Youth Academy teams back in action!

Monday, 14th March, 2022


Our Youth Academy teams have been working hard this term in their pre-season training, in what had been a long hiatus from football, since lockdown ended the season abruptly in August last year. A series of pre-season friendlies against Fencibles United on Sunday meant our 13s to 16s could put combinations into practice and test themselves in the summer heat down at William Green domain.


14s’ coach, Adam Thurston commented that: “It gave us a good idea of where we’re at as a group, with lots of positives to take from it”. Despite the narrow 4-3 loss, Thurston said: “We played some really good football. I’m excited to work with the group going forward!”


The advantage of the shorter 75 minutes format for the 13s to 16s, meant that players could enjoy more game time. Divided up into thirds, there would also be more breaks for the Youth players to reassess what went right and wrong. There is no denying that the Lilywhites still had standout performances, with goals they can be proud of. The ability to bounce back and stay in the match will be vital for the upcoming Youth season.


Later in the afternoon, the 17s took to the pitch. Fencibles set the pace with the first goal of the match, meaning the Lilywhites were playing catch up the whole game. When the final whistle blew, the opposition had managed to stay ahead and win the game. It was a good learning curve for the 17s, with key takeaways that can be applied for future games.


17s player, Max Serrano, noted that the preparation had been going well: “It’s been pretty good. Lots of hard work on and off the field. Our goal is to try take out the season and improve as a team”.





Lilywhites go down one goal, and miss out on Kate Sheppard Cup final

Saturday, 6 March, 2022


After a long delay of the Kate Sheppard Cup semi-final between Suburbs and Wellington United, the game unfolded today at Newtown Park in Wellington.


The Lilywhites looked strong from the onset, with an offensive push up the pitch thanks to the likes of Morton, Page and Parris. Holding onto possession, goal scoring opportunities were created early on. Wellington United struggled out of the gate and were intercepted early by Lilywhites such as Carter and van Dort. With some momentum, shots at goal were produced by United’s Barrott and Alder.


Coach, Stephen Hoyle, noted the fantastic effort by his Lilywhites side: “I thought that there were a couple of young players who played really well. And the experienced players who had some good performances as well. Across the board, I think we gave a good account of ourselves after six months of not playing”.


The combination of Morton and Parris proved to be a powerful duo and there were several striking opportunities for them inside the first half. Page and Findlay also were dominant forces with excellent passes up the field.


United players toughed it out, and players such as Robertson showed off their ball control skills, making it difficult for Lilywhite defenders to capture the ball. By half time, it was still a goalless game as both teams headed into the sheds to work out their game plan for the second half.


Only one minute into the second half, United players such as Alder booted it long, just shy of the Lilywhites’ goal net. Morton and Wong fed it up the line and had several shots at goal too. Olliver-Bell put the home team up one goal, when she scored from what originally looked like a cross into the goal box. It was now 1-0 to Wellington United.


Within the span of ten minutes, there was a flurry of shots from long out from the likes of Carter, Morton and Alder. Everyone was having a go at it, despite the slimmer chance of a goal. At the 85th minute, both Page and Levy had similar long shots at goal, with both hitting the crossbar, just above Simons in goal. Even Lilywhite captain, van Dort had a strike from far out. But it was too little too late as the one goal advantage was just enough for Wellington United to win and take out Kate Sheppard Cup Champions, Eastern Suburbs.


Hoyle was proud of his team’s effort nonetheless, commenting: “I thought we gave everything that we’ve got. Especially at the end, we threw a lot of bodies forward and tried our best to win. Credit to Wellington United for being very really well organised; scoring their goal and defending brilliantly at the end. I thought their keeper was fantastic.” As for the season ahead, he said: “I’m really excited now to integrate some more players into the group and show them what it means to be a Lilywhite, how we conduct ourselves and keep a good environment”.


Captain, Rebekah van Dort, commented: “I think that throughout the ninety [minutes] we put in a lot of effort and tried really hard. I think we were a little bit gutted that we were unable to finish any chances around the box because we definitely kept good possession.


Though she has an optimistic view on the future of the team, saying, “I think there were lots of positives that we can take away from it. We’re very sad to have Corina leaving us, but we have some new girls coming in to bring some new intensity”.






Jale signs for Inaugural Wellington Phoenix Women's side!

Tuesday, 19 September, 2021



The newest A-League women’s side, Wellington Phoenix, announced today that Lilywhite, Grace Jale, has been selected for the team!


Jale said: “It’s very exciting stuff! I know that it’s taken a while to get the Wellington Phoenix women’s side off the ground and in the A-league, so it’s awesome to be part of the first ever team. It’s a great opportunity for all the young Kiwi footy girls to look forward to!”


Despite only being 22 years of age, Jale has represented New Zealand in the U17 and U20 national teams, as well as representing the senior national team at the 2018 OFC Women’s Nation Cup.


After coming back from the United States where she played for Wake Forest University, Jale has represented the Lilywhites’ LOTTO NRFL women’s side. In mid September, the team took out the title for the second year in a row. On her return, Jale scored five goals for the Lilywhites. This was particularly impressive given she only played less than half of the games, due to an injury earlier in 2021.


A dominant mid-field player and absolute ‘power-house’. Well done Grace and all the best for the new season!





Lilywhites abroad! - Zach’s Journey with the All Whites

Friday, 15 October, 2021



At Eastern Suburbs, we pride ourselves on not just our player pathways, but our coaches pathways - which we see as equally important! Current ESAFC Coach, Zach Haydon, is on an incredible learning curve as Junior Manager and Kitman for the All Whites on tour in Bahrain. We caught up with Zach to see how he is getting on, after two successful matches against Curaçao and Bahrain.


How has the experience been? Is it a big step up from our Club environment to the National team environment?


“I’ve loved being a part of something special and super proud to represent my country. The environment is a massive step up from a club environment. Being able to work around full-time professional players and the professionalism of the staff has been second to none.” 


In my role, I make sure the changing rooms are set up and all the players have what they need to succeed. I have a great crew that put up posters and make the changing room look great, and create an identity for us.”


Highlights, learnings and challenges?


“Every day has been a highlight. Training has been very good, with great intensity, culture and identity being created.


I’m learning new stuff every day! Being chucked in the deep end a little and doing two jobs at once, has helped me learn better organisation and management skills, which I'm really grateful for.”


”Definitely the lack of sleep has been the most challenging, but otherwise it has been quite a breeze. I have great support staff that have been helping me at every moment so they make it super easy for me to knuckle down on what I have to do.”


Next, the NZ team and staff are off to Abu Dhabi for a month. They will be stationed there until the November game window is confirmed.


All the best Zach! We’re incredibly proud of you and know all our young Lilywhites will benefit from your experience when you get back!


#Pathways #Lilywhites




For more information please contact the media team at

Congratulations Daisy, Ava, Emma and Jacqui!

Thursday, 14 October, 2021



Congratulations to four ex-Lilywhites who have just been named in the NZ first team for the Canada tour this October. Daisy Cleverly, Ava Collins, Emma Rolston & Jacqui Hand, we can’t wait to see you in action!


A massive shout out also to Ava & Jacqui who will land their debut for The Football Ferns!


It’s been a while since we’ve seen these four in a Lilywhite kit and that’s because they’ve been smashing it overseas!


We wish these four QUEENS all the best for their matches later this month!






For more information please contact the media team at

ESAFC Pathways Programme is clearly evident with both Men’s and Women’s Premier squads earning spots in the NZ National Leagues

Friday, 17th September, 2021


With the Northern and LOTTO NRFL leagues cut early due to COVID-19, both our men’s and women’s sides stayed in the top four. This means both sides have qualified for the New Zealand National League. The women’s side won the league with 38 points and the men’s side finished third with 34 points.


Whilst this isn’t how we all wanted to finish our respective Winter seasons, the qualification of both our Men’s and Women’s sides was an important goal to achieve this season.


