Manukau City AFC and Mangere United, two football clubs in the South Auckland region, have announced plans to merge.
The clubs, which have both dominated South Auckland football in the Lotto NRFL at various points in their history, said that the combination would create a new, stronger club that could enjoy a bigger support base in their catchment.
The new club, Manukau United FC, takes the place of Manukau City AFC in the Lotto NRFL Premier Division, Lotto NRFL Premier Division Reserves and will provide an U-19 team in AFF/NFF competition for the 2018 season while Mangere United will withdraw from Lotto NRFL Second Division.
In the inaugural season Manukau City AFC and Mangere United FC will continue to exist as separate bodies administering their respective Women’s Conference, social football and current junior and youth teams.
The merger means the creation of an established youth pathway from 5th grade through to the U-19s and into the Lotto NRFL for the Mangere-Manukau region.
Manukau United FC has targeted 2022 to complete the merger with a strong emphasis on building local community links with schools with offers of coaching just one of its many objectives.
The new club will play out of Centre Park in Mangere in the Lotto NRFL with Walter Massey Park continuing to provide a base for other age grades and teams.
Following Board approval in late November, Auckland Football Chair Glyn Taylor welcomed the merger.
“AFF is 100 percent supportive of this move by both clubs, something which we believe will provide a sustainable base for the growth of football in the wider Manukau area,” Taylor said.
“It’s excellent to see two clubs working together to identify the opportunity to consolidate their resources to strengthen the football pathway at all levels in their local community.”
Suria Sharma, President of Mangere United welcomed the move.
“Mangere United are pleased that we have entered into a partnership with Manukau City to form Manukau United. We believe this will provide a platform for elite player development in the area and ensure South Auckland is represented at the highest level of the Northern League. We look forward to hosting NRFL Premier Division matches at Centre Park in 2018.”
Hone Fowler, club captain and Chairman of Manukau City is looking forward to the upcoming season.
“We are delighted that South Auckland will have a NRFL Premier Division side for 2018 playing at one of the best venues in Auckland. The work begins now building our first team squad and getting ready for what will be a highly competitive season, as well as building on the foundations for our role as a community focused football club.”
Mangere United’s place in the Lotto NRFL Division 2 competition in 2018 will be taken by the winner of a playoff between Onehunga Mangere United AFC (Lotto NRFL Division 2, 2017) and Beachlands Maraetai AFC (AFF/NFF Conference, 2017) with the playoff dates to be determined shortly.
Mangere United FC enjoyed a three-year stint in the Lotto NRFL Premier Division and have two Second Division and one Third Division title among their honours. They were promoted to the top tier after finishing runners-up in the First Division in 2003.
Manukau City AFC have staged a revival under former All Whites head coach Kevin Fallon with back-to-back titles to go along with the club's two Second Division titles won in 1968 and 1970. They also have a Third Division title won in 1981.
Like Mangere United FC, Manukau City AFC have reached the top tier of the Lotto NRFL twice previously but neither stay proved lengthy with the club relegated in 1990 and 2002.
Mangere United FC and Manukau City AFC last met in the Lotto NRFL in 2013 when United defeated their local rivals 4-1 and 10-0.
Formed in 1964 under the name Massey Rovers, the name of the club was changed to Manukau City AFC in 1971. Mangere United FC were formed in 2000.
- Mangere United FC and Manukau City AFC to merge to create Manukau United FC
- Full merger to be complete by 2022
- A youth pathway to be established from 5th grade to U-19 and towards the Lotto NRFL
- Manukau United FC to play out of Centre Park, Mangere
- Mangere United FC and Manukau City AFC to exist separately in the inaugural season to administer delivery of social football, women's first division and youth football