An end of year message from East Coast Bays AFC

19 Dec

To our fantastic football players, parents, partners, volunteers and supporters, the ECBAFC Board would like to thank you all for your commitment, support and passion for our game and club throughout 2022. It has been a successful year for our ECB club and we can be proud of having built the foundations and momentum for 2023.

Some highlights from the year have to be playing a full season with programmes continuing into term 4, and seeing strong growth in participation numbers from ages 5 and up. In the lead up to 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup it has been terrific to see the growing interest of girls wanting to give football a go.

Best wishes for the summer holidays and New Year! Enjoy this time to reconnect with friends and family – and stay safe if you are out on the water and roads. We look forward to seeing you back in 2023.

2022 year in review

Our club has welcomed a number of new members, growing club membership to 1200 – which equated to 113 teams playing football in blue and white this year. After a disruptive 2020 and 2021, it has been great seeing so many people enjoying playing (and supporting) the game of football again; and equally, to be able to hold prize giving events to close out the winter season. These end of season events and social events are key in building community and providing opportunities for our members to connect and enjoy the benefits a club like ours offers.

In addition to our new members, we welcomed new sponsors into our East Coast Bays club family with local café Beaufort + Co. and real estate experts, Team Mitchell from Harcourts Coopers & Co joining us. We also welcomed Rodney District Sports, playing under the East Coast Bays banner.

Going into 2023, we look forward to continuing to growing membership through offering innovative programmes, an inclusive community that is open to players of all ages and levels – and driving participation through the FIFA Women's World Cup arriving on our shores.

Finally, an enormous thank you to our convenors, volunteers, coaches, supporters, and players; and a special thank you to our Football Development Officers Nathan Cranney, Milan Elie and Callum Simmonds, and development coaches Thomson Nkoy and Olivia Van Kuyk. Behind the scenes of our successful club is a proud Bays man, and Operations Manager, Duane Sommerville. Duane continues to go above and beyond in his role and our club is extremely lucky to have him. Thank you Duane for all you do for our club community. 

Term 4 events

Term 4 saw us compete in the NZ Futsal Super League for the first time, with our men's team winning their competition and our women's team falling agonisingly short on penalties in their final.  Another first was NZF youth futsal taking place in East Coast Bays colours with players aged 13 to 17 making the trip to Wellington to compete with teams from around the country. We are excited for the future of futsal in our community as we roll out further programmes in 2023.

In addition to futsal, term 4 has been action-packed with Mini Bays, Skill Hub, Talent Development Programme and First Team activities. Selections for the 2023 Talent Development Programme have been released, and we are now looking forward to running an improved high quality programme in 2023 with better support for players just below NRFL youth level. We will run a revamped championship programme and youth skill hub to ensure great coaching is accessible to players of all levels.

Term 4 finished on a high with two key events for our Future Bays program. A group of players travelled to Wellington to play against the Wellington Phoenix and Ole Academy; and then we competed in the Western Springs u17 tournament, where the team qualified unbeaten for the championship phase, before being knocked out by Melville United.

We certainly have a talented group of players coming through the programme that will make the club proud for many years to come.

2023 news

2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

Current FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions, the United States team, has selected Bay City Park as its training base for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. It is an exciting time for women’s football in New Zealand and our club is thrilled to be hosting the current number one team for the upcoming global football event. Our club is focused on growing girls’ football and this event will inject further excitement into the game and inspire more girls to give football a go.

For the club to be a host venue, there is a requirement for facilities to meet FIFA standards and this will include modernising ageing facilities and meeting gender neutral objectives. Funding from FIFA, NZ Football, Auckland Council, Lotteries Commission and other grants and funds will be invested in the club to bring facilities up to FIFA standard; including upgrades to the lower fields, lighting, and club facilities. The upgrades include:

  • the lower field brought up to international playing standard and lighting installed
  • changing rooms upgraded – expansion of two changing rooms and the upgrading of others, including plumbing, electrical and engineering, new paint, flooring, fixtures and fittings, lighting, and showers
  • upgraded public toilets
  • heating installed in the clubrooms.

Junior Football Structure

For 2023, we will be improving the experience for players aged 9-12 again by developing the training structure and providing better connection to licensed coaches. This will be achieved by running a combination of Skill Hubs, Team Hubs, and Game Hubs throughout each term, providing players with independent training, team-based training, and more time to play together in match situations. We aim to be a leader in these age groups and our goal is to ensure quality training is provided regularly to as many players as possible. 

  • Junior Skill Hubs:
  • Junior Team Hubs:
    • Led by a team of both licensed and parent coaches to ease responsibility, ensure appropriate training numbers, grow coach education for volunteers and conduct well organised training.
    • In both 9s and 10s, bring together four teams to train at the same time and location with a team of coaches.
    • In both 11s and 12s, bring together three teams to train at the same time and location with a team of coaches.
    • All Junior Team Hubs will be support directly by our football development staff
    • We will pilot the same structure for girl’s teams aged 9-12.
  • Junior Game Hubs:
    • Internal 'festival' nights where ECB teams in 9s, 10s, 11s and 12s play teams in their grade internally.
    • Designed to increase game time for players aged 9-12 in an organised and positive environment.