Men’s coach, Hoani Edwards said: “Qualification in both our Men’s and Women’s National League is great for our young players at the club. It shows that we have a pathway to the top of the game in New Zealand”.


Women’s coach, Stephen Hoyle addressed the benefit of Eastern Suburbs’ Pathway Programme too, saying: “It shows how serious we are as a club at providing high-level pathways for all players. With everyone who makes a premier first team at the club, being able to showcase themselves against the best players in the country. This is a very important platform for aspiring players who want to take the next step and play professionally or represent New Zealand.”


The other teams in the men’s league are: Northern League winners, Auckland City, Auckland United, Birkenhead United. As well as from the Central League; Miramar Rangers, Wellington Olympic, Wellington Phoenix Reserves and Western Suburbs. These teams will be joined by two qualifiers from the Southern League. There will be nine games in a Round Robin with the top two teams playing off in the final.


Our women's team has been outstanding, as they won their LOTTO NRFL league. On top of that, their Kate Sheppard Cup Semi-Final against Wellington United is still to follow. Coach Hoyle outlined that they aimed to: “Qualify for the NWL and retain the NRFL title. So we are really excited to test ourselves at the highest level of domestic football in the country.”


Add to this, the individual achievements of Jade Parris taking out the ‘Golden Boot’ for the fourth year running in the LOTTO NRFL and Tayla O’Brien in a close second. In the Men’s standings, Jake Mechell came in fourth.


Hoyle is looking forward to how the club and federation hybrid works in the National Women's league this year. “I'm particularly excited for us to test ourselves against the Canterbury United Pride. They have a really strong history in the NWL of winning titles. We have had some excellent high-quality games too against Western Springs AFC, Northern Rovers, Ellerslie AFC, Hamilton Wanderers and Auckland United already this season”, Hoyle said.


Both teams have used lockdown to focus on individual fitness and conditioning as well as a refresh or return to play for a few players after injury lay-offs. For many of our players who are also coaching our younger Lilywhites, the focus has been about keeping connected with our training groups and teams with plenty of challenges and weekly tasks.


Looking ahead, Hoyle commented “I think we can create a positive culture across both squads where we support each other. I often see players from the Men's side watching the Women's games and vice versa.”







For more information please contact the media team at

Premier teams secure key wins in last weeks of competitions

Monday, 16 August 2021



With two away games this weekend, the Lilywhites understood there would be added pressure. The women's team opened strong against Western Springs FC. Early on, Parris and O’Brien had chances of scoring. Due to some good saves by Springs keeper, Perry, it remained 0-0. After a run of fouls, Springs came back, with Takeda and Dyer coming close to going up on the scoreboard. At half time, both sides looked to be evenly matched.


Six minutes into the second half, O’Brien capitalised off a Lilywhites corner, making it 1-0 to the away side. At 67 minutes, Dyer scored to even the score to 1-1. The combination of Hirano and Takeda looked dangerous - and fed the ball to Colpi who narrowly missed the Lilywhites goal. Jale, only six minutes later, scored the Lilywhites’ second goal, after an impressive long shot from the corner of the goal box. Then in the last minutes of the game, Page tapped it into the back of the net. With a 3-1 victory at full time, the women's team can be proud of their performance. They are that much closer to winning the league, after getting an important win against Springs, who are top contenders.


Coach, Hoyle, commented that: “The team's mood is good. We are confident but not complacent. We know we have to be consistent in our performance and present at all times.” In terms of the focus ahead of the last few games, he went on to say: “[We need] to build on the strong relationships we have in the team. We need people who want to give everything for each other. Then improving on the playing style we all believe in, week in week out.”


Goalscorer, Page, said: “It was a very tight game so scoring felt good. The last few wins have built up our confidence heading into the semi [finals], as well as our preparation as a team.”


On Saturday, the men's team travelled to Hamilton to take on Melville United. Like in the women's game, the first half was goalless. It was not until 73 minutes in that Mechell put the Lilywhites 1-0 up. This was his eleventh goal this year. Holding this lead until the final whistle, the away side secured the win. Assistant coach, Haydon, was proud of the boys: “We worked hard individually and as a team. It’s never easy to get a result down in Melville, but we did well to persevere.” In terms of improvements looking ahead, Haydon said: “We can take a lot from the game, as we know our intensity and quality must be much better heading into the final 3 games of the season.” Vickers noted too that: “In my opinion the subs had a massive impact on today’s game. They all made a massive difference when coming on.”


It has been announced that Auckland City FC has won the Northern League, after being enough points clear of the rest of the teams. Congratulations to them.


Upcoming games:


Kate Sheppard Cup: Eastern Suburbs vs Wellington United, Saturday 21 August, 2pm, Newtown Park

Livestreamed: Eastern Suburbs vs Hamilton Wanderers, Saturday 21 August, 3pm, Madills Farm

Eastern Suburbs vs Auckland United, Sunday 22 August, 7pm, Madills Farm






For more information please contact the media team at

Challenge, improvement and teamwork with our 11th Grade Academy Girls

Thursday, 12 August, 2021


This week, we caught up with the 11th Grade Girls White team to see how their season is going. Coached by Tayla O’Brien, these girls are part of the Club’s Junior Academy programme.


“This season we decided to put the team up a grade to compete in the 12th Grade league. We knew it was going to be a big challenge but they have thrived from it. The girls have shown so much improvement and have really come together as a team", O’Brien commented.


Player, Elsa Cooper has been with Eastern Suburbs for six seasons, starting out in the 6th Grade inhouse, “this season has been tough but good to have some strong competition to challenge us. It’s been lots of fun though. Playing up a grade has made us a better team”.

At training, Elsa loves rondos, shooting drills and 1v1. Tayla commented, “we focus on a lot of team play, we always include rondos and small-sided games into our training with a focus on getting lots of touches on the ball and having fun”.

For Elsa, what she enjoys most about football is teamwork, “especially meeting new friends outside my school group. I also love learning new tricks and shooting. Our coach Tayla is great and I love the fact that she plays high level football too, she’s amazing!”


What Tayla enjoys most about coaching our Juniors, “I love seeing the kids express themselves through football. You can truly see the friendships and enjoyment that they get out of it. And to be a part of that and help them at the beginning of their football journey is really special.”






For more information please contact the media team at

Openness, trust and a special bond - the ingredients for the OlyWhite’s success

Thursday, 5 August, 2021


After a history making campaign with the OlyWhites at the Olympics, we caught up with the one and only S&C Coach, Sunz Singh for a post Olympics debrief whilst he has a little spare time in MIQ this week.


On his first Olympics experience, “It was unreal, taking in everything you see as a kid about the Olympics and thinking - wow this is it! But at the same time, you have a job to do. We knew we had something special within our group and we knew we could do something special and I think that was evident with what happened”


Olympics through a global pandemic has not been without its challenges and Sunz, discussed some of these dynamics, such as not having access to facilities like a gym and not being able to freely move. “If you need to go somewhere, you all go as a team, you have to keep together and always travel in your bubble. Having to make do and adapt and move on - make the best with what you had, where you had. 


With so many highlights from the OlyWhites campaign, for Sunz it was watching from the sideline and seeing things coming to play that we’ve never seen before from NZ Football. “That we could play like some of the best in the world and that we could take on some of the best in the world. Seeing what we needed to do, coming to life.” And then, seeing the pros like Chris Wood and Winston Reid behave with the team. Sunz describes “From the training field, to the dining hall, everytime we’re together it was quite inspirational watching them lead and getting onto the level of our younger players and letting them in. Whilst they come from the best leagues in the world, they behaved very much like normal kiwi guys!”


So what was it that made this group so special? For Sunz, “Openness, trust and a special bond” were the magic ingredients for this team. We created from the outset a family setting, our environment became ‘home’.” 


And his most treasured memento from the Olympics - the pounamu, gifted to all NZ Olympic athletes in Tokyo. “You can trace it back to where it was carved. And all of the OlyWhites team’s pounamu has been carved from the one stone. So this team will always be connected in this way, even though no two stones are the same.” 




