Albany United Football Club is one of the largest sports clubs in the Albany Community, and is a not-for-profit organisation run by a dedicated team of volunteers.
Established in 1977, Albany United caters for football teams from toddlers to veterans, for both genders, whilst fielding teams for the more competitive and elite Junior to Senior levels. Together with the Supporters Club, we have strong associations with several local schools, North Harbour Special Olympics and the New Zealand Chinese Sports Association to name a few. One of the largest football clubs on Auckland's North Shore, the club aims to use football as a vehicle to provide for the community regardless of age, race, gender, impairment or skill level.
Meet the Volunteers behind our Club
Emma Gough - AUFC Administrator
Emma has two boys who have played with the Club for 5 years. In June 2019 she took on the role of Club Administrator and oversees the Club's day to day finances, grant funding applications, registrations, the bar and the clubroom hire.
Contact Emma by email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Mason - Event Chairman
Contact Tom by email - email@example.com
In 1977 Albany-Wairau Soccer Club was spawned by a group of people that were from Glenfield Rovers and decided that they would form their own club. The ‘defectors’ were Bert Ford and Len Snelling and along with a group of players, they soon recruited the likes of Eric Hodge and Dave Weir to assist them. A ‘home’ ground was secured at the Albany Domain. In that first season they only expected to have a couple of teams but ended up fielding 15 in total. The first team’s inaugural coach was Fred Ullness and they played in an open social grade. It wasnt until 1979 that the club qualified for what was then the Northern 4th division. Though this period can be summarised in a few paragraphs, the work that was put in by Ford and Snelling should not be underestimated. Fundraising, getting sponsors, negotiations with council, constitutional matters and gear all needed to be in place before the season started. In fact, Albany’s first strip was nothing more than an orange tee shirt with black shorts, and the ‘showers’ were the local stream that meandered past the grounds. The toilet block was built by Bert Ford in his spare time as was the infamous ‘Shed’. The shed has since been demolished but Bert’s toilets are still in existance. Were told the floodlights were installed ‘for a slab’ but nobody has been prepared to offer any more information on this matter!!
The first Albany-Wairau United team in 1977. The GENESIS Team was the one of two who started the Albany-Wairau club
Throughout the eighties Albany’s success at senior level was limited in a football catchment area dominated by East Coast Bays, Glenfield and Waitakere. Though the formation of the league is different to what it is now we never managed to be higher than 2nd division. There was one season, under coach Brian Lamb, that we lost only one game - the last game at that, which secured promotion, but relegation followed immediately. In fact, on the two occasions we gained promotion to the second division, both times we were immediately relegated. For most season the youths oldest grade playing under the club was no higher than the 14th grade. Despite all against the club, top players being poached by the neighbouring clubs, it conducted itself extraordinarily well. We have it on word that Albany was always regarded as a difficult place to visit.
During the nineties the Clubs future was jeopardised due to the massive development programme at Albany, including the North Harbour Stadium complex. A new road was constructed through part of the grounds, which meant that Albany United could not stay at the Domain. There are differing views on what options were open to the club; it's said there was a missed opportunity to become part of the North Harbour Complex, while it's also said it was not an option due to the financial investment required. Infact directly from one of the committee members and patron of the club, Mark Snelling informs us the option of moving to the North Harbour Complex was most certainly an option. The fields were actually used in 1996 for junior and open grade games. The only certainty was that Albany had to find a new venue for their home ground.
During this same period of the mid nineties another local club was suffering from expansion problems. Rangitoto, like many other clubs, was formed by a breakaway group - this time from East Coast Bays in 1982. The club was totally dedicated to junior football, had no clubrooms, and for most of it’s existence had no senior teams. In fact, any senior teams tended to be older kids who wanted to maintain contact with the club. Once again the name Eric Hodges is to the fore, and the story goes that he and his wife Margaret, with friend Mike Shadbolt, were watching the sun set over Rangitoto on a glorious summer evening, and the decision was made that the name of the new club would be Rangitoto and they would play in red.
Originally their home ground was Freyberg Park, which was subsequently given to Rugby League. Rangitoto moved to Deep Creek and their midgets played at Sunnynook Park. Council development at Deep Creek did not materialise, and as the ground was not adequate for their requirements the club needed to move. With Albany and Rangitoto both looking for new grounds and clubrooms, and both operating in the same catchment area, a marriage of the two seemed sensible. Negotiations followed and in 1996 it was decided to combine Rangitoto and Albany’s midget leagues and play all games at Rosedale Park. Kristen school also joined this league. This worked very well, so the knot was tied and it was decided that the grounds and clubrooms would be at Rosedale Park. At a Special General Meeting held at the Rosedale Clubrooms the name and bagde was changed and also it was passed by vote that we would buy our share of the Rosedale Clubrooms.Hockey would be moved to Rosedale South. North Harbour Softball would remain at Rosedale and share all facilities, including the clubrooms, with the new Albany United Soccer Club Inc. being formed.
In 1979 the club's First, Reserves and two U18 teams proudly wore Adidas before the club moved to Umbro, Casper, Pony and then Lotto. In 2012, the club has turned full circle and moved to Adidas however this time for the entire club.
From the origins of the Club all the principals have either moved on or are no longer with us. Len Snelling passed away in 1996 and Eric Hodge passed away in 1994. In recognition of Eric’s work, not only for Rangitoto but for football in general, we run the annual ‘Eric Hodge Tournament’ at Rosedale Park for midget teams, and I’m pleased to say that Margaret Hodge remains patron of the Club. Bert Ford retired to Raglan where he continued his involvement in the sport until he passed away in 2005. In fact, the only active member still with the club from those early days is Bill Pittman, who joined as a midget coach for his son’s team. Bill is still an active member and last involved with our junior and youth was in 2010, coaching one our 19th Grade teams. During Bill’s 20 odd year association with the Club he held various positions such as Club Captain and Club President, and assisted the Club whenever help was required. In 2000 he was belatedly made a life member.
Our club relies heavily on grant funding and controlled management of funds to prosper. The clubs’ Executive Committee has the tough responsibility of ensuring decisions fit within the purpose of the club for all roughly 1300 members. Whilst still wanting to be successful in the results department, we ensure results on the field are through hard work and dedication, rather than mismanaged funds. Having people who love football, want to wear our colours and honour our badge comes first as we believe this constitutes members and with the Committee providing facilities, football foundations and purpose driven decisions for a football home, this will result in the club meeting its purpose and having members who will remain loyal to the club ensuring it has a quality future.
We are a club that loves football and want to see our members and the community achieve by providing them a home for football, a place to express themselves, a foundation to grow and learn, a dedicated environment to go from 5 to 55 with Albany United FC.
Albany United Football Club
Located on Jack Hinton Drive in Albany on Auckland's North Shore.