- About Us
- Player Information
- Coaches & Referees
- ESAFC Shop
- Fixtures & Grounds
- ESAFC Premier Teams
Welcome to Eastern Suburbs AFC
Please note our website is changing! For all 2021 training timetables and games, simply click the "Player Information" menu option and select your grade.
Your 2021 grade is the age you/your child will turn in 2021.
Cafe on Madills - Now Open!
As we’re about to kick off the season (stay tuned for more details), download the ESAFC App.
It’s a useful tool for everyone involved with the club as it provides quickest & easiest way to keep track of any changes/cancellations to trainings and games through push-message notifications, as well as having the most up to date fixtures & results at your fingertips!
Welcome to the Eastern Suburbs website. Latest news for the club is below, and news for each section (Junior, Youth or Senior) can be found on the homepage for that section above (on the gold toolbar). If you are new to the club we welcome you. Please go to the appropriate grade page and if you need more information don't hesitate to email the grade coordinator and they will be happy to assist you.
This summer season of Football is more exciting than ever before. This year, Eastern Suburbs has amalgamated with Auckland Football Federation to run the National Women's League side for 2020. The women's league consists of one round and will be complete at the end of 2020. The ESAFC men's side is looking stronger than ever and we will see this side carry out their season until March 2021.
For all ISPS Handa Women's Premiership Fixtures & Results - CLICK HERE
For all ISPS Handa Men's Premiership Fixtures & Results - CLICK HERE
Fencibles United AFC and Eastern Suburbs AFC are delighted to announce the establishment of an exciting collaborative resource partnership between the two clubs.
This partnership has been created to meet the ever-increasing challenges that football clubs are facing in delivering quality programmes and experiences for all of their members and stakeholders. The innovative partnership is aimed at utilising shared resources to enhance all aspects of the club from social football through to recognised player and coach pathways. Whilst the partnership will bring the two clubs closer together, a large focus will be placed on preserving and respecting each other’s unique identities.
NZ Football have introduced the FIFA Club Licensing system in recent years with the overall aim of raising the level of club football. One of the key goals in that process is to increase the level of professionalism in club football through strengthening their technical and sporting development.
A significant component of this criteria is the recruitment and development of a suitably qualified Director of Football supported by qualified coaches in each age group. By successfully meeting these standards clubs are awarded licensing status which provides quality assurance and other benefits to their members in terms of consistent access to certain levels of competition.
Successfully meeting and sustaining a Club License requires a significant amount of human and financial resourcing in the short and long term. The sustainability of these resources and programmes is a huge challenge for all clubs and requires fresh thinking and a different way of approaching the business demands of club football.
The financial impact of the COVID virus has added greater relevancy to developing new practices and strategies to not only ensure the long-term viability of sporting organisations but also to allow clubs to keep evolving and delivering improved programmes and experiences. The resource partnership model being embarked on between Eastern Suburbs AFC and Fencibles United is part of the long-term visions of both clubs and sustainability plans.
As part of the first steps in forming this resource partnership, ESAFC Director of Football Tony Readings will be appointed to jointly carry out this key leadership role for both clubs, overseeing all football matters from July. This role will be pivotal across both clubs in establishing the partnership and the sharing of resources. Whilst this partnership will grow and evolve over time, the initial focus will be on knowledge sharing at different levels, distribution of qualified coaches and community coach education.
“At Eastern Suburbs we have provided substantial investment to develop well-resourced player and coach pathways, strong administration, targeted community and female development. We are excited to extend the reach of our learnings and resources to help benefit even more players and coaches by partnering with Fencibles United in a way that will positively impact approximately 4000 players between both clubs. We are very much looking forward to working with Fencibles United AFC to collaborate to find improved solutions, develop enhanced opportunities for our members, and continue to grow football and playing numbers in our respective catchment areas. This new resource partnership model is a fresh chapter in club football and will enable both clubs to contribute more significantly to the growth and development of football in New Zealand.”
(Simon Hilton, ESAFC Chairman).
“I am very excited about the opportunities that the resource partnership between Eastern Suburbs and Fencibles United Football Clubs presents. This collaborative partnership will have a greater positive impact on a larger number of players, coaches and other important club members and stakeholders. Whilst the clubs will work together to enhance the experience of their respective members, it will also be a key priority to preserve the unique identities of both clubs and build on their proud histories to help lay a strong foundation for both the current and future generations.” Tony Readings (Director of Football ESAFC and Fencibles United).