And lastly, some advice for our Lilywhites, “After almost 2months together as a team both in NZ and then in Japan. It takes a special type of person to do what these players have done - and its purely through the discipline and the focus they’ve shown for that amount of time.” So to our Lilywhites, stay true to your goals and beliefs. “What you can take from this group of OlyWhites players, is that they are so laser focused, have a strong vision and belief and don’t get distracted.”






For more information please contact the media team at

Lilywhites abroad! - Life in camp with OlyWhites

Thursday, 15 July, 2021


Team Manager, Simon Hilton and S&C Coach, Sunz Singh 

We caught up with Simon Hilton, ESAFC Chairman and OlyWhites Team Manager and S&C Coach, Sunz Singh to see how they were getting on in Atsugi, Japan as the team continues their Olympic campaign preparations. 

What are conditions like in Japan?

With Japan being in a 'state of emergency' the team are confined to their hotel and training grounds. Not all bad though, as the team are occupying two hotel floors exclusively. We move between the floors via a service lift only and have our own dining room. This ensures we aren't using or being exposed to any other hotel areas. 

What's a typical day like?

Each day involves a Covid test and daily measures (for the players), then breakfast, followed by a gym or rolling session. Then lunch and in the afternoon, players receive treatments or have coaches meetings. 3pm is a snack, then a pre-training meeting before departing for training at 4pm each day. The team returns from training in the evening for showers and dinner.
The team have enjoyed a couple of sushi nights together and Coach Sunz has mastered chopsticks!

What has been a highlight so far?

Our first game against Australia and seeing the work the boys have done come to life. Its a long way to go, but a good start and we've got a great bunch of guys who are coming together well!

Looking ahead to the start of the pool games. What's the plan?

We have another game against Australia tonight (Thursday 9pm NZST) and then head into Olympic accommodation tomorrow. For the first two games, the team will be based in Kashima, rather than the Olympic village. Unfortunately our team won't be attending the Opening Ceremony as our first game is the night before and we will be in tournament mode.

All the best team! The Lilywhites are right behind you and are super proud of our Lilywhites abroad!






For more information please contact the media team at

Fourth time lucky, as Lilywhites nab impressive win over the Rovers

Sunday, 8th August 2021


The turbulent weather didn’t stop the Lilywhites from delivering a standout performance at Madills. The Northern Rovers looked to apply pressure throughout the match, although lacked the number of strikes at goal that the home side had.


It came down to four goals; two for Jale, and one apiece for Carter and Wong. Wong was ecstatic, commenting: “Because I’m a fullback, I don’t normally get up there and score. But it was good to get on the scoresheet and contribute to the convincing win.” Up until today, the Rovers had not lost to the Lilywhites. Wong added that keeping a clean sheet, really gave the team confidence in their ability.


Coach, Stephen Hoyle, reminded us that the women’s side had played three games in total since last week Sunday. It was their third win, after winning against Wanderers in Hamilton, and against Western Springs in the Kate Sheppard Cup quarter final. Hoyle said, “I think it’s been a really tough week after winning Thursday night and giving everything we could, to come back suddenly and back it up, I couldn’t be more proud of the girls and their efforts this week, and what they’ve done.”


With the winning momentum over the last few games, it’ll see them through for the next few weeks as they enter the Kate Sheppard cup semi finals, and the last few rounds of the NRFL competition. Hoyle notes: “[Our aim now] is to stay present, so we can get the outcomes we want. We have to be focused on each game and getting the best result that we can”. Similarly, Wong said that the team can build off the confidence from the wins they have picked up against formidable opponents.


Upcoming games:


Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Western Springs FC, Sunday 15th August, 1:00pm, Seddon Fields

Kate Sheppard Cup Semi-Final: Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Wellington United, Saturday 21st August, 2:00pm

Live-streamed: Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Auckland United, Sunday 29th August, 1:00pm, Madills Farm






For more information please contact the media team at

Rovers to face the Lilywhites not once, but twice this weekend!

Friday, 6th August 2021



Both Northern Rovers premier teams travel to Madills Farm this weekend to compete against the Lilywhites. The last time the men's sides clashed at McFetridge Park, the Lilywhites walked away victors, with a decisive 3-0 win thanks to goals from Mechell, Dowling and Built. It will be no easy feat for the Lilywhites on Saturday, as Rovers play a similar style and are strong on the offence. Coach, Hoani Edwards, says: “this will make for an entertaining match up”. Player, Christian Gray, adds that the side has quality players, though the focus at training has been on the Lilywhites’ playing style. Edwards states that learning how to: “Defend in key moments” has also been at the forefront.


Coming off the back of the Birkenhead United game where they went down 2-1, the Lilywhites will be looking to bag the three points. Gray outlines that they would have benefitted from a better second half. Edwards, notes that: “We need to start strong in matches and not give opponents head starts”. Sitting one point behind on the points table from the Lilywhites, it shows how competitive the Northern League is this season. After this Saturday, there will only be three matches left, and subsequently, only one home match left, against Hamilton Wanderers. 






For more information please contact the media team at

Lilywhites travel to the Tron for Round Three

Friday, 30th July 2021


The Lilywhites will look to secure three points as they face the Wanderers on their home turf. Past game results this season favour the Lilywhites. They previously went up 3-2 and 4-1 against them. As we arrive at the last leg of the league, it’s vital that the Lilywhites don’t let down their guard. The Wanderers will look for an upset win, especially with the home crowd behind them.


We asked Assistant Coach, Aaron McFarland about the team’s focus: “[We want to] retain momentum and continue developing our playing style; particularly in [the] opposition’s half.” He went on to say that keeping a positive mindset is vital and that: “This group of players and staff work really well together and regardless of results, the mood is generally very good and productive.” Player Jade Parris, also outlined that: the team are: “Working hard and getting everything out of training that we can. We’re going for the three points”. Parris adds that since they sit at the top of the table, every game is important. For the majority of the league, Western Springs were holding the top position, until last week. The two sides meet at the quarter finals of the Kate Sheppard Cup next Thursday at Seddon Fields.


Reflecting on last week, the Lilywhites learned that breaking down teams guarantees good results. In this area, McFarland noted: “[Auckland] United provided a stern test of our ability to do this. Wanderers are always a good challenge and whether they press or hold a deeper defending line, we need to be more cohesive and quicker at getting through and behind them.”


Upcoming games:

Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Hamilton Wanderers, Sunday 1st August, 1:00pm, Porritt Stadium


Kate Sheppard Cup - Quarter Final: Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Western Springs FC, Thursday 5th August, 6:45pm, Seddon Fields


Livestreamed on ESAFC TV: Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Northern Rovers, Sunday 8th August, 1:00pm, Madills Farm






For more information please contact the media team at

Confident Manukau side look to make strong impression

Friday, 23 July 2021



With some impressive results in the last month of the league, Manukau will be a force to be reckoned with this Saturday. Coach Hoani Edwards, outlines that: “Manukau have strengthened their squad heading into [the] second half of the season, which is showing in recent results. They work hard for each other and are dangerous on the counter attack”. This was proven when they tied against top sides, Auckland City and Auckland United, and beat Bay Olympic 3-1.


In April, the Lilywhites beat Manukau 3-0 at their home ground, Mangere Centre Park (goal-scorers: Mechell, Strong). Mechell knows first hand what threat they pose, saying: “We will have to be defensively prepared for [them]. They will have taken a lot of confidence from their good results and want to build on that. We had a good win against them early in the season and we will back ourselves to hopefully do the same on Saturday.” The opposition will want retribution, heading into the last few weeks of the competition.


Mechell described the mood in the camp: “The boys have been buzzing and really enjoying themselves [at training]”. Edwards notes the emphasis on fitness conditioning this week, with the focus being building to the end of the season. It’s important for the Lilywhites to keep the winning momentum, after clinching a win against North Shore United away last Saturday. Mechell racked up three goals at this game, whilst Verney got his second goal of the season. Edwards does not want his side to take Manukau for granted, warning that: “This will be a very tough match for us. They will be playing with good confidence and will be desperate to continue the climb up the table.” Especially since it is a home game for the Lilywhites, the pressure will be on them to finish with a good result, and hopefully the three points.


