Football in east Auckland at Bucklands Beach Association Football Club is looking brighter than ever.
With a Covid-hit season, BBAFC has continued to train where possible and many teams have taken part in tournaments in Auckland and around the country. One of the highlights was the Labour Weekend National U19 football tournament in Napier for both male and female teams.
Having won the men’s satellite competition last year, the team – coached by Rudy Mozr – was keen to take on the best clubs at this age group throughout NZ.
They found themselves in a very competitive pool and, after day one, had three draws for their efforts, a nil-all draw against Havelock North, 2-all draw against competition favourites Birkenhead, and a 2-all draw against Miramar Rangers, one of the best out of Wellington.
Day two saw them win 3-1 over Cashmere Tech from Christchurch and the final group game was another 1-all draw with Waterside Karori. This had BBAFC men finish second in the group and qualify for the quarter finals.
Late that day they went down 2-1 to Western Springs, beaten by two penalties. A good effort from the team with many of these developing players looking to play reserve and first team football at BBAFC next season. Great to see their development and competing with the best in NZ.
Having come women’s runners up in the Plate competition at first time of asking last season, the women were keen to show the development of the female game at BBAFC.
Coached by Charlie Hunn, they played exceptionally well over the two days of round robin games with four wins and one loss. They beat Otumoetai 3-0, Kapiti Coach 9-2, Taradale 3-0 and finally 6-0 over Upper Hutt.
The only game they lost in pool play was 3-2 against Hamilton Wanderers, who had won the tournament the previous two years.
They made their way to the main draw semi-final and came up against the highly favoured Ellerslie team.
With an outstanding performance they won that game 3-0 which saw them make it the Grand Final to play Hamilton Wanderers. Hamilton were too good on the day and won the final whilst fielding 8 national league players, congratulations goes to them.
The BBAFC women’s team was made up of players aged 14 – 18 years old, so again plenty of years ahead of this group to continue their development into first team womens football next season and beyond.
Special mention goes to Milly Clegg who scored 14 goals in 6 games, Milly was included the women’s team of the tournament and recently named in the New Zealand U17 national training team.
Two guest players also played their part within the team, thanks to Samara Dullabh and Macey Fraser and the rest of the successful BBAFC contingent.
Overall a very positive tournament for both teams, with many young players being given their opportunity, the future is brighter than ever at BBAFC.
The male and female summer elite academies are presently taking place, these will finish in early December. A few weeks off and BBAFC will be back into pre-season training in early 2021.
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Paul Makenzie and Martin Bolton BBAFC