“This new model is an exciting and innovative way of working which will allow both clubs to leverage off each other’s strengths and to learn collaboratively. To enable this relationship to flourish and for the good of football in both our local region and New Zealand, there needs to be a mind shift from viewing a neighbouring club as a competitor to embracing them as a supportive partner that can enable both clubs to provide better quality experiences for all of our members.”(Aaron Carson, Fencibles Chairman)
“Northern Region Football is supportive of any initiative in the club space which aims to deliver a sustainable and high-quality experience for club members of all ages and stages.
“We certainly applaud and support this joint approach which better utilizes the high degree of expertise and resourcing available to deliver an increased level of service in a far more efficient model. The collaborative thinking in breaking free from traditional club structures for the good of the region is a superb outcome for our sport.” (Steven Upfold, NRF GM Football)
Our Eastern Suburbs Premier Men's side took out Group A of the OFC Champions League, back in mid-February, in Papua New Guinea. Meaning they now advance to the next stage of the OFC Champions League and one step closer to the FIFA Club World Cup.
Due to the current extraordinary times, all next stages have been delayed until further notice. We are yet to know when and who we will face in the quarter-final, but what we do know is this match will be at home, in Auckland. As soon as we receive more information from Oceania Football Confederation, we will be sure to keep you in the loop. You'll find any updated information on our website, app and social media pages.
Congratulations to our Lilywhite Martin Bueno who scored an impressive amount of goals, finishing top of the group stage. Martin scored six goals across three matches.
In a recent interview, Chris Ruffell (the chairman of Eastern Suburbs AFC) outlined the vision and key goals for our club.
Chris Ruffell commented: I'm often asked, 'what's the goal for Eastern Suburbs, and is the National League and our winter premier teams the focus of our club?'
"I can understand these questions as we enjoy what to some may appear as two very different roles and potentially conflicting tasks under the Lilywhite banner:
Chris went onto say: "the answer is very simple: our club is focused on delivering an enjoyable and enriching football experience for each and every single Lilywhite...regardless of their age, ability, footballing motivations and gender. As such our community and premier player roles are neither competing or exclusive, rather the two roles are compatible in delivering that enriching experience. The following should help explain this further:
"We jealously guard our role in the local community...with in excess of 2,600 Lilywhites we have a significant community role by providing exercise and participation opportunities of our members, we are also part of the very fabric of the Eastern Suburbs catchment area. Nothing gives me more pleasure than being at Madills Farm on a Saturday morning to see our grounds full of our members enjoying playing their football games, but also they along with their friends and families connecting as a community.
"For those Lilywhites who come through our ranks and are more motivated to 'kick-on' and want to maximise their footballing ability we are committed to providing the best and most resourced pathway in New Zealand which will allow them to achieve their goals. For some that may lead to university scholarships in the United States, for others contracts with overseas clubs not to mention national honours, including playing for the Football Ferns and the All Whites.
So, this explains how we deliver to our 'enjoyable and enriching' promise to our community members and our members who strive to achieve at higher levels.
"We committed to entering the National League and the associated National Youth League in late 2015 for the simple reason: to extend our Eastern Suburbs pathway into the highest level of club football in this country. Sure we enjoy winning games and titles, but this is never our ultimate goal for entering the ISPS Handa Premiership. Don't get me wrong...we thoroughly enjoy being the current National League title, holders, however what surprises some is securing that honour was not our objective at the start of the season, nor did we assemble a squad to ensure we delivered the Premiership title, rather it was a by-product of our 'kiwi first' and development strategy. I acknowledge in the short term we need to draw on players from outside our Lilywhite community, but our longer-term goal is to have our National League squad dominated by players that have come through our pathway. We have set strict KPI's that demands our National League squad members are increasingly (year on year) drawn from the ranks our winter Premier squad.
Our woman's Premier team who are the Kate Shepard Cup titleholders are under similar KPI's, they have a significant number of squad members who have come through the Lilywhite pathway ranks.
Finally, we have developed a style of play which runs through the footballing strategy DNA, based on procession, developing passing and on-the-ball skills rather than the 'long ball' lump it up the front to some speedster strikers playing style. Again, this game strategy runs from our Premier teams through our various age grades to help foster playing abilities and allow the pathway to seamlessly advance our members into the prestigious Eastern Suburbs Premier teams.