Upcoming games:

Livestreamed on ESAFC TV: Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Manukau United, Saturday 24th July, 3:00pm, Madills Farm


Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Birkenhead United, Saturday 31st July, 3:00pm, Shepherds Park






For more information please contact the media team at

Downpour didn’t dampen Mens' teams results

Sunday, 18 July 2021


Despite the downpour of rain on Saturday, the Premier Men's team pulled off an outstanding win over North Shore United. This was a change of pace for the Lilywhites, after a mixed bag of results against North Shore in the past month and a half.


It did not take long for the Lilywhites to get settled in, with a goal in the opening 13 minutes. Off a free kick, Strong fed it to Mechell, who was able to put the Lilywhites on the scoreboard. Only four minutes later, Kalua drove down the right wing and crossed it to Verney, who put it away, making it 2-0. This was Verney’s second goal this season - he previously scored against Melville United in May. He commented: "It felt amazing to score and help the team get the win. [We] had options going forward, [which] allowed us to break down the opposition.”


Mechell was entering hat-trick territory, after racking up another goal. Again, Kalua provided a fantastic assist after a pass from Aaryan Raj. It was not even a third of the way through the game, before the Lilywhites went up 3-0. Ten minutes later, North Shore scored off a penalty. Going into the changing rooms, the score at half time was 3-1. Coach, Hoani Edwards, noted two stand out players: "Campbell Strong [was] very good, and Jake Mechell had some good finishing”. At the 53 minute mark, Mechell secured the hat-trick. He leads the most number of goals scored for the Lilywhites this season. A 3-1 lead soon translated into a 4-3 win for the Lilywhites, which was definitely closer than they would have hoped for. Edwards commented that: "We need to look at how we conceded three [goals] and correct this moving into next weekend's match”. He was proud of the Lilywhites’ stellar effort on Saturday: "[It’s] good that we continue to put in good performances and get results”. With Birkenhead United losing, this worked in the Lilywhites’ favour, as Birkenhead were sitting just above them on the points table.


Not only did the premier team have a great game, but the U23 men's side pulled off the best win in recent Lilywhites history, with a 14-1 win against North Shore United Reserves. The likes of Laing-McConnell, Gleissner and Yoneto scored three, whilst Tobin and Spragg scored two each. Coach, Zach Haydon, attributed this to the fact that: "A lot of young players stepped up and did a great job. We were overall very good in possession and also out of possession. We were aggressive, intense and the opposition couldn’t really get near us. We moved the ball really well and got rewarded for it.” The U23 side sit third on the points table with 31 points after nine wins, four draws and two losses this season.


Upcoming games:


Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Manukau United, Saturday 24th July, 3:00pm, Madills Farm

Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Birkenhead United, Saturday 31st July, 3:00pm, Shepherds Park






For more information please contact the media team at

Ponies pose a threat ahead of Sunday

Friday, 16 July 2021



This Sunday, home fans will see the Lilywhites take on Ellerslie AFC, in their third encounter this LOTTO NRFL season. Coach, Stephen Hoyle, assures that the Lilywhites have built a solid foundation ahead of the game: “We do a lot of work on our principles as a team and building key relationships within our eleven players on the pitch.”


Previously when the two sides have clashed, the results have been quite close: a 1-0 win for the Lilywhites in April, and a 3-1 win in May. There is a lot of talent this year in the league and with only six teams, the competition is incredibly tight. Hoyle continues: “Every game is very important from now until the end of the season. We must approach all games; ready to give 100% effort for each other. [If we] enjoy our football, that will give us the best chance of getting good results.” Ahead of the Lilywhites on the points table, are Western Springs AFC by only five points. Coincidentally, Springs are also the Lilywhites’ next Kate Sheppard Cup opponents. Player, Lucy Carter, agrees: “We are only five points behind [Western] Springs on the table now, and every game is so important.” With only one month to go in the League round, the pressure is on.


Hoyle notes that Ellerslie will provide tough competition: “They defend really well and have real weapons going forward - especially when they break with pace. Ellerslie are well organised and aren't afraid to mix up their game plan either and I'd love to know the code for the signs that their coaches hold up during games!” Carter adds that: “[They have] pace down the wing, they always give you a strong battle and their keeper is strong too!” With a short one week break from play, the women's team will look to be a strong force against the Ellerslie side.


Livestream on ESAFC TV:

Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Ellerslie AFC, Sunday 18th July, 1:00pm, Madills Farm


Upcoming games:

Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Auckland United, Sunday 25th July, 1:00pm, Keith Hay Park






For more information please contact the media team at

Sunny days for dominating performances by Lilywhites, bodes well for chance in NRFL League

Monday, 5 July 2021


The Lilywhites can be pleased with their efforts over the weekend, as they pulled off two impressive home game wins on two spectacular sunny days at Madills Farm. On Saturday, the men's team beat Bay Olympic 1-0, and on Sunday, the women's team beat Western Springs AFC 2-1. This was especially good for the men's side, as other teams they were close to on the points table had draws over the weekend. As for the women’s team, they knew heading in that Springs would be a challenging team who would be quick on the offence. Now, Springs remain strong at the top, but with only five points ahead of the Lilywhites, meaning they are still within reach.


In only the opening minute of the game, Jale scored for the home side. This set the tempo for the rest of the game, as Springs knew they were suddenly on the back foot. Early on, both sides had equal chances at scoring, and possession went back and forth. It looked like it would be a very even game by the time Pijnenburg scored for Springs. Brown just narrowly missed the low shot in the right corner of the net. Before half time, the Lilywhites put themselves in excellent positions to score. The likes of Jale and Strachan had their fair share of shots at goal. Jale’s response to her goal: “It felt really awesome -  I mean, it [was] a very big game. So I had to take my chances. I did miss a couple of other ones that I wish I got. But to get an early lead was a good start to the game”.


Going into the second half, Springs’ O’Brien and Hirano came close to scoring. The assists from both sides were on point, and both Brown and Perry had to work hard to save shots at goal. Page and Wong came on for Jale and Head with 20 minutes left to go. Fresh pairs of legs certainly made a difference and gave the Lilywhites solid momentum. Hirano and Takeda both had a couple of chances at scoring each. Brown deflected a couple of shots early on, by running up and blocking the ball from going past her. With only three minutes to go in regular game time, the Lilywhites went up 2-1, thanks to a superb goal from Strachan. Shooting right from the boundary line, she curled the ball low around the keeper.


Coach, Stephen Hoyle, was impressed with his side: “I think what we worked on in the week -  the girls implemented it really well. I think it was a testament to how they performed out there. I think the hunger, the work rate… I really appreciate their effort today”. Jale mentioned that: “We actually tried a new formation… but I think it worked well for us. I think we also surprised the other team. The midfield were working really hard. I think Laney had a really great performance and worked very hard for us up and down the field - attacking and defending”.


Hoyle indicated that: “If we lost today I think the [NRFL] league would be over and Springs would probably win it. But now it’s tightened up a little bit again and [we’re] going to try and chase after them. They’re a good quality side. We’re going to try and put as much pressure on them as we can until the end of the season”


The Lilywhites will be playing either Western Springs FC or Northern Rovers, in the quarter final of the Kate Sheppard Cup on Sunday.


Upcoming LOTTO NRFL games:


Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Ellerslie AFC, Sunday 18th July, 1pm, Madills Farm


Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Auckland United, Sunday 25th July, 1pm, Keith Hay Park






For more information please contact the media team at

“Positive vibe”, ahead of game against Bay Olympic

Friday, 2 July, 2021



This weekend sees both our Premier teams competing at Madills Farm, in very competitive football match ups. The last time the Lilywhites took on Bay Olympic, they walked away with a 2-1 win. Built and Mechell put the Lilywhites on the scoreboard and earned the team the valuable three points on the points table.