ECB lunchtime football is launching into local primary schools in term 1, so make sure you keep an eye out for updates and information from your local school.

Girls Talent Development Programme (TDP)

Following a successful Term 4 pilot programme led by ECB Director of Football Joe Hall, we are proud to be launching a Girls TDP programme for 12s-14s in 2023. This initiative will provide a pathway beyond our Friday girls programme and junior teams. In the coming seasons, the plan is to extend TDP to girls aged 12 – 16, leading into a competitive and fully resourced women's first team. Our objective for 2023 is to establish and develop key coaches, volunteers, and managers alongside delivery of the programme and development of players.

Goalkeeping hubs 

In more exciting 2023 developments, we are making specialist goalkeeper training available across the club for male and female players. We will be running youth, junior, and girls-only goalkeeping hubs across our programmes to provide specialist support to new and experienced goalkeepers; and lift the amount of goalkeeper training in our Talent Development Programme.


As a direct result of the Covid-19 restrictions, the last few years have been financially challenging for sporting clubs, including our ECB club. To respond to the rising costs and delivery of improved programmes, we have carefully considered increases to the following fees:

  • All season memberships increased by $10.
    • Senior membership
    • Youth membership
    • Junior membership
  • Mixed Talent Development Program increased to $400 per term (an increase of $1.25 per contact).
  • NRF Youth Championship fees will have a graded fee structure for 2023 to better meet the diverse levels of need within the program.

It is key that cost is not an inhibitor for members and our club is about community and ensuring we remain inclusive. Given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on families, we know some people are struggling and the cost of fees too much. If cost is an obstacle for you, please reach out to our Operations Manager Duane Sommerville for a confidential chat regarding payment plans and the Wayne Edgeler fund ( Duane’s email is 


In 2023, we are delighted to have secured fantastic coaches to support and deliver our programmes, whilst growing our inclusive community at East Coast Bays. We are equally proud to have one of the most qualified and experienced teams of coaches in the Auckland region.

Here is our team of coaches for the year ahead:

Milan Elie

  • Football Development Manager: Talent Development
  • NZF B License (in progress), NZF Junior Level 3
  • NRFL Youth Head Coach, Technical Director - ECB Girls, TDP communications, Skill Hub Coach and Junior Grade Support
  • We have expanded Milan’s role in 2023 to provide direct support to girl’s football at East Coast Bays.

Callum Simmonds

  • Football Development Manager: Junior Development
  • NZF B License (in progress), NZF Junior Level 3
  • NRFL Youth Head Coach, Mini Bays, School and Holiday Programs, Skill Hub Coach and Junior Grade Support
  • We have expanded Callum’s role in 2023 to deliver school and holiday programs for East Coast Bays.


  • Football Development Officer: Future Bays
  • NZF B License (in progress), Junior Level 3, NZF accredited coach educator.
  • NRFL Men's Assistant Coach, NRFL u23 and 17s Head Coach, Skill Hub Coach and Junior Grade Support
  • Mingi has joined us from West Coast Rangers, where he spent 2022 working with both the Men's and Women's first teams.

Faiz Syed

  • Football Development Officer: Coach Education
  • Bachelor of Sport Coaching, NZF B License (in progress), Junior level 3, NZF accredited coach educator
  • NRFL Youth Head Coach, Junior and Youth Coach Educator, Skill Hub Coach and Junior Grade Support.
  • Faiz has joined us from Northland FC, where he spent 2022 working in the NRFL youth and delivering coach education across Northland.

Thomson Nkoy

  • Football Development Coach
  • NZF C License (in progress), NZF Youth Level 2
  • NRF Championship Coach, Junior, and Youth Hub Coach.

Adam Frisby

  • Goalkeeping Coach
  • NZF GK C License (in progress)
  • NRFL Men's GK Coach, TDP GK Coach, GK Hub coach
  • Adam joins us as a goalkeeping coach alongside his role as GK coach for the championship winning Hibiscus Coast women's team.

Term 1 2023

Here are the key dates leading up to the start of the 2023 winter season.

December 21st - 2023 registrations open via

Jan 12th - Senior Summer Football Restarts

Feb 1st - NRFL Men's preseason begins

Feb 8th - Talent Development Program begins

Feb 14th - Junior Skill Hub begins

Feb 17th - Girls TDP begins

Feb 21st - Women's preseason begins

Feb 24th - Summer mini bays (mixed) begin

Feb 26th - Junior game hubs begin

March 6th - Junior parents information evenings

March 20th - Junior team hubs begin

March 25th - NRFL season begins

April 29th - Community season begins

For more information on key dates for next season please download the NRF 2023 Competitions Calendar.

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