Chris Ruffell (ESAFC Chairman)
History of Madills:
Our club has a long-standing and momentous history that signifies where and why Eastern Suburbs is the way it is today.
Our Lilywhite Legends are those who have been long-standing, significant members to our club, or those who have represented Eastern Suburbs in an honourable way.
Eastern Suburbs have won the NZ Football Foundation Kate Sheppard Cup for the first time after defeating Coastal Spirit 4-0 in the final at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland this afternoon.
The Mauro Donoso-coached side, who had made the final twice before in 2005 and 2017, claimed their first cup win and also completed the first double after earlier winning the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League!
Eastern Suburbs have won the ISPS Handa Premiership title for the first time after delivering an impressive performance to defeat two-time champions Team Wellington 3-0 this evening at QBE Stadium in Auckland.
The win sees Eastern Suburbs not only claim the ISPS Handa Premiership for the first time – their previous title triumph was in the old national league – but also secures a historic place in the OFC Champions League for next season!
Our Lilywhites will be taking on Team Wellington in the ISPS Premiership National League Grand Final on Sunday as they search to secure an honour not won by Suburbs since 1971.
Let's paint the stadium white in support of our team as they thrive to one of New Zealand's top football achievements.
Due to the National League Final on Sunday the Senior 7-aside tournament has been postponed until later in the season. We instead would like to ask that all ESAFC members (young and old!) head over to QBE stadium in support of our boys!
ISPS Handa Premiership Final
Eastern Suburbs vs. Team Wellington
As many of you will now be aware, the AFF competition teams for 2019 have been announced. Please click on the following link if you would like confirmation of your child’s team.
Apologies for any confusion that resulted in the teams being announced late last week. There was a significant oversight on our behalf that may have caused some consternation. Separate communication was meant to be sent explaining that if your child’s name does not appear on the team lists, then they will be allocated an in-house team.
Due to the ever-increasing registered playing numbers, we simply have far more players than allocated AFF teams. This is a major reason our coaches have taken their time to identify the players.
As a club, we are convinced that our in-house competition is of a better level and therefore provide greater development for the player, than being part of the lower levels of AFF competition.
Finally, a reminder that if your child is enjoying the training sessions and would like to keep developing through them, then they should register for Term 2 training. Missing out on an AFF competition team does not mean they need to miss out of developing through training sessions.
I hope this clears up any confusion. Enjoy the upcoming season.
Director of Football
ISPS Premiership Head Coach
Following the Lilywhites' most successful season in the modern-day National League with an astounding 53 goals scored in just 18 games, we are excited to announce that we have taken second place in the Minor Premiership and secured a home Semi-Final!
For a number of reasons, including pitch quality and spectator experience, we have made the decision to travel to Trusts Arena, Henderson. Please join us in support as our boys look to go all the way, and don't forget to wear white!!
ISPS HANDA SEMI-FINAL
Eastern Suburbs AFC vs. Canterbury United
Saturday 23rd March
2:35pm Kick Off
Consultation Meeting: 12th March, 2019 - Madills Farm Clubrooms @ 7pm
Purpose: ESAFC invite local residents, Madills Farm users, and interested parties to consider the development of the club rooms and changing rooms as identified in the Council's Master Plan for Madills Farm.
ESAFC will chair and facilitate the meeting in order to seek opinions and ideas before developing their considerations for improved community-use facilities. We welcome your views. The meeting will aim to communicate the Council's Master Plan for Madills Farm, discuss who we are as a club, viewing of the changing rooms, consideration of redevelopment options, and ongoing communication channels.
Refreshment & finger food will be provided; please RSVP to Tracey Kingdon - 09 578 1375 or firstname.lastname@example.org
After nearly a month away from the pitch, the Lilywhites look to keep firing in the final games of the season and take on cross-town rivals Waitakere United. Our last fixture against Waitakere saw Eastern Suburbs come away with a 2-0 win. Can the Lilywhites continue their 2019 winning streak and put 2 more in the net? Head down to Riverhills on Saturday and find out!
Eastern Suburbs vs. Waitakere United
Saturday 2nd March
4pm Kick Off
Eastern Suburbs reschedules training times for the Lilywhite National League squad from the traditional after work evening trainings to a mid-morning time zone. The following is an interview with Danny on the changes to their training times.
Why the change Danny?