When asked about what the home side knows about Bay Olympic, Assistant Coach Zach Haydon said: “We know [that] they are physical and quick on the counter attack. They will try [to] get as much out of our mistakes as possible. We feel prepared to take them on and [we’re] looking forward to it.” The table is incredibly tight, and despite Bay Olympic sitting seventh, they are only three points behind the Lilywhites who are third. Incredibly, there's only a four point difference between the middle seven teams in the Northern League. This shows how stiff the competition has been and how evenly-matched the teams are this season.


Haydon believes that the Lilywhites “just need that extra push”, in order to get those wins. Stafford Dowling, who was last week’s goal scorer against Western Springs, added that: “We have been working hard this week; focusing on a lot of transition work to get us prepared [against Bay Olympic]”. Dowling agrees how valuable a win against Bay Olympic would be, saying: “as long as we continue to work, focus, and prepare, then we give ourselves the best chance to do this”.


Coach, Hoani Edwards as well as Zach Haydon, have been pleased with the starting line up. “We’ve been happy with the starting team over the past two weeks. They’ve been working hard and playing some good football, so we look to continue with the same lads”, Haydon said. Dowling went on to say that the boys have been exhibiting a “positive vibe”. “We have put ourselves in a decent position so it is up to us to get the job done for the rest of [the] season” he continued.


Upcoming Northern League games:


Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Bay Olympic, Saturday 3rd July, 3pm, Madills Farm


(No livestream this week for the men's game, but look out for updates on ESAFC’s social media channels!)


Eastern Suburbs AFC vs North Shore United, Saturday 17th July, 3pm, Allen Hill Stadium






For more information please contact the media team at

Stalemate on Saturday, after hard-fought game against Springs

Sunday, 27 June 2021


The clash between the Lilywhites and Western Springs was very competitive, with both sides executing great plays on the pitch. Early on, the Lilywhites tried their best to keep possession of the ball. Shots at goal were deflected by Springs’ defensive line. 16 minutes later, the Lilywhites were the first on the scoreboard, with a strike from Dowling. This came after a flurry of shots from the home side. Ex-Lilywhite keeper, Danyon Drake, stood little chance at saving it.


It was not long until the game was tied at 1-1, with a shot from Margetts. Chance after chance soon followed, with the likes of Garriga Gibert and Vincent from the opposition, coming close to scoring. Built too, placed the ball perfectly in Spring’s goal box, though no teammate could capitalise on it. At halftime, the score remained 1-1.


Playing his third game for the Lilywhites, Cory Vickers commented that: “I thought our attitudes lacked in the first 45 [minutes]. I think that something that is letting us down at the moment is slow starts. [We’re] not clinical enough”.


As the rain settled in, both sides tried to break each other down. Hoyle fed it to Mechell, though deflections from Springs’ defence prevented any goals from being scored. Parker did well to save two shots at goal from Margetts and Garriga Gibert. Off a Lilywhites corner, Vickers tried for a header, only for Drake to save it.


70 minutes in, both sides were growing impatient. Hoyle soon was fouled in the box, resulting in a penalty for the home side. Placing the ball in the bottom right corner, Drake dived to save it, leaving Hoyle lost for words. Coach, Hoani Edwards, substituted Baker for Built. The opposition too made substitutions with Browne and Straffon coming on.


In the final minutes of injury time, both sides fought very hard. Though, excellent saves from Drake and Parker denied either team from scoring further goals. At full time, the game was tied 1-1.


Assistant coach Zach Haydon said: “Unfortunately, we didn’t get a result today, but we are sitting in third place”.


Vickers added: “If we keep going we can make the top four. [We] need to keep pushing and working hard”.


Upcoming games:


Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Bay Olympic, Saturday 3rd July, 3pm, Madills Farm

Eastern Suburbs AFC vs North Shore United, Saturday 17th July, 3pm, Allen Hill Stadium






For more information please contact the media team at

Lilywhites return to McFetridge Park for third battle against the Rovers

Friday, 25 June, 2021


Sitting just two points behind the Lilywhites, the Rovers will be looking to make a statement this Sunday. This will be their third encounter, and the Rovers have not suffered a loss to the side yet. Coach, Stephen Hoyle, knows they are a good quality side and that the Lilywhites “have to remain consistent in our approach and work as hard as we possibly can”.


Page, O’Brien and Parris have racked up goals against the Rovers this LOTTO NRFL season. When asked about the mindset of the team, Parris outlined that: “We approach every game with the same positive mindset and don’t take any team lightly. We will just go out there and do our best for each other”. Off the back of a nail-biting Kate Sheppard Cup win against Papakura City, the Lilywhites have the tenacity required to break down their opponents.


Due to newcomers and players out with injuries, Hoyle commented that it is becoming increasingly hard to pick a squad. “I'm looking for [a] collectively strong performance against Northern this weekend. I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish Rebecca [Burrows] a speedy recovery. Everyone knows the quality that she has on the field and she will remain a big part of our team off the pitch.” Parris emphasised that the team must stay positive, despite what challenges are thrown at them, “We have had good trainings leading up to this game and we are clicking more and more as a unit each week, which is awesome”, Parris went on to say.


Hoyle agreed and said that with high morale, the team can have fun, whilst also bringing their A-game on the field. Rovers pulled off an impressive win against Western Springs AFC - who sit at the top of the table. Winning 6-2, they too have momentum heading into Sunday. We know that the Lilywhites will not underestimate their formidable opponents.


Upcoming games:

Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Northern Rovers, Sunday 27th June, 1:00pm, McFetridge Park

Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Western Springs AFC, Sunday 4th July, 1:00pm, Madills Farm






For more information please contact the media team at

Screamer in the last minutes, sends Suburbs to the next round of the Kate Sheppard Cup

Sunday, 20 June, 2021



A packed home crowd got to witness a game for the ages, as defending Cup champions, Eastern Suburbs AFC, clashed with Papakura City FC. Papakura sit at the top of their league and realised how much of an upset a win would be. The game went goalless for 58 minutes, until Jacqueline David from the opposition broke the Lilywhites’ defence and scored. This effectively jolted the Lilywhites into a different gear, knowing that the danger of being knocked out was getting all too real.


Both teams had solid goal scoring opportunities, and as the game neared the final whistle, the Lilywhites had a string of chances. Almost twenty minutes later, Carolyn O’Reilly scored with an excellent low shot in the bottom right of Papakura’s goal. It should be noted that keeper, Keely Taylor, was a standout in the match, and the Lilywhites could have been up two or three more if not for her saves.


It was a massive team effort for the Lilywhites, with chances at scoring from almost everyone in the squad. Crosses and headers from the likes of Strachan, Wong, Jale and Head put Papakura on the backburner. In the last minutes of injury time, thanks to an assist from Laney Strachan, Grace Jale broke past Papakura’s backline and pummeled it through the legs of Taylor. Up 2-1, the Lilywhites held this lead for the final minutes and won the game.


It was Jale’s first game for the women's side this year, after nursing an injury for most of the LOTTO NRFL season. Lilywhite, Ella Findlay, commented:“It was great and a big privilege to play alongside Grace Jale. [For her] to get the winning goal was great”. Finlay noted that Papakura came out strong and: “They put us under a lot of pressure at the start. We had a few chances that didn’t really go in. [However], we worked together as a team and tried our best to get on the ball and do what we usually do.”


Coach, Stephen Hoyle, was thoroughly impressed with his team’s performance: “We went up against a well-coached, well organised team, who made it hard for us to break them down. I think that [we] were commendable in the way that [we] were patient and tried to build up with the ball.”


Now, we will have to wait and see who the Lilywhites play in the fourth round of the Kate Sheppard Cup. Until then, the Lilywhites have two upcoming LOTTO NRFL matches that will test their strengths.


