ESAFC News Archive

Robert Couwenberg

It is with great sadness for the ESAFC community we announce the passing of former Senior Premier player Robert (Bobby) Couwenberg aged 63.  Bobby played 134 games for the Premier men's side scoring 41 goals between 1970 and 1984. Club Chairman Chris Ruffell noted "Bobby was a real gentleman, an outstanding player and a valued contributor to the men's premier team. Our condolences go out to his family".

11th Grade girls lilywhites also go unbeaten

Congratulations to the exceptional 11th Grade Girls Lilywhites team, unbeaten throughout grading and competition games and winners of the AFF Championship 11th Grade Girls Division 1 title. The girls played 7 competition games, winning all 7 games, scoring 50 goals along the way and only conceding 2. They played fast, flowing football all season and were a pleasure to coach, manage and watch!
Thank you to the girls for the huge effort and commitment you put in each week at training and on match days. Thank you to the coaches, Mauro, Beth and Tayla for all your help with skills and development, it is really showing through with our performances on Saturday. Finally, thanks parents for supporting the girls through the season, it’s been entertaining!
Well done girls! James (Coach) & Kellie (Manager). Photo: Hannah Page


Back Row (left to right): Arya Blackler, Dani Levy, Holly Roberts, Aimee Feinberg-Danielli, Olivia Page, Kate Christie, Olivia Erskine
Front Row (left to right): Ellie Evans, Charlotte Richardson, Ruby Nathan, Christina Fenwick, Lucy Hunt

Eastern Suburbs will kick off their national league campaign against phoenix


We have just had confirmation of the National League draw for the upcoming season.

We open our campaign with a tough assignment: an away game to what will be a full strength Wellington Phoenix Reserve team on Saturday 22nd October.

Eastern Suburbs first National League home game:
Sunday 30th October:
Our first home game is another tough assignment as we take on Hawkes Bay United, it’s a 2:00 kick off and the game will be played at Bill McKinlay Park.

I’d urge you to come along and see a piece of Suburbs history being made as we play our first National League home game since 1979! So get along to Bill McKinlay Park and show your support for Suburbs in what is the highest level of club football in New Zealand.

Click here for the Eastern Suburbs National League schedule

Suburbs home game venue:
As the necessary Premiership infrastructure will still be under construction at Ngahue Reserve in Stonefields throughout the 2016/17 season, we have made Bill McKinlay Park in Mt Wellington our home ground for our inaugural season. The stadium has had a number of refurbishments, and will provide a great game day atmosphere with the stands and supporters being close to the game and the action. We will also ensure the stadium is strongly branded with Eastern Suburbs banners and flags to ensure we have ‘ownership’ of the ground during our National League games.

We’re working hard to make our National League games an event…more than just about the football itself, including activities for the kids – it’ll be a fun day, so make sure it’s in your diary.

Chris Ruffell
Chairman – Eastern Suburbs AFC


The 12th Grade Girls Lilywhites won their AFF Division 1 Championship over the weekend, going unbeaten in all games. With 7 games won, 2 draws and no losses - they scored 25 and conceded only 2 goals. A great achievement by a a group of dedicated and determined girls! Well done!

Photo supplied by Jenni Bobos


ESAFC National Youth League

Place your interest for the Eastern Suburbs AFC National Youth League 2016/17 Season by filling out this form here..

Medals, engraving and team dinners

It's that time of year again! Medals are now available for purchase - get them from the BBQ on Saturday or Alex the Cobbler at the Meadowbank Shopping center. Medals are $5 each.

If you would like to get your medals engraved for your team, get them done at Alex the Cobbler!

Please download this form if you would like to get medals and/or engraving at Alex the Cobbler


Get your team together for the end of year Burger Night at Madills Farm - Contact Jo Davis on 021 02086606 or

The Lilywhites - History of Eastern Suburbs AFC: 1934 - 2015

Eastern Suburbs has commissioned a 140 page publication titled ‘The Lilywhites - The History of Eastern Suburbs AFC: 1934 – 2015’. The book covers the first 81 years of our clubs colourful and ‘rich’ history. 

You can now order your copy of ‘The History of Eastern Suburbs AFC: 1934 - 2015‘. We anticipate delivery around mid August.

Click here for more information

football7s Summer Football Competition

Registrations are now open for the Football7s Summer Football Competition. The 2016 Spring season will run for 10 weeks from October to December.

For more info click here

Leagues are 7-a-side (unless stated otherwise) and the following grades are available:


6th – 10th Grade (6th & 7th Grade games are 5-a-side)


11th – 17th Grade


Mixed leagues & Senior Mens leagues

Accomodation Needed

We currently have one of our coaches in need of a room to rent. If you have an available room, are in need of a flatmate, or are willing to have a paying lodger, please get in contact with Matt Maslak on 021 086 11918













U12 LIlywhites win Christchurch International Cup

The ESAFC U12 Lilywhites were fortunate enough to get to travel down to Christchurch to play at the first Christchurch International Cup which was held at the grounds of the brand new Christchurch Football Centre 15-17 July. Read more...