First and foremost, the move to morning sessions is simply about doing what’s best for the players and their development. We have Kiwi players who are genuinely serious about football as a career path...by serious I mean not “playing at it”, but fully prepared to make sacrifices and work extremely hard on a daily basis. To improve their development we need to change our training and developing approach. Sessions in the evening, after a day at university or work, was proving less than ideal. We were finding our players were mentally and physically fatigued in sessions and were getting home around 9pm on training nights. As a result they’ve been struggling to get a grip of their nutrition and sleeping patterns, their development and performances suffered as a result. We also need to recognise the global nature of top-flight football, where players from every corner of the planet make up different teams in different leagues around the world. Our young Kiwi players are competing with these players for contracts so we need to be giving them the best opportunity possible to succeed.
How are the players in the National League squad adjusting to the change?
The players are rightly loving it. The quality and intensity of the sessions has noticeably lifted for all the reasons stated above – they’re fresh, have slept well and are really taking the time to ensure their nutrition is that of the best athletes. They also love the opportunity to work with Sunz Singh, our world-class strength and conditioning coach, in the afternoons if they choose to. They really are able to prepare and train like pros.
And how are you and the coaching staff adjusting and enjoying the time change?
Like the players, we are coming to the morning sessions fresh and enthused. We can meet prior to sessions, go through any planned video presentation, preview that day’s session plan and ensure everybody is clear about what we are trying to achieve. It’s fantastic, as we genuinely feel that we are better prepared to help develop these young players.
Why are the men’s winter Premier also required to change to morning trainings?
We’ll have a number of National League players transition through into our NRFL Premier Men’s team to ensure they are working at a high level for the majority of the year. It’s important to ensure the standards we set in summer, are also the standards set for our winter Premier team. We also have some players who have aspirations of achieving overseas contracts mid-way through 2019, as well as a number who will be in contention for NZ National Teams. So, it’s crucial we ensure they have the best opportunity to continue their development in an environment that fosters excellence.
Finally, any other comments or thoughts?
The overriding reason for making the decision to train in the mid morning time zone rather than the traditional after-work evening period was simply that mornings are the best time of the day to train, it also simulates a professional football environment. But it makes a huge amount of commitment and sacrifice from the players, including a financial sacrifice for many as there is lost earning potential. It is also a huge statement of intent from Eastern Suburbs. For the players, this is not for everyone, but it is for those who are genuinely serious about their development and pathway in the game.
Danny Hay - ISPS Premiership Head Coach and High Performance Director
Eastern Suburbs National League 2018-2019
SENIOR TEAM TRIALS: Two trial days will be held in late February/early March to establish teams & place newcomers with the appropriate teams. Trials will be held on Sunday 24th February @ 10am and Sunday 10th March @ 10am
SENIOR 7-ASIDE TOURNAMENT: To kick the season off and get some game time in, we will be holding a 7-aside tournament on Sunday 31st March from 10am to 2pm. More information to come.
Don't forget to head along to our 2018 AGM on Thursday 8th November - 7:30pm start!
Please click on the below links to read 2018 Reports from our Section Heads, as well as the 2017 AGM Minutes
Still undefeated and heading in to match week 5 - will Auckland City FC have the strength to compete? Head on over to see whether our boys can pull off another awesome performance!
Eastern Suburbs vs. Auckland City
Sunday 11th November
4:35pm Kick Off
Our National Youth League Lilywhites also take on Auckland City this Saturday!
Eastern Suburbs NYL vs. Auckland City NYL
Saturday 10th November
1pm Kick Off
Please be advised that Eastern Suburbs Association Football Club will be holding its Annual General Meeting at the Madills Farm clubrooms on 8th November 2018 starting promptly at 7.30pm.
It has been an exciting and very successful year and therefore you are encouraged to attend and learn more. A few of the highlights are
For full information, please CLICK HERE
Elijah plays in the 12th Grade and this is his footballing journey so far and how he ended up playing for the #Lilywhites.
"I played rugby for Varsity for 5 years and wanted a change. I liked rugby but it was getting too rough and physical, I had to keep going to the chiropractor to get my back fixed.
I also wanted to try a sport that lots of friends from school played. All of my soccer playing school mates play at Eastern Suburbs and this is the closest club to home. I like playing games close to home each weekend.
Everyone at the club is friendly and Paul is a really good coach. I’ve tried out different positions on the field and now I play at centre midfield.
I love running and have found that soccer is fast and fun to play too. I like kicking the ball around and trying to score goals. I also liked playing in the tournament as it meant lots of running around.