Upcoming matches:

Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Northern Rovers, Sunday 27th June, 1pm, McFetridge Park

Eastern Suburbs AFC vs Western Springs AFC, Sunday 4th July, 1pm, Madills Farm






For more information please contact the media team at

We’re in for a double header! Shore vs Suburbs

Friday, 18 June, 2021


The Chatham Cup gets underway on Saturday, for the Men’s team against North Shore United. Due to a postponed Northern League game, the two sides have not faced each other yet this year. From past encounters, Coach Hoani Edwards knows they have: “an effective direct physical style and that they utilise good pace up front and are very good on the set piece”.


Lilywhite, Jake Moosebally says the team has been confident so far with their performance in the Chatham Cup: “There’s a good feeling in the group off the back of a pleasing result and performance [last week]; we want a good cup run”. Moosebally has been featured in several games recently, and will be looking to make an impact against North Shore.


Coach, Hoani Edwards, outlines that: “We have a fully fit squad for this match. This provides competition for spots and our preparation is fully focused on Saturday’s Chatham cup match”. Edwards acknowledges too that the two sides will clash only two days after, in the make-up Northern League game. By Tuesday, the Lilywhites will at least be more familiar with North Shore’s strategies. Coaching North Shore is Malcolm McPherson. He was the coach of the Lilywhites from 2014 to 2017, leading them to the Chatham Cup win and National League title win in 2015.


Edwards notes that ex-Lilywhites coach, Malcolm McPherson: “Is an experienced coach who will set his team up to disrupt our playing style and utilise his team's strengths without taking undue risks”. Due to the knockout nature of the cup game, even a tiny error could be the thing that takes out either team.


With the Lilywhites currently sitting third on the Northern League table, a win against North Shore United will see them as a force this year.


Upcoming men’s matches:

Eastern Suburbs AFC vs North Shore United, Saturday 19th June, 2pm, Allen Hill Stadium

Eastern Suburbs AFC vs North Shore United, Tuesday 22nd June, 7:15pm, Ngahue Reserve






For more information please contact the media team at

Dominating performance from the Lilywhites secures them the three points

Sunday, 13 June 2021



The home crowd at Madills were in for a treat, as the Lilywhites went up against one of the strongest teams in the league, Auckland United. As both teams found their footing in the opening ten minutes, it wasn’t long until the Lilywhites created scoring opportunities. With the likes of Dowling and Built penetrating United’s defence, it was all go. Likewise, United had some shots at goal, though most of these went wide, past keeper, Ruben Parker.


Coach, Hoani Edwards, outlined how the Lilywhites counteracted United’s offence: “[They] just set off in deep blocks and didn’t really want to come after us - and I thought we dominated the possession”. The patience of the Lilywhites gave them the upper hand, as they were selective on when to go up, and strike at goal. With about ten minutes left in the first half, United had some incredible crosses from corners, though no one was on the end of them. Kalua definitely impacted United’s chance of scoring, with great tackles in defence. As the game reached half time, the Lilywhites looked like the dominant team, with the majority of possession.


Jaiden van der Heijden also had some touches on the ball that led to goal scoring opportunities. When asked about the Lilywhites’ playing style, he credited it to “sticking to what we know. We know that we can keep the ball and dominate teams. We did that in the first half. We knew that they were gonna tire, and we took our chances when they came.” Seven minutes into the second half, the first goal of the game was scored, thanks to a brilliant cross from Kalua. In an attempt at clearing the ball with a header, Dawkins from United scored an own goal.


Only five minutes later, the Lilywhites made it 2-0, with a pass from Kalua that found Mechell, who tapped it in. The Lilywhites just needed to keep this lead for the remaining forty minutes in the game. In the second half, new signings, Souphanthawong and Vickers came on for Moosebally and Built. Edwards noted that: “I’m surprised that Auckland United let Wilson [Souphanthawong] go. He will certainly be in the mix to get games for us. And Cory [Vickers] is an experienced National League player, so he’s going to be a good asset to the squad”. At one point, Souphanthawong looked to score, as he broke through United’s defence, and had time to shoot.


In the final ten minutes, there were some chances at goals from United. Patterson booted it several times, for it to either hit the side netting, or to go to Lilywhites keeper, Parker. Van den Hoven and Stephen fed some great balls in too, though the shots just couldn’t connect. With some last shots at goal from the likes of Curry, the Lilywhites did well to keep a clean goal sheet. Edwards was proud of the final score 2-0 and commented about his team’s playing style: “We just play what’s in front of us. They were sitting off in blocks and trying to step on to press. So we were trying to draw them out of their blocks and then just play over the top to Jake [Mechell] and Built.”


In terms of the Lilywhites’ aim now, van der Heijden noted that: “The plan is to make the top four and finish as high as we can, without going away from what we’re trying to do. We’ve had a few good wins on the bounce and just want to keep that momentum going and keep it going next weekend”.






For more information please contact the media team at

“The Wanderers must not be underestimated” warns assistant coach, Aaron MacFarland

Friday, 11 June 2021



You’d be right in sensing a bit of déjà vu as the Lilywhites face Hamilton Wanderers for the third time this LOTTO NRFL season. In previous encounters, the Lilywhites have won 3-2 and 3-1, but assistant coach Aaron MacFarland issues a clear warning to the squad.


“The Wanderers must not be underestimated” MacFarland explains: “They are a difficult team to break down and they are a team that are capable of hurting opponents on the counter. They have already produced some good results and are capable of causing more 'upsets'.


Off the back of an impressive Kate Sheppard Cup round win against Northland FC, the Lilywhites will be looking to bag the crucial three points on Sunday. MacFarland notes that: “We are in a positive camp right now coming off the back of a string of improving performances in the league and cup. The team is implementing a different playing style to the past and they are growing in confidence”. 


Laney Strachan has been racking up the goals of late, with two against Northland FC in the cup and one against Auckland United in the NRFL league. She said: “Ahead of the Hamilton game this weekend the team is just focusing on building on how we’ve been playing. Heading into the third round, we know that Hamilton always puts up a good challenge, which is exactly what we need to continue improving and playing our game”. Likewise, MacFarland points out that the Lilywhites want to continue to perform at a high level, and increase their threat at set plays.


The final word goes to Strachan, who notes that the double win in the cup rounds last weekend, created a surge of momentum: “There’s this buzz about the club that’s really transferred into how we are preparing for this weekend. We know Hamilton will throw everything they can at us, making it a good game to watch!” 






For more information please contact the media team at

The Lilywhites advance to the next cup round with a 4-0 clean sheet

Monday, 7 June, 2021



As defending Kate Sheppard Cup champions, the Lilywhites were well aware of how important it was to walk away winners on Sunday. Northland FC provided tough competition, and with the advantage of playing at Trigg Arena, this put the pressure on the Lilywhites.


Similarly to the men’s Chatham Cup game 4-0 win, the women’s team also won their game and kept a clean sheet (goalscorers: Strachan (2), Wong and Page). Erinna Wong picked up a great goal - marking her second this year. Her first was against Hamilton Wanderers in March. Wong comments: “It felt really good to get on the scoresheet. It’s not often that I do, as a fullback, but we had the freedom to get high and wide and have some fun which was really awesome”.


The cup game marked Dani Levy’s debut in the women's premier side. Hoyle commented: “I think Dani had a good game when she came on in the second half. Her distribution was great and she was brave on the ball”, he said. Also a standout for Hoyle was Carolyn O’Reilly, who he said was great at holding midfield. He went on to note how brave the Lilywhites were on Sunday: “I'm particularly happy with the goal that was our left back assisting our right back to score. I think that shows how brave we were and how we had to use the width to play around their block.


Asked about what worked on Sunday, Wong noted that: “We just stuck to our style of play from the get go, and maintained our standard throughout the match. We didn’t know what to expect from Northland”. Likewise, Hoyle believed a well organised Northland team made it hard to break them down.


Now as the Lilywhites enter the third round of the Kate Sheppard Cup, they will be looking to carry their winning momentum. Wong went on to say that:” I think we’d just like to continue to build on the momentum we’ve got going - whether it is cup or a league game, as both are really important to us - and maintain our standard of play”.






