Cambridge FC

Cambridge F.C. is a football club based in Cambridge, New Zealand. It currently plays in the NRFL Division 2.

Cambridge FC (New Zealand) logo.png
Full nameCambridge Football Club
Founded1948; 75 years ago (1948)
GroundJohn Kerkhof Park, Cambridge
ChairmanGreg Zeuren
CoachAntony Mieklejohn (head coach) Bradley Rea (assistant coach)
LeagueNRFL Division 2
2022NRFL Division 2, 8th of 10
WebsiteClub website

In 2020, Cambridge finished 8th in a season shortened by restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.[1] In 2019, they came 5th in the league.[2] The club had won promotion to the league in 2017 after a two-legged play-off series against Auckland's Beachlands Maraetai.[3]

They were the 2017[4] and 2015 champions[5] of the WaiBOP Premiership, run by the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Football Federation.

Club historyEdit

The club was founded in 1948 and has played at John Kerkhof Park, Cambridge, New Zealand, since 1967. The teams play in red and white, a legacy of the club's first president Vic Butler's support of Arsenal F.C.[5]

Playing recordEdit

In 2015, the club won the WaiBOP Premiership and qualified for play-offs to win promotion to the Lotto Sport Italia NRFL Division 2 but lost the two-match series to Auckland champions Waitemata FC.[5]

The club were runners-up in the 2016 WaiBOP Premiership[6]

In 2017, Cambridge won the WaiBOP Premiership[4] and the WaiBOP Championship, the Waikato/Bay of Plenty's top competitions.[7]

The club also retained the WaiBOP Challenge Shield, as well as winning the Waikato Women's League.[8]

Cambridge's U-19 youth team won the 2017 Satellite Final of the National Youth Tournament in Napier.[9]


The club appointed the following coaching/management teams for recent seasons:

2014: Norm Rose (coach), Ray Pooley (director of football), Robbie Greenhalgh (assistant coach), Kim Brierley (goalkeeper coach), Shane Ridgway (manager).[10]

2018: Mike Woodlock (coach, retired in May 2018),[11] Paul Richardson (coach, appointed in May 2018), Ray Pooley (assistant coach), Kim Brierley (goalkeeper coach), Chrissy Goodin (team manager).[12]

2019: Paul Richardson (head coach), Fairlie Morton (team manager).[13]

2020: Paul Richardson (head coach), Nicola Brierley (team manager).[14]

2021: Paul Richardson (head coach), Nicola Brierley (team manager).[15]

Since January 2017, former All Whites player and coach Ricki Herbert has been the Technical Director for the club.[16]

In October 2017, the club and the Ricki Herbert Football Academy announced a partnership to run a young player development programme at the Cambridge club.[17]

Regional and national participationEdit

Every summer since 2011, the club has staged the Cambridge Sevens[18] which are one-day tournaments for men's and women's teams drawn from the upper North Island of New Zealand.

In 2013, the club hosted events such as the Soccer Shop Waikato Cup Final,[19] the Waikato v Bay of Plenty All Stars game,[20] and the WaiBOP Women's All Stars v WaiBOP National League side.

After successfully hosting these games,[21] the club was appointed as the home ground for five New Zealand Football Championship matches for new franchise WaiBOP United.[22] This meant Cambridge became one of six bases for national league football in New Zealand (the others are Auckland, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin).

The appointment led to the club becoming an all-year operation, with investment in better facilities including upgraded playing surfaces, new changing rooms[23] and a new irrigation system. In late 2014, WaiBOP United announced Cambridge would continue to be the team's home base with five more premiership matches played in early 2015. For the 2015–16 season, WaiBOP United announced they were moving their home games from Cambridge's John Kerkhof Park to Waikato Stadium to enable a television deal to cover premiership games.[citation needed]

National league football returned to Cambridge in 2018 when the club hosted a match for ISPS Handa Premiership team Hamilton Wanderers and two of that club's National Youth League fixtures.[24] In 2019, the club hosted a national league double header when Hamilton Wanderers played Auckland City in the National Youth League and the ISPS Handa Premiership.[25]

In 2016, the club's John Kerkhof Park became the training base and home ground for the WaiBOP team in New Zealand's National Women's League, hosting three NWL games in each of the 2016 and 2017 seasons. In 2019, Cambridge was named as the host club for six NWL games and the training base for the WaiBOP team.[26] In 2020, the ground was again named as the host venue for WaiBOP's Women's Premiership fixtures.[27]

The club staged its first international match on 25 May 2015 when Hungary and Fiji met in a warm-up match for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup being held in New Zealand.[28]

The club hosted the finals of the Soccer Shop men's Waikato Cup and Plate in 2013, 2016, 2017[29] and 2019.[30] It hosted the women's Waikato Cup and Plate finals in 2016, 2018[31] and 2019.[30]


The club's first significant off-field achievement was winning Waipa District's Sports Club of the Year award in 2001, an award it won again in 2014 and 2015.[5]

The club's success at hosting regional and national matches led to it winning the Supreme Award at the 2014 Trustpower Waipa District Community Awards,[32] and the club represented Waipa at the national community awards[33] in Wellington in March 2015.