I think I’m naturally good at soccer and want to play again next year!".
Sadly, Kevin Harlock, our Goalkeeper from 1966-1970 passed away on Tuesday, 4 September aged 71 years.
Kevin played 91 games for the Club and joined us in strange circumstances. After winning the Chatham Cup in 1965, Charlie Dempsey had arranged a game in Sydney at Labour Weekend. At training one night Ken Armstrong asked me if I could arrange a goalkeeper as Terry Moore, our keeper couldn’t get time off work. Ken knew I was friendly with Kelvin Munro (the North Shore Keeper) and said he didn’t want Kelvin because he had already coached him at the Shore.
The following week at Training Ken asked if I had any luck with a keeper. I told him I had but there are two conditions attached to it – 1. he rooms with me and 2. he plays in goal for us next year.
Ken jumped up and down and said he didn’t agree to any conditions when he didn’t know who we are talking about. I told him it was Kevin Harlock, the New Zealand Under 23 Keeper from Huntly Thistle. He shouted “you win on both conditions, but how did you get him because I tried earlier in the year but he was not interested.” “Let’s just say I know his father well and have played against and enjoyed a few beers with his two uncles”.
Kevin was a very good keeper and very well thought of by all who played with him.
Kevin passed on his footballing prowess with his two sons: Kenny & Neill both playing for the All Whites.
Ever the family man, Kevin was often 'spotted' at Madills watching his grandchildren (Cameron & Cherie) play for their respective Lilywhite teams.
Kevin also attended a number of recent Premiership matches watching the new generation of Eastern Suburbs players playing in the National League.
Kevin, you will be sadly missed.
Skipper/Patron (& Kevin's old mate)
Head down to QBE Stadium on Sunday 10th September and check out some of our Ole Academy graduates! The following players will be competing in the Chatham Cup final, playing for Western Suburbs as they take on Birkenhead United! These players will also be joining our ever-strengthening ISPS Handa National League squad.
- Andrew Withers
- Alex Clayton
- Dalton Wilkins
- Nando Pijnaker
- Harry Edge
- Dominic Wooldridge
- Owen Parker-Price
- Elijah Just
- Adam Thomas
- Mohammed Awad
Full Lilywhite squad information to be released in the coming weeks.
On Saturday September 8th for the final day of in-house games, we will be holding our annual Gala Day at Madills Farm. All are welcome, with free sausages to be given out to all in-house players. For more information CLICK HERE
It's that time of the year to start thinking about Summer Football! This summer season we will be running 7-aside in partnership with Ellerslie AFC & Football Fix for ages 8 - 17, as well as a 4-aside competition for ages 6-7. CLICK HERE for registration details!
Registration for the 2018 season opened on Jan 1st. Please click on to the Registration Button below. For all information about the correct grade for the player registering, please view the drop down menu above under "players" and look for your grade. e.g. a player turning 12 in 2018 will be 12th grade, a player turning 6 in 2018 will be 6th grade. A player over 18 years of age is a Senior.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
Brush twice a day, Lumino twice a year!
Lumino The Dentists are new sponsors of the club. In addition to their cash donation, all players aged 12 and under have receive a Lumino-branded water bottle, for their Saturday morning re-hydration. Lumino has over 20 practices across Auckland, with the nearest locations in Remuera, Ellerslie, Newmarket. Lumino Orthodontists and a specialist kids’ dentist, Kidzteeth, are both located in Remuera. Lumino looks forward to treating you and your family
We are pleased to have on board TASTY POT CO as sponsors of the supporter of the day award. Tasty Pot Co is a NZ company that provide healthy and delicious meals to fuel up some of NZ's top sports teams. These include Black Sticks Hockey, Silver Ferns Netball, The Greakers and Team NZ Sailing. Each week the supporter of the day from each team will be provided a redeemable voucher thay can use at the local Supermarket. For more information click here
Congratulations to NYL duo Charles Spragg & Matthew Palmer on their hatricks against Samoa! Congrats also to Max Mata who got on the score sheet and captained the team to an emphatic victory!
The Danny Hay-coached New Zealand U-17 side has kicked off its bid to qualify for the World Cup in ideal fashion with a comprehensive 11-0 victory over a hard-working Samoa outfit in stifling heat at Stade Pater in Papeete
Click here to read some minor FIFA rule changes to 11-a-side football
For all matters related the Laws of the Game click here.