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”.



“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!” 



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”.



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.





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.





Lilywhites bag three points after impressive win against the Ponies 


Monday, 24 May 2021


Lilywhites bag three points after impressive win against the Ponies


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”.





Pre-Match Report: 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





Post-Match Report: Lilywhites leave points behind on the Waikato expressway

Date: 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.

Pre-Match Report: Lilywhites look for redemption, in second match against Western Springs

Date: 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.

Pre-Match Report: Lilywhites to host Melville United in a must-win game for either side


Date: 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




For more information please contact the media team.

Post-Match Report: 
Lilywhites to host Melville United in a must-win game for either side

Date: 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 




For more information please contact the media team.

Pre-Match Report: Wanderers pose a challenge for the Lilywhites this Sunday

Date: 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!


#Lilywhites #Pathways




For more information please contact the media team.

Post-Match Report: Close fought match with Auckland United ends in tie


Date: 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”.



For more information please contact the media team.

Pre-Match Report: Lilywhites look to secure home win this Saturday

Date: 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.



For more information please contact the media team. 

Pre-Match Report: Eastern Suburbs adds strength to Premier sides with new signings, Parker and O’Reilly


Date: 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!”




For more information please contact the media team.