Cambridge supporters won’t know all their team’s Northern League opponents till mid-March after a reshuffle of rankings in the Lotto NRFL.
The merger of Onehunga Sports and Three Kings United has created a knock-on effect which means the first division is a club short.
Fencibles United – due to join the Reds in the second division in 2020 – now have a potential escape from relegation as they will play Manurewa in a Vacancy Play-off Series (VPS) to decide which club completes the first division line-up.
That series will also create a second division vacancy which will be filled in a second VPS between Franklin United (relegated last year) and Te Atatu who came 3rd in the AFF/NFF Conference last term.
Both VPS will be played over the weekends of March 7-8 and March 14-15.
As no WaiBOP Premiership team sought promotion to the NRFL last year, the Conference runners-up Papatoetoe gained promotion to this year’s second division.
With the Lotto NRFL season due to start on Saturday March 28, the make-up of the second division looks like this:
Claudelands Rovers (4th last year)
Cambridge (5th last year)
Unimount Bohemian Celtic (6th last year)
Oratia United (7th last year)
Onehunga Mangere (8th last year)
Greenhithe Catimba (