History of Cambridge Football Club

History of Cambridge Football Club

Cambridge Football Club has been serving its community since its formation in 1948 when football enthusiasts began organising games for two junior teams.

In its early days, the teams played in light blue after the colours used by Cambridge University, England.

1951
The club held its first formal meeting on March 20, 1951, appointing Viv Butler as its first president, and R.S.Entwistle as its patron.

Butler’s support of English club Arsenal led to a change of club colours and from the mid-1950s, Cambridge teams have played in red and white strips.

1957
The club played its home games on the Town Square until 1957 when a two-room wooden shed was built on the Leamington Domain for £134.19.

1964
On December 1, 1964, the Cambridge Borough Council agreed to provide the club with land on the town belt in Vogel Street and plans were drawn up for the clubrooms to be built.

1967

In 1967, the club moved into the Vogel St grounds, where it has been based since.

The grounds are still owned by the Waipa District Council but leased to the club on a long-term basis.

1972
In 1972, the club applied for its senior men’s team to join the Northern League competition.

1974
Extensions to the clubrooms and playing fields became necessary and were built in 1974, with new junior grounds established beside the Polo Club grounds further north on Vogel St.

1978
In 1978, the club elected its first women committee member.

1979
The club won its first senior title, winning the Northern League’s 4th Division.

1983
Junior teams (11,12 and 13 year olds) entered the Waikato competitions for the first time in 1983.

1985
England footballing legend Kevin Keegan visited the club, hosting a one-day coaching course at John Kerkhof Park and attended by hundreds of admiring youngsters.

1986
The club again won the Northern League’s 4th Division.

1987
The club’s grounds in Vogel Street are officially renamed John Kerkhof Park in recognition of the contribution to the club of its former president, Dutch immigrant John Kerkhof, who, with members of his family and other supporters, built the clubrooms and changing facilities in the 1960s.

1989
The club won the Northern League’s 3rd Division, achieving its highest senior ranking yet.

1993
The club reached new heights in 1993, winning the Northern League 2nd division and promotion to the top division.

1995
The club built a concrete car park in 1995 that’s still in use today. The car park is where the club sometimes erects temporary grandstands for major fixtures.

2001
The club won the Waipa Sports Club of the Year award for the first time.

2005
In 2005, the Waipa District Council approved the transfer of the Polo Grounds to the football club for use by its junior players, while the polo club moved to new grounds in Lamb St, Leamington.

2007
In 2007, the old polo clubhouse was knocked down to make way for a new junior building. The Cambridge junior teams celebrated their new home by winning all five 8th-Open grade WJSA knockout trophies, a first for both Cambridge and the WJSA.

2008
The club’s main senior clubrooms survived a tornado in late 2008 but suffered damage to walls, roof and windows, while shattered glass was sprayed over the nearby number one pitch. Other sports clubs and community groups came to help the club and helped it rebuild.

2010
The club launched a five–year plan for its membership which had now grown to more than 600 players, with men’s, women’s and junior teams. The achievements of its junior section won the club the Trustpower Waipa District Community Services Award for Sport.

2011
After 40 seasons in the Northern League the club was relegated from the Lotto Sport Italia NRFL Division 2 in 2011 after finishing 12th and losing the challenger series playoff vs Manukau City AFC. The club won the New Zealand Match Programme of the Year Award for 2011.

2012
The club elected to drop two divisions into the Waikato Bay of Plenty Football Federation Division Two to rebuild under coach Karl Dagnall and won promotion in 2012 to Waikato Bay of Plenty Football Federation Division One.

In 2012, Cambridge FC announced that John Kerkhof Park would also become the home base for Cambridge Baseball Club.

2013
In 2013, Cambridge FC and the neighbouring Cambridge Harriers and Athletics Club began a partnership, enabling the football club to play some games at the adjacent athletics track while it developed John Kerkhof Park.

In 2013, the club won the Soccer Shop Waikato Plate and hosted premium events such as the Soccer Shop Waikato Cup Final, the Waikato v Bay of Plenty All Stars game, and the WaiBOP Women's All Stars v WaiBOP National League side.

In 2013, the club was appointed as the home ground for five ASB Premiership matches for new franchise WaiBOP United.

This meant Cambridge became one of six bases for national league football in New Zealand (the others are Auckland, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin). The appointment led to the club becoming an all-year operation, with investment in better facilities including upgraded playing surfaces, new changing rooms (scheduled for mid-2014) and a new irrigation system.

2014
The club's first team finished runners-up in the 2014 WaiBOP Federation Division 1, while the U-15 team won the Federation Youth League. Our women won the Waikato Women's Cup.

In 2014, the club won a series of high profile awards for its work in football and in the wider community.

WaiBOP Football named the club its 2014 Club of the Year for its successful efforts to host ASP Premiership fixtures and other premium matches.

Cambridge also won two WaiBOP Best Practice awards in 2014 (for building partnerships with sponsors, and for the participation of women at our club).
The club was named Waipa District’s 2014 Supreme winner for the Truspower Community Awards, becoming only the second sports club to take this award. This also led to the club’s nomination for the national Trustpower Community Awards to be held in Wellington in March 2015.

Cambridge completed its hat-trick of major awards in 2014, being named Waipa District’s Sports Club of the Year. We were finalists in the Waikato Sports Club of the Year while chairman Greg Zeuren was named Sports Administrator of the Year for both Waipa and the Waikato in 2014.

2015
As the club entered its 68th season, it did so as an all-year operation, providing winter football for 720 players, spring/early summer 5-a-side football for social players and as a host of regional football events.

On February 6, 2015, the club made history by staging the first game of beach football by women played to FIFA rules and pitch standards in New Zealand, at the Karapiro Sandcourts.

In March 2015, construction began of the club’s $200,000 extension to its changing rooms, providing six more sets of showers/changing rooms for local and visiting players. These were completed by the end of the year.

In August 2015, the club was awarded the Quality Club Mark (QCM) till 2017, a quality assurance standard governed by New Zealand Football. Fewer than 40 clubs throughout New Zealand had achieved the QCM Level One standard.

In September 2015, the club won the WaiBOP Premiership, the highest level of competition within the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region. As a result, the team qualified for a play-off to gain promotion to the Northern League but lost a two-match series against Auckland champions Waitemata. The club’s U-17 team won the WaiBOP Youth League.

In November 2015, the club was again named Waipa Sports Club of the Year, becoming only the second club to win back-to-back awards.

2016
Our club was again chosen to host important regional and national football events, with the staging of the Waikato Cup and Plate Finals in September, and hosting three National Women's League matches in October/November.

The new changing room facilities were used throughout the season but formally opened in September.

In December, our club won a Waikato Community Partnership Award, presented by Corrections NZ, for its participation in the national community work scheme.

Learn more about our club's past and our more recent achievements in this special 66-page issue of RED, our club magazine, published to celebrate an award-winning 2015:



Our grounds
The club’s grounds, John Kerkhof Park, consist of a premium pitch used for Waikato Bay of Plenty Football Federation matches and ASB Premiership fixtures, and 25 pitches used for senior and junior games.

For national league fixtures, volunteer workers erect a mini-stadium using temporary grandstands and seating, providing a ground capacity for up to about 1,200 spectators, with seating for about 600.

Our players
Probably the club's best known past player is New Zealand international striker Chris Wood who joined English Championship club Leicester City in January 2012 from West Bromwich Albion. He joined Championship club Leeds United in 2015. Wood became one of the youngester players to ever captain the All Whites.

Another former New Zealand international is Maria Anderton, who played for the Football Ferns in 1987, but captained the Cambridge women’s A team for 12 seasons until her retirement as a player in 2014. Andie Rogers, who also joined our women’s team in 2014, had also played for the Ferns.

Robbie Greenhalgh, a first team player in the 2015 WaiBOP Premiership-winning squad, represented New Zealand at U-17 level.

Former Cambridge junior Jamie Woodlock played for the New Zealand U-17 side in 2015 while first team player Logan Wisnewski was called into the New Zealand U-17 training squad in 2016. Former junior Tayla Christensen played at the 2012 and 2014 U-17 FIFA Women's World Cup, and at the 2016 U-20 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Other former junior players to achieve full international honours include Che Bunce (All Whites) and Katie Duncan (Football Ferns).

Winners of the Jim Barry Player’s Player of the Year awards are listed here.

Date Added: Tuesday, 11th November 2014
Link: More about our club


Back...