The club had previously won the Trustpower Waipa District Community Awards (Sports) award in 2010.[5] The club won another award for community service in December 2016, the Waikato Community Partnership Award, for its work with those ordered by the courts to perform community work.[34]

In June 2014, the club was named Club of the Year for the Waikato/Bay of Plenty,[35] winning WaiBOP Football's Colin Bell/Ron White Memorial Trophy.

In November 2014, the club was named Sports Club of the Year at the Waipa Networks District Sports Awards[36] and in January 2015 was a finalist for the Waikato Sports Club of the Year.[5] Former club chairman Greg Zeuren was named Sports Administrator of the Year at the Waipa awards[37] and won the Waikato Sports Administrator of the Year title in 2015.[38]

In 2014, the club won two WaiBOP Football Best Practice Awards, for its sponsorship practices and for the participation of women in the club.[34]

The club won the New Zealand Match Programme of the Year Award for 2011,[39] and the publication was highly commended in the awards for 2012 and 2013.

In August 2015, the club was awarded New Zealand Football's Quality Club Mark (QCM), Level 1 Star, which is a quality assurance standard used to measure the proficiency of clubs. Cambridge became one of the first clubs in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region to attain the QCM.[40]

In November 2015, the club won the Waipa Sports Club of the Year award for the second year in a row.[34]

The club's WaiBOP Premiership-winning first team won the 2017 Waipa Sports Team of the Year award.[41]

Long-serving club president Peter Martens was awarded a Queen's Service Medal for services to football in the 2020 New Year Honours.[42]

In January 2020, the club jointly won (with Cambridge Junior Cricket Association) an award for Innovation in Sport at the Sport Waikato annual awards after forming a ground-sharing partnership with the cricketers.[43]

International playersEdit

Probably the club's best known past player is New Zealand international striker Chris Wood.[44]

Full internationals who played their junior football at Cambridge FC include All White Che Bunce and Football Ferns Katie Duncan and Tayla Christensen.[5]

Two New Zealand international women's players, Maria Anderton and Andrea Rogers played senior football for the club with Anderton receiving a Special Achievement Award when retiring from competitive football in 2014 after more than 800 matches.[5] Rogers was named the club's women's Player of the Year for 2017.[45]

Former player Robbie Greenhalgh is a former New Zealand Under 17 player, while one of the club's former junior players, Jamie Woodlock, represented New Zealand at the Oceania Under 17 Championships in January 2015.[46]

Former Cambridge junior and youth player Grace Wisnewski scored three goals at the 2018 U-17 FIFA Women's World Cup in Uruguay in which New Zealand came third at the tournament.[47]

Goalkeeper Patrick Steele has represented New Zealand at futsal, playing for the national U-18 team.[48]

Notable playersEdit

Captain Patrick Woodlock was named the WaiBOP Premiership's Player of the Year for 2015 and 2017[49] and won the club's Jim Barry Player of the Year[50] trophy for the sixth time in 2017, setting a new club record.

Cup competitionsEdit

Chatham Cup

Cambridge have reached the third round of New Zealand's oldest cup competition 12 times, the furthest the club has progressed.[51]

Year Round reached Result
1972 3rd Lost 3–2 to Claudelands Rovers
1974 3rd Lost 7–1 to Hamilton
1984 3rd Lost 3–1 to Lyndale (Auckland)
1994 3rd Lost 6–2 to Mount Wellington (Auckland)
1995 3rd Lost 4–2 to Mount Wellington (Auckland)
1996 3rd Lost 5–1 to University of Auckland
1999 3rd Lost 3–2 to Mt Albert-Ponsonby (Auckland)
2004 3rd Lost 5–1 to Lynn Avon United (Auckland)
2005 3rd Lost 2–1 to Whakatane Town
2007 3rd Lost 4–0 to Manurewa (Auckland)
2008 3rd Lost 1–0 to Forrest Hill-Milford (Auckland)
2014 3rd Lost 4–2 to Birkenhead United (Auckland)

Waikato Cup and Plate

In 2008, Cambridge won the Waikato Cup.[52]

In 2013, Cambridge were beaten finalists in the Waikato Cup, losing 5–1 to Hamilton Wanderers. The club's C team won the Plate in 2013, beating Waihi 4–3.