For more information please contact the media team at

Lilywhites to face Albany United in 2019 Chatham Cup rematch

Friday, 4 June 2021



At Rosedale Park this Saturday, the Lilywhites will kick-off their Chatham Cup campaign and have a chance at retribution against Albany United. It was in July of 2019 that these two teams last faced, with the opposition winning 1-0. Albany reached the quarter finals, losing narrowly to eventual 2019 champions, Napier City Rovers.


Lilywhites coach, Hoani Edwards, commends Albany United: “They are having a good season - they’re winning the division below ours’. They’re looking to get promoted up into the Northern premier top division next year. So looking at their squad list, they’ve got experienced players.” 


With a bye in the first round for the Lilywhites, this will be their first game in the Cup this year, and their most recent since July 2019. Back in 2015, the Lilywhites prevailed over Napier City Rovers 2-1 to claim their sixth Chatham Cup title. This was the year they won the Northern Premier League too.


Joel Clissold, who will be coming up to his 50th cap soon, will be featured in the men's lineup. His focus is to: “play as good as I can, and hopefully at the end of the game we win and we’re onto the next round. We want to go out and show everyone what we do at Suburbs”. In his time playing for the premier team, he has netted three goals. Edwards’ method of picking the squad ahead of Saturday, ultimately comes down to these factors: “We pick the squad on who’s looking good at training and who’s doing well. So it’s yet to be decided, but I think it will be pretty close to what we’ve run out the last couple of weeks”.


As the Chatham Cup is a knockout competition, Edwards notes that this may lead to a longer match, meaning extra time and/or penalties. The Lilywhites are no strangers to penalty shootouts, as they have had their run of them in previous Chatham Cup encounters.






For more information please contact the media team at

Banking three points, Captain directs Lilywhites to “keep to the script”

Saturday, 29 May 2021



With a 4-0 victory over West Coast Rangers at their own grounds, the men's team can take confidence coming up to halfway through the NRFL season (goalscorers: Hoyle (2), Mechell and Built). Leading 3-0 at halftime, Edwards and Built had similar messages: “keep to the script” they said.


Keeping a clean sheet also is beneficial for the Lilywhites’ goal difference on the points table. Captain, Michael Built, adds: “The most pleasing thing was keeping a clean sheet after some tough results over the last few weeks.”


Coach, Hoani Edwards is optimistic, commenting that “There are good improvements in areas from last week's performance, and some very good goals. Our second and third goals showed great movement and combination play”.


A top effort by the Lilywhites was a result of some great, accurate passing. The men’s team managed to dominate the possession of the game. Built adds: “This allowed us to really impose our style of play and create a few very good goal scoring opportunities, where we were clinical”.


The men will now focus on their first Chatham Cup game this weekend. Also coming up is the rescheduled game that was postponed earlier in the season, against North Shore United.






For more information please contact the media team at

Lilywhites bag three points after impressive win against the Ponies 

Monday, 24 May 2021



Sunday’s home game between the Lilywhites and Ellerslie AFC marked the second time these teams faced in the LOTTO NRFL season. Almost one month ago, the Lilywhites walked away with a 1-0 win (goalscorers: Head).


It was a stunning game that really showcased great plays from both teams. With an early goal from Leigh Aitken, Ellerslie looked to have the advantage from the onset. The Lilywhites remained unphased from this and Jade Parris scored five minutes later. Assistant Lilywhites coach, Aaron MacFarland, commented that: “Goals are always pivotal moments. Our reaction to conceding the first goal against Ellerslie today was spot on - we took it in our stride”.


By half time, the home team was leading 2-1, with another stellar goal from Parris at the 27 minute mark. Heading back into the changing rooms, the Lilywhites had a renewed sense of confidence, despite not putting away every shot at Ellerslie’s goal.


The opposition bounced back and looked to have possession early into the second half. Just after Amber Whitley came on for new star player, Olivia Page, Tayla O’Brien scored a vital goal. O’Brien commented that: “It’s always a great feeling to get a goal for your team. Hopefully [I] can continue to get on the scoresheet this season!” Key chances for the Lilywhites weren’t completely capitalised on, leading to lots of near-misses at Ellerslie’s goal. When the final whistle blew, the Lilywhites found themselves with a 3-1 win.


Assistant coach, MacFarland, also noted that: “The team [should] be really pleased with themselves today because they performed very well in a Suburbs style of play, both in and out of possession. I think that we would have gained a lot of confidence from [a win]. That we’re able to move the ball with quality - and for good goal-scoring opportunities”. O’Brien agreed that: “The team put together a much better performance on the weekend. [It is] definitely a step in the right direction and we will be going into this week with a lot of confidence”.






For more information please contact the media team at

Lilywhites look to remain contenders in Auckland derby match

Thursday, 20 May 2021


The Lilywhites face their biggest challenge this season as they aim to topple Auckland City at Madills. 


Coach, Hoani Edwards is looking to bring younger players into the starting lineup: “A couple of our younger squad members, Aaryan Raj and Jake Moosebally, will be in the mix for this weekend’s match”. Aaryan and Jake are former National Youth League players, who have opened for the men’s side a couple of times already this season. 


Additionally, some U20 players such as Campbell Strong, Ryan Verney and Joel Clissold will join them, “we want all our players, especially our younger squad members, to play relaxed and with freedom”. A demonstration of what the new-look National League is all about.


With only one loss this season, Auckland City are a powerhouse who will be looking for the upset win at Madills. With a Lilywhites home crowd, there will be that added pressure for them.


From this week’s training, Hoani Edwards believes the men’s team can take on the challenge: “Each week we are looking for improvements to our playing style from our previous weekend’s performance. While Auckland City will provide a tough test we expect to see a step up in a couple of key areas”. 


The Lilywhites will be looking to learn from their loss against Hamilton Wanderers, and secure a home win. With a game in hand, they are a couple spots removed from the top four. Saturday presents the perfect opportunity for them to rise up the points ladder.


MATCH DETAILS: Northern League, ESAFC vs Auckland City FC, Saturday 21st May, Madills Farm, 3pm







For more information please contact the media team at

Lilywhites leave points behind on the Waikato expressway

Monday, 17 May 2021


On Saturday, the Lilywhites travelled to Porritt Stadium to face Hamilton Wanderers. Both teams had yet to face each other in this season’s Northern League.


In the first half, Wanderers’ Morris and Tieku scored to make it 2-0. Assistant Lilywhites coach Zach Haydon said: “We came out convincing in the first twenty minutes. Two mistakes lead to two goals, [and] we got on the back foot and Hamilton started dominating.


Lilywhite, Jake Mechell, opened up the scoreboard for the Lilywhites, with a goal in the first five minutes of the second half. Taking Mechell’s total to 5 goals in this season’s Northern League. Haydon commented: “we had lots of moments in the game where we found a good rhythm, but it’s just about keeping that rhythm for as long as possible”.


Showing persistence, the Lilywhites fought off a further attack from Hamilton, keeping the second half goalless. He went on to say: “[we] continued to look like we would score, but [just] couldn’t put our chances away. We had lots of good moments with the ball, [though we were] just lacking that patience, which would’ve been key”


As the Lilywhites are just on the cusp of the top four, they will need to pick up wins going forward. At the time of writing this, the Lilywhites are neck and neck with Hamilton Wanderers on the points table, with 13 a-piece.


The men's team is looking ahead to another epic battle this Saturday, against top of the table and cross-town rivals Auckland City at Madills Farm. 






For more information please contact the media team at

Lilywhites look for redemption, in second match against Western Springs

Sunday, 16 May, 2021


As we come up to the middle of the LOTTO NRFL competition, it remains vital that teams take home the three points. This Sunday will see two of the top teams in the league face in a hotly contested match. Lilywhites coach, Stephen Hoyle, said that fans are in for a treat at Madills.


The last time the Lilywhites took on Western Springs was only one month ago, at their home turf, Seddon Fields. A 3-0 loss meant the Lilywhites had to recuperate: “I believe WSAFC play an organised [and] attractive brand of football and their results over the first seven rounds have spoken for themselves”, Hoyle commented.


