Football festival comes to Cambridge this weekend

posted in: Events, Juniors, Men, News, Women, Youth

Fans can experience a festival of top football in Cambridge this weekend when the town hosts three matches of national significance.

For the first time, Cambridge Football Club will provide the venue for fixtures in all three of football’s elite national competitions.

The games, to be played at John Kerkhof Park, are:

Saturday (11am), National Youth League

Hamilton Wanderers v Auckland City

Saturday (2pm), ISPS Handa Men’s Premiership

Hamilton Wanderers v Auckland City

Sunday (2pm), National Women’s League

WaiBOP v Central

Men’s national league

A number of full internationals are expected to take the field for the men’s match between Wanderers and Auckland City.

These include Wanderers striker Tommy Semmy (Papua New Guinea), who recently trialled with Wellington Phoenix, and the side’s recent signing, All White Jake Butler.

Auckland City’s star-studded squad includes All Whites Myer Bevan, Adam Mitchell and Clayton Lewis who is re-joining the club after two years playing in the UK.

Other internationals include David Browne (Papua New Guinea), Brian Kaltak (Vanuatu) and Yousif Ali (Iraq).

The dugouts will have an international look as well with former All Whites coach, Cambridge-based Ricki Herbert, leading Wanderers while Auckland are coached by national youth team coach Jose Figuero and All White legend Ivan Vicelich.

National youth league

In the early game, two Cambridge players will feature for Wanderers in the youth fixture.

They are Reds striker Josh Clarkin and defender Jack Portegys who have moved to Hamilton for their summer programme, as they did last year.

Clarkin, who was Cambridge’s top goalscorer in the Northern League over the winter, has continued his scoring touch for Wanderers, helping the side to the top of the competition.

Auckland City, who won the youth league last year, will be anxious to beat Wanderers in their efforts to retain the title.

National women’s league

On Sunday, the WaiBOP women’s team will continue their NWL programme, facing Central (who represent the provinces in the lower North Island).

The two teams are likely to be evenly matched and WaiBOP will be keen to deliver a home victory in their fifth of six matches being played at Cambridge.

Hosting games in all three competitions in the same year is a first for Cambridge, who have previously staged 11 men’s national league fixtures and 10 women’s league games.