Cambridge again reached the final of the Waikato Cup in 2017 when the club's B team lost 2–0 to Otorohanga.[53]

Waikato Women's Cup and Plate

The club's women's first team won the 2014 Waikato Cup.[54] They were beaten finalists in 2013, 2015 and 2018.[31]

The club were runners-up in the 2016 Waikato Plate.


Cambridge's U-19 youth team, won the 2017 Satellite Final of the National Youth Tournament in Napier.[55]

It was the club's first success at the tournament since 2007 when the team won the Satellite Final 2–1 against Dunedin Technical.[citation needed]

In 2006, the Cambridge team won the Satellite Final 1–0 against Ellerslie but were deemed to have breached tournament rules.[citation needed] The squad included future All White Chris Wood and he was ruled ineligible to play at the tournament because he was 14 (and the minimum playing age was 15).[44]

In 2009, Cambridge were beaten 1–0 in the Satellite Final by Dunedin.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Rest of Northern League season is cancelled as gathering restrictions remain". Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Reds finish in fifth spot after thrilling end to Northern League season". Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Cambridge back in NRFL". Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Reds clinch the Loaded WaiBOP Premiership title". Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "History of Cambridge Football Club". Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Table for Loaded WaiBOP Premiership". Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Cambridge WaiBOP Championship title". Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Reds retain WaiBOP Challenge Shield till next season". Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  9. ^ "U-19s win Satellite Final of Napier tournament". Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Cambridge appoint new coaching team". 11 January 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Reds to make change to coaching group". 2 May 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Pre-season training underway for Northern League". 15 February 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Coaching and team management group takes shape for 2019 season". 15 January 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  14. ^ "Are you ready for the challenge? Join the Reds for their 2020 NRFL campaign". 11 January 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  15. ^ "More senior coaching appointments made as 2021 season approaches". 11 January 2021. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  16. ^ "All White legend Herbert heads to Cambridge". Ricki Herbert Football Academy. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  17. ^ "New partnership between RHFA and Cambridge FC". Ricki Herbert Football Academy. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  18. ^ "Waikato and Bay of Plenty: News Single". Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  19. ^ "Waikato: News Single". Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  20. ^ "WaiBOP United v WaiBOP All Stars – Preview". 20 June 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  21. ^ "Thank you Cambridge FC". 20 June 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  22. ^ "WaiBOP United move to John Kerkhof Park". 20 June 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  23. ^ "Cambridge FC to get new facilities". 20 June 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  24. ^ ""Cambridge to host national league double header"". 16 November 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  25. ^ ""Clear Premiership leader yet to emerge"". 17 November 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  26. ^ "" Top women players heading to Cambridge for 2019 NWL season". 26 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  27. ^ "Cambridge to host more national women's league games". 13 October 2020. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  28. ^ "Waikato and Bay of Plenty: News Single". Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  29. ^ [1], Finals Day comes to Cambridge
  30. ^ a b [2], The Soccer Shop Waikato Cup and Plate
  31. ^ a b "Women edged out of cup after extra time". 28 August 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  32. ^ "Cambridge Soccer Club score top award". 19 May 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  33. ^ "Trustpower Community Connect – Community Awards – National Community Awards". 23 March 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  34. ^ a b c "Awards won by Cambridge Football Club". Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  35. ^ "Waikato and Bay of Plenty: News Single". Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  36. ^ "Cambridge FC win club honour | New Zealand Football". Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  37. ^ "Cambridge wins top sports club award | Scoop News". 19 November 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  38. ^ "2014 Brian Perry Regional Sports Award winners". Fitness Journal. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  39. ^ "Cambridge FC Match Programme". Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  40. ^ "Waikato and Bay of Plenty: News Single". Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  41. ^ "Club finalist at Waikato sports awards". 15 February 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  42. ^ "Club president awarded QSM in New Year's Honours lists". 31 December 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  43. ^ "Club's partnership with cricketers leads to win at Sport Waikato awards". 30 January 2020. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  44. ^ a b "Chris Wood – special feature". Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  45. ^ "2017 Senior Prizegiving results". Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  46. ^ "Shootout sends U-17s to Chile | New Zealand Football". Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  47. ^ "Former Cambridge player stars in World Cup play-off success". Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  48. ^ "U-18 futsal national squads named". Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  49. ^ "Cambridge players scoop regional awards". Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  50. ^ "Jim Barry Player of the Year winners". Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  51. ^ "Cambridge FC's Chatham Cup record". Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  52. ^ "WaiBOP Football Finals Day". 4 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  53. ^ "Waikato Cup and Plate finals decided at Cambridge". 17 February 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  54. ^ "Waikato and Bay of Plenty: News Single". Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  55. ^ "Cambridge win Satellite Final of national youth tournament". Retrieved 18 February 2018.

External linksEdit