Te Awamutu Courier

Te Awamutu AFC round-up — action aplenty across grades


Te Awamutu AFC’s week might seem like a script from Taika Waititi or a Peter Jackson award-winning tale.

Friday saw the youngest members of the club (4-6 years of age) from across the shire descending on the Stadium at Armstrong Ave in a pack of 60-plus to take part in the Expleo First Kicks McDonald’s-led programme.

This was a great occasion with Soccer United on standby with boot promotions, and an Expleo sausage to finish the night.

The local grapevine was flooded with messages and images from nearby residents loving the crowd and the atmosphere.

On Saturday, morning the senior squad transforme­d Anchor Park and the Stadium facilities into a movie set, acknowledg­ed to be a huge effort again by the club.

That afternoon saw the Storytelle­r Over 35s take to the field against West Hamilton Floppy Noodles.

The veteran head coach scored and added a fresh story of how the Over 35s just pipped the visitors to the winning post 2-1.

Saturday evening was the seniors’ club night at Kiwiana Leisure Park, O¯ torohanga.

Expleo supplies, Merchant Liquor and a mix of the senior squads all helped to build the atmosphere before the last week of preseason.

On Sunday, the Edmonds Judd Women headed to Morrinsvil­le for a preseason tournament where they got to see three and half of the teams they will be playing against this year.

The whole group was buzzing and the youngest member of the team, Breanna Adams, got her dispensati­on to play - another success story as more women continue to join the club.

Monday night saw an emergency meeting held with the senior teams, as family matters meant coach and director of coaching, Richard Hudson, had to immediatel­y go back to Australia.

However, he attended the meeting with an ace up his sleeve, he’s spoken to the experience­d Ian Stringfell­ow, who had responded with a definite yes, he wants to lead the first team squad.

Ian has had nine seasons in English League divisions 1 and 2, with 163 appearance­s and 28 goals, then a further nine seasons in the English National League.

In New Zealand this was followed with six years as head coach at Tauranga City in NRFL, two WBOP Fed 1 Championsh­ips with AFC Fury (2013, 2014) and promotion to NRFL.

He also holds a NZ Football C Licence.

The club and its members have had a whirlwind four months’ preseason and the club, in general, is in the best shape it’s been in a long time.

Ian has said he is committed to coming over from Tauranga and continuing the work with the team.

“I’ve watched them play, I have the golden book from Hudders (Richard) and, regardless, all that really matters is we win.”

In the meantime, the junior members of the club have completed their first week’s training down at Sherwin Park, although it’s not too late to enter any of the teams by going to teawamutua­fc.co.nz.

This weekend sees the reserves off to Melville and over 35s at the Stadium, as they both kick off their seasons on Friday night at 7pm

The EJ Developmen­t team host Puta¯ ruru at 2.45pm at the Stadium on Saturday.

The first team head to the Bay of Plenty to take on Old Blues at Waipuna Park, also at 2.45pm.

On Sunday, the women’s team head to Huntly to start their campaign at 11am.

Te Awamutu AFC pass on their thoughts to the family of Richard and Manny, and wish them, along with Pushka, the safest travels back to Australia.

The work they have done in such a short time will never be forgotten, and will be used to continue to promote and grow the club.

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