays second teams), as well as Burwood, FC Twenty Eleven, Hornby United, Hurunui Rangers, Nomads United, Papanui-Redwood, Parklands AFC, Selwyn United, and Waimak United. [2]

Robbies Premier Football League Clubs – 2015[edit]

Position (2014) Current Position (2015) Club Location Home Ground English Cup Exit Position (2015) Chatham Cup Exit Position (2015)
5th 3rd Coastal Spirit Bromley, New Zealand Linfield Park (2,000) (Grass)
NA (Promoted from Div 1 8th Christchurch United Spreydon, New Zealand Spreydon Domain (1,000) (Grass)
3rd 1st Ferrymead Bays Redcliffs, New Zealand Barnett Park (1,000) (Grass)
6th 7th Halswell United Halswell, New Zealand Halswell Domain (1,500) (Grass)
4th 6th Nelson Suburbs Nelson, New Zealand Saxton Field (2,000) (Grass) Not Able To Enter
7th 4th University of Canterbury Ilam, New Zealand Ilam Fields (1,000) (Grass)
2nd 5th Western AFC Mairehau, New Zealand ASB Football Park (2,500) (Artificial Turf)
1st 2nd Cashmere Technical Woolston, New Zealand Garrick Memorial Park (2,000) (Grass)

Robbies Men's Division One Clubs – 2015[edit]

Position (2014) Current Position (2015) Club Location Home Ground(s) English Cup Exit Position (2015) Chatham Cup Exit Position (2015**)
NA (Relegated from MPL) 2nd Nomads United Casebrook, New Zealand Tulett park (1,500) (Grass)
4th 3rd Waimak United Kaiapoi, New Zealand Kendal Park (1,500) (Grass)
NA (Promoted from Div 2) 7th Ferrymead Bays Redcliffs, New Zealand Barnett Park (1,000) (Grass) Not Able to Enter Not Able to Enter
3rd 8th Cashmere Technical Turtles Woolston, New Zealand Garrick Memorial Park (2,000) (Grass) Not Able to Enter Not Able to Enter
7th 6th Hornby United Hornby, New Zealand Prebbleton Reserve (1,000) (Grass)
6th 4th Parklands A.F.C.* Parklands, New Zealand Parklands Reserve (1,000) (Grass)
2nd 5th Selwyn United FC Rolleston, New Zealand Brookside Park (2,000) (Grass)
5th 1st FC Twenty Eleven Yaldhurst, New Zealand Avonhead Park (2,000) (Grass)
  • Mid Canterbury withdrew from the competition during the 2014 Division One season. As a result, they were relegated.


Robbies Premier Football League Winners[edit]

Club Number of Titles Year(s) Won
Christchurch United 1 1998
Halswell United 3 1999, 2000, 2001
Ferrymead Bays 4 2002, 2006, 2011, 2012
Nomads United 2 2003, 2007
Nelson Suburbs 3 2004, 2005, 2008
Cashmere Technical 6 2009*, 2010*, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Cashmere Technical's MPL titles in 2009 and 2010 were won by Woolston Technical, which was later merged in 2012.

External links[edit]