New Zealand Football Media Association 2017 award winners announced . . .

Programme of the Year

 Winner: Shared by Waitemata edited by Mark Reid and Papatoetoe AFC Ladies edited by Andrew Kirk

 Highly Commended: Auckland City FC and Eastern Suburbs

Waitemata complete their hat trick in this category while Papatoetoe make it third time lucky after narrowly missing out as beaten finalists in 2014 and 2015. First presented in 1980, Programme of the Year was won by Gisborne City for the first eight years (1980-87) and then Napier City Rovers for the next 11 (1988-1999, shared with Hutt Valley United in 1992). Napier also won in 2011 for the 12th time, extending the club’s record in this category.

Judge: Jeremy Ruane (Former Regional-Community Writer, Programme and Publication of the Year winner)

 Judge’s comments: “Thank you to Auckland City FC, Auckland Football Federation, Cambridge, Eastern Suburbs, Ellerslie, Manurewa, Napier City Rovers, Papatoetoe, Stop Out and Waitemata for their submissions, which were generally of better than average quality, with most making great use of colour, content, white space and action photography to assist in communicating their message to the masses.” Continue Reading →

2017 Awards . . . . .

   Megan ParnwellSportswomen
   Bae-Lee Middleton-WoodSquad member
   Cooper Burns & Chelsea WaltonMost Improved Players
   Donna BrightPlayers’ Player
   Helen CrosbyPlayer of the Year
MEN’S AWARDS (Waikato A):
   Rory Kerr-Bell Top Goal Scorer (23)
   Matt Montford Squad Member
   Kevin WalkerSportsman
   Zabir AziziMost Improved
   Hamish MarshPlayer of the Year
   Sandy MacDonald – Dean Trophy. (Awarded to one who has excelled during the year through their diligence and dedication to the particular duties undertaken. In this instance maintenance of the Club’s web-site and Facebook pages, as well as match magazine production).
   Carl Payne – Supporter of the Year. (For the person who has shown outstanding support for the club throughout the year whether by physically attending matches or by their general support to the Club as a whole. This award is most often given to a person not seen as a club official).
   Jared Williams – Cazbar Achievement Award. (Awarded to the person who has made an exceptional achievement during the season whether as a player, official or as a member of the club.
   Jeff Tozer – Club Service Award. (For the person/s who have provided a unique and valuable service to the club throughout the past season or seasons. This could apply to any member or associate of the club. In this instance the development of the Women’s team)
   Matt Williams – Club Sportsperson of 2017. (Highest award in the club and is given to the person who has provided outstanding service to the club during the year in any capacity. Is open to all members whether they are players, coaches, managers, committee members or supporters. Generally an all-rounder performing more than one role consistently well through-out the season).

Amen to 2017 . . .

The 2017 playing season wrapped up with a 3-5 loss to Waikato Unicol. The visiting team that turned up to play us on the weekend was a far cry from the one we met away in round 1.

The Unicol defense was sound and effective and they netted in the 25th minute after sustained pressure on our defensive line. With several of our regular squad not available the Narra lads were unable to gel sufficiently to give undue worry to Unicol despite a hat-trick by Hamish Marsh.

Our final three games were broken up with three byes as knockout matches had disrupted the flow of the competition. Many of us cannot understand why the KO competition cannot be added onto the end of the league season. The ridiculous length of the Waikato A season enabled many clubs the opportunity to bring into their team players of higher grades whose competitions had ended well beforehand. Perhaps there are reasons unknown to our club, and known only to the WaiBoP administrators,  that made it needful to have such an interrupted run of games over the last six weeks.

Second place in the Waikato A competition with three losses, the last two (Melville & Unicol) being played against teams whose players either showed a remarkable advancement in skills or were “imported”, was not too bad for our collection of Old Boys.

So close in the 1-2 loss . . . . .

     Saturday’s match against Melville could have gone either way – and it did! 2-1 to Melville.  Hamish Marsh’s glancing header from a low Dylan Greene cross in the 13th minute gave the visiting Narra lads the early advantage, and they took this to the break. Zabir Azizi’s miss from several meters out as he slammed the ball high over the bar could have been the one that would have helped the Green Machine to their second win over table-toppers Melville.
     Melville equalised when left alone at the far post and then a muffed back-header by the Narra defence left Melville in for an easy rounding of the keeper and the winning goal. Narra had several other chances but were kept at bay by a well-organised (and new-looking) Melville defense.
     Melville will win the league, even if they lose their final game and Narra wins. Melville have a vastly superior goal difference and it is only in a science fiction setting (or a kids TV cartoon programme) that such a goal difference could be nullified! Can someone execute a script that would see Melville losing to Wanderers by 11 goals and Narra defeating Unicol by the same difference?
     Narra wait two weeks before their next (and last) match of the season against Unicol at home.