New Zealand Football Championship: A Guide to Current Clubs, Former Clubs, Name Changes, and Champions
The New Zealand Football Championship (NZFC) is the premier football league in New Zealand. It was founded in 2004 and currently comprises eight teams from different regions of the country. In this article, we will take a closer look at the current clubs, former clubs, name changes, and champions of the NZFC.
The NZFC currently has eight teams competing in the league. These teams are:
- Auckland City
- Canterbury United
- Eastern Suburbs
- Hamilton Wanderers
- Hawke’s Bay United
- Team Wellington
- Waitakere United
- Wellington Phoenix Reserves
Auckland City, Canterbury United, and Waitakere United are the only clubs that have been in the league since its inception in 2004. Hamilton Wanderers and Eastern Suburbs joined the league in 2016, while Hawke’s Bay United and Wellington Phoenix Reserves were added to the league in 2005 and 2014, respectively.
The head coaches of the teams are also a mix of nationalities. Auckland City and Waitakere United are both coached by Englishmen, José Figueira and Paul Hobson, respectively. Canterbury United is led by Lee Padmore, while Hawke’s Bay United has a dual coach system with both Bill Robertson and Chris Greatholder in charge. New Zealanders Hoani Edwards and Kale Herbert are the head coaches of Eastern Suburbs and Hamilton Wanderers, respectively. Team Wellington is currently coached by Englishman Scott Hales, and Wellington Phoenix Reserves by Paul Temple.
Over the years, several clubs have left the NZFC. These clubs include:
- YoungHeart Manawatu (Joined: 2004, Left: 2013)
- Wanderers SC (Joined: 2013, Left: 2015)
- WaiBOP United (Joined: 2004, Left: 2016)
- Southern United (Joined: 2004, Left: 2020)
- Tasman United (Joined: 2016, Left: 2020)
There have also been some name changes in the NZFC since its inception. The following clubs have changed their names:
- Napier City Rovers became Hawke’s Bay United
- Otago United became Southern United
- Waikato FC became WaiBOP United
Champions and Premiers
The NZFC has had 17 seasons so far, and the following teams have been crowned champions and premiers:
- Auckland City: 10 premierships, 9 championships
- Waitakere United: 5 premierships, 5 championships
- Team Wellington: 2 premierships, 5 championships
- Canterbury United: 0 premierships, 1 championship
- Eastern Suburbs: 0 premierships, 1 championship
- Hawke’s Bay United: 0 premierships, 1 championship
In the NZFC, the team with the most points at the end of the regular season is crowned the premiers, while the team that wins the grand final is declared the champions. Auckland City and Waitakere United have dominated the league, winning most of the championships and premierships between them.
The New Zealand Football Championship is a relatively new league that has gained popularity in recent years. With eight teams competing in the league, there is a healthy competition among the teams. The champions and premiers of the league are crowned based on their performance during the regular season and grand final, respectively. Auckland City and Waitakere