National League - coaching announcement

I am pleased to announce the coaching staff for the Eastern Suburbs National League (NL) and National Youth League (NYL) teams. Of the five strong coaching team, four have been drawn directly from our clubs professional coaching staff...more

Fast Freddy

Freddy Farmer came from England to New Zealand in June 2009 with a Rugby and Fitness/Agility background, specifically in speed and endurance. When he arrived, Freddy spent a lot of his time watching on the touchlines of various clubs and followed up by sending out emails containing his experience and working background. An interested response from Chris Ruffell, Chairman of Eastern Suburbs AFC in 2010, gave Freddy the opportunity of working with young football players at our club. Read more..

National League Update # 3

In the last update (#2) we outlined our National Youth League eligibility criteria, which focuses on a ‘local’ or Eastern Suburbs centric model. The following update details our National League (senior men’s) eligibility criteria. Click here for the ESAFC National League eligibility criteria.

Suburbs Trio in New Zealand U-17s

Three Eastern Suburbs players have been selected in the New Zealand Women's U-17 side to tour China next month. More...

National League Update # 2

A few months ago I commented our primary motivation for gaining entry to the prestigious (mens) National Youth League (NYL) and National League (NL), was to foster the development of Eastern Suburbs players and strengthen football in our local area by providing our club (& ‘local’) players with the strongest club player pathway in this country.  More...

Eastern Suburbs AFC Mobile App

The Club has just launched a Mobile App, available for download for your smartphone on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store! More.. 

Remembering ben hall

Today we remember former Eastern Suburbs player, Ben Hall, who sadly passed away this week after his battle with motor neuron disease. Read more..

Eastern Suburbs coach education

We have workshops coming up for our volunteer coaches. Please click here for more information and dates. Book your attendance here.


The annual Auckland City FC U17 Tournament was held over the weekend which saw the best men's and women's U17 teams from around the country come together at Seddon Fields. Read more...

an open letter to our members

With the winter season about to start, here is an update regarding our National League entry. Click here for the open letter to all our members of the club.

club based referee courses

Are you interested in learning the Laws of the Game? 

Auckland Football Federation is providing a Club Based Referee course on Thursday 7 April and Thursday 14 April at Madills Farm clubrooms, 6.30pm to 9.30pm. Attendees are required to attend BOTH nights. At the end of the course you become a qualified CBR and receive the official AFF referee shirt, card, whistle and more.

If your team needs a referee this season but you’re not sure whether you’re up to the job, then this course is for you! Best of all, it’s free for club members. Places limited to 20 people. To book your place, email Nick here.

2016 Eastern Suburbs Brochure

Preparation is well under way for the year ahead! The Eastern Suburbs AFC Club Brochure gives an introduction to our coaches and programmes for 2016, as well as information through our grades. Every registered family should have received their copy in the mail over the last week; if not, come and pick up a copy at our clubrooms!

To view an online version click here. Please note: a WiFi connection is recommended when downloading this file.

U17 girls start preseason

The U17 girls kicked off the 2016 season with a two-day preseason camp with Mauro Donoso. More..


We have just been notified by New Zealand Football that Eastern Suburbs AFC has been successful in our application for entry into New Zealand's highest and most prestigious level of club football: the National League and National Youth League.

Today’s confirmation of Eastern Suburbs AFC National League status is the culmination of six or so years of determined effort focused on Eastern Suburbs being a hub of football excellence, a club delivering both on-field and off-field success and growth. Both the National League and it’s associated National Youth league will provide not only greater club profile and prestige, but more importantly a pathway pinnacle for our members to strive for.

The NL season ‘kicks off’ in November in 2016 and will demand a step-up for Eastern Suburbs. As one of New Zealand’s largest, and arguably the strongest football club in this country, we are poised to accept the challenge.

Our ambition is not to be just another club playing in the highest echelon of club football, we will not be there to simply make up the numbers: our objective is for Eastern Suburbs to be a revered club. However be assured, this ambition will not be at the expense of our members, we will continue to grow the coaching and playing resources we put behind our valued 2.300 members, ensuring they have an enriching and enjoyable experience with Eastern Suburbs. Nor will we allow our National League aspirations to compromise the club's sustainability and off field growth objectives.

We will be back in contact with you early in the New Year to update you on our National League ‘roll out’ plans and their implications. Until then, on behalf of the Eastern Suburbs, thank you for your support, and enjoy a happy and safe Christmas & New Year.

2016 junior and youth season - key dates and information

ESAFC will kick off preseason training for the 2016 week starting 2nd February.  All ESAFC players wanting to be in a 7th grade - U19 Academy / Representative team, AFF team or Metro / Conference team will be required to attend training in term 1 so coaches can fairly assess abilities and ensure players are allocated to correct teams.
If you are looking at joining ESAFC for the first time or would like to look at trialling for one of our Representative / Metro / Conference boys/girls teams please contact the below person in charge of your applicable grade
Simon Hilton
Junior Chairman
9th - 12th Grades
021 929 067
Michael Cahir
Youth Chairman
13th - U19 Grades
021 243 1026

Do you have a family member who plays for ESAFC and want to be kept informed or are you just keen to be involved? The Friends of ESAFC could be for you.

Click here for more information