Spectators will get a chance to see some Lilywhites in their first game of the season: “There will be a bit of rotation this week, as we look to give a few players their first start for the senior first team. I'm excited for them, and mixed with the experience and quality we have in our more established player [I’m looking] forward to seeing how it comes together” Hoyle said.


The team will look to use the advantage of playing at home, to send Western Springs a message.


Date and time: ESAFC Women’s Premier vs Western Springs AFC, Sunday 16th May, Madills Farm, 1pm







For more information please contact the media team at

Lilywhites to host Melville United in a must-win game for either side

Wednesday, 5 May, 2021


Sitting at third place on the table, Melville United will be looking for an upset win at Madills Farm. Their last game against Birkenhead United, ending in a 9-0 loss, will have them hungry for a win to redeem themselves.


Lilywhites coach, Hoani Edwards, said about Melville United: “they’ve got [a] good coach there and they’ve been having a successful season - we will expect a tough game. They are a team of young players that want to share the ball and build through the thirds. They’re on the back of a tough match last week, so I feel like we will almost feel the backlash of that with a strong performance from them”.


Last year the Lilywhites narrowly beat Melville 3-2 at Madills (goalscorers: Bueno, Solomons and Hoyle). Close on the points table and with one game that was delayed against North Shore United, the Lilywhites realise this is a must win game. The home advantage should certainly provide them with this opportunity.


When asked about the condition of the squad, Hoani said: “we have a couple of injury issues at the moment and we’re going to look at rotating a few players, but pretty consistent with the group that has been playing the last three to four weeks”.


Date and time: ESAFC Men's National League vs Melville United, Saturday 8th May, Madills Farm, 3pm






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Lilywhites keep the winning streak alive with three-goal victory

Sunday, 1 May, 2021


The Northern Rovers hosted the Lilywhites today in a fast-paced match that had both sides fighting tooth and nail.


16 minutes in, the Rovers had a chance at scoring with a scramble for the ball in the Lilywhites’ goalmouth from a Rovers’ corner kick. One minute later, Rover’s Andrew Abba took aim at goal. The ball sailed past Lilywhites goalkeeper, Ruben Parker, and off to the boundary.


Jake Mechell put the Lilywhites on the scoreboard, with a goal inside 36 minutes. The Rovers’ defence played at the ball, which would have otherwise meant Mechell was offside.


With only about 10 minutes of gameplay left, the Lilywhites scored two more to make it a resounding 3-0 win. This time Stafford Dowling shot from outside the goal box, firing the ball past the keeper to the opposite end of the net. Well done to Stafford for his first goal with the team!


Michael Built found the ball after another goalmouth scramble at 88 minutes. He punted it into the back of the Rover’s net to make it 3. At fifth place, the Lilywhites are in good stead in the Northern League league.


Captain, Adam Thomas, said: “it’s good to get the three points, and it’s good that we played some good football in patches as well. Northern Rovers stuck with us for about 60 to 70 minutes and worked hard - had a good game plan that was hard to break through.


It’s good to see Kane [Wintersgill]. I’m really happy for him that he’s got all this responsibility for him at Northern Rovers. I think he’s doing well - I think the team he’s got together is good. They hadn’t quite had the results they’ve wanted, but I can see them doing well later in the league”.


In other news, Premier player Dan Edwards left on Monday to join former Lilywhites goalkeeper, Andrew Withers, at Port Melbourne SC. Congratulations Dan, and all the best! Thankfully with the new travel bubble, it opens up future opportunities for Lilywhites wanting to play and train in Australia.


#Pathways #Lilywhites




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Wanderers pose a challenge for the Lilywhites this Sunday

Friday, 30 April, 2021


Playing away at Porritt Stadium, the Premier women's side knows that a win over Hamilton Wanderers will stand them in good stead for the LOTTO NRFL competition.


Captain, Rebekah van Dort, said: “all games in this league now are really competitive; so we know it will be a good battle. From our first game versus them, we know they are a team who put us under pressure quickly. So we need to be able to adapt to that”.


The last time the two teams clashed in late March, the Lilywhites walked away, winning 3-2 (goalscorers: Pilley, Wong, O’Reilly).


With only six teams in this year’s league, it makes a win over the Wanderers that much more important. Currently sitting at third, the Lilywhites will be looking to ascend to the top of the points table.


Eastern Suburbs prides itself in being a club that creates pathways for players seeking overseas football opportunities. Nearly two weeks ago, our star premier striker, Hannah Pilley, travelled back to New York to continue her scholarship at Syracuse University. All the best Hannah!


#Pathways #Lilywhites




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Close fought match with Auckland United ends in tie

Tuesday, 27 April, 2021


Spectators at Keith Hay Park on Monday were in for a treat, as two top football sides went head to head.


Off the bat, the Lilywhites found themselves to be a bit shaky against the Auckland United’s offensive play. Finding their footing, Tayla O’Brien sent a strong strike at goal, that was narrowly saved by the home side’s goalkeeper, Nadine Robberts.


United’s Bree Johnson had a go at the Lilywhites’ goal, however the wind carried the ball over the crossbar. It was not until the 50 minute mark that either team scored. Rebecca Burrows put the Lilywhites’ on the scoreboard, with a cool and collected strike at goal after dodging a save attempt by Robberts.


The game ended up tied at the 80 minute mark after the second goal of the game. United’s Genevieve Ryan was close to making contact with the ball, however, it was ruled an own goal by the Lilywhites to make it 1-1.


Coach, Stephen Hoyle, was overall impressed by his team’s performance: “I think we threatened to control the game and looked good in glimpses. I was impressed by our shiver and how we finished the first half. I'm disappointed by the last thirty minutes of the game as I think after we scored we took our foot off the gas. Back on the grass this week and I'm looking forward to playing Hamilton on Sunday”.






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Lilywhites look to secure home win this Saturday

Friday, 23 April, 2021


Our Premier men's team are back at Madills for the first time this season, taking on Birkenhead United. After a mixed bag of results from our previous encounters, we know to expect a hotly contested match. Last July, we narrowly lost 3-2 (goalscorers: Hoyle & Bueno), and the season prior, we won 3-0 (goalscorers: Sinclair, Norku and Awad).


Coach, Hoani Edwards, said: “looking forward to our first home match. I’m expecting a competitive match from our team with our men happy to be playing on a good grass surface in front of our supporters.” 


“We have a settled squad of players that are all pushing each other during training. This competitive environment is getting the best out of the players that make each weeks’ playing squad”.


In eighth place, the Lilywhites will be looking to fend off the challenge that Birkenhead United bring, and will be eager to take home the three points.






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Eastern Suburbs adds strength to Premier sides with new signings, Parker and O’Reilly

Thursday 8 April, 2021


Ruben Parker is certainly no stranger to football! As a seasoned goalkeeper, previously playing for Auckland City FC, Western Springs AFC and Hawke’s Bay United, we welcome Ruben’s experience in our premier men's squad!


He notes: “[my] transition to Eastern Suburbs has been seamless thanks to the players and staff. [I] learn more with each game about the role I have within the team and [I am] looking forward to this season!”


Outside of playing for the Lilywhites, you’ll find Ruben at One Stop Goalkeeping. He is the head goalkeeper coach for the programme, and is currently the GK coach for the New Zealand U17 squad, and the Future Fern’s Domestic Programme. He has played at the highest domestic level in New Zealand for the last four years.


We are pleased to welcome our new defender/midfielder, Carolyn O’Reilly, to the Lilywhites! Originally from Wellington, Carolyn grew up playing for Upper Hutt City FC.


Since, she has represented Capital Football, and Western Suburbs. 

Aligned with Western Suburbs is Olé Football Academy, which has a long history of providing key pathways for players in their programme.


New to the Eastern Suburbs side this NRFL season, she notes: “my ambition [is] to get better, train harder, work with an awesome new team and have heaps of fun!”






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