Originally posted on In the back of the net - Guest Post - The beautiful game, on a beautiful island.
By Freddy Foote
I love Waiheke United. I love their style of football. I love their spirit and passion for the game.
It's a great little club, who as we are all aware has been punching above its weight for a number of years now, and are well and truly on the radar of New Zealand's wider football community.
The Waiheke United club is somewhat of a marvel for New Zealand football, with the team enjoying a healthy component of passionate foreign players in the senior team from countries such as Argentina, Spain, France, Uruguay, Chile and Japan. The Waiheke United side has also not lost a home game in three years.
This great little club is celebrating their 30th Anniversary this year, and with the help of their sponsor, Fullers, are holding the inaugural Fullers Festival of Football.
Hosted by Waiheke United at their home ground - the Onetangi Sports Park, on September 23, the event will see some of New Zealand's best players from past and present come together for three big games of football.
Waiheke will host the Auckland City AFC and Hamilton Wanderers National League sides who will play a pre season warm up match. With the Waiheke team taking on the Auckland City Academy.
Also hitting the pitch will be a 7 vs 7 All Stars game featuring a number of past All Whites. Lining up in the All Stars match are footballing names such as Oceania player of the century Wynton Rufer, Liam Mulrooney, Dean Tallentire, Greg Uhlmann, Neil Emblen and Noel Barkley.
Auckland City and Hamilton Wanderers will also be playing for the inaugural Steve Sumber Cup. Sumner was a legendary and highly respected former All White who lost a battle with prostate cancer earlier this year.
Sumner's international career spanned from 1976 to 1988, including a record 105 appearances for New Zealand.
The Cup has been donated by the New Zealand Football Foundation and Steve Sumner's daughter Tori, will present the cup to the winning team at the end of the match.
Waiheke United will also be raising money on the day via gold coin donation for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
The event is free admission and getting there is easy - visit the Fullers website to purchase a ferry and bus ticket to and from the game.
Fullers Festival of Football Schedule:
September 23, Onetangi Sports Park
10:30am All Stars 7 vs 7
12:00pm Waiheke United vs Auckland City Academy
2:45pm Auckland City FC vs Hamilton Wanderers