With 640 members, Te Atatu AFC is the second biggest club out West, according to Treasurer Kathy Hohepa. She says that the numbers taking to the field each week have grown by 20 per cent over the last five years.
From competitive footballers to social ones, players of all ages and abilities are welcome at Te Atatu AFC. The men’s premier team is always fiercely competitive in the NRF Championship. And the men’s reserve team smashed the competition this season to take their title.
Women’s football is also on the up at Te Atatu, with the women’s premier team victorious in this season’s NRF Conference.
And there are plenty of opportunities for social footballers who enjoy a kick around with their mates.
However, it’s among the junior ranks that the game has really taken off. Kathy says there’s been unprecedented growth across all ages. She’s particularly proud of the club’s record in retaining its youth players. Often players drop off as they reach their teenage years. Te Atatu AFC has reversed that trend, with more footballers continuing with the game they love.
The club is also excited about soccer’s increasing popularity with young women. ‘Our girls and women's teams have equal parity with the men,' explains Kathy. And with New Zealand co-hosting next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, Kathy is anticipating a surge of interest.
Although the increasing player numbers are good news, it has put pressure on uniform stocks. Many battered jerseys were long overdue for retirement. However, a successful application to the Your West Support Fund means the club has invested in brand-new kit. Now, even more players can run out with pride and confidence wearing their club’s colours.
The football season may be over, but there’s still plenty going on at Te Atatu AFC. The very popular summer league is about to kick off with lots of opportunities for young and old.
Kathy says the club is already eagerly anticipating next season. The upgrade of the club’s home ground at Te Atatu Peninsula Park has been completed. And players can look forward to competing on new and improved pitches.
It’s game on at Te Atatu AFC with an exciting future ahead. So, head down to the clubrooms at Neil Avenue and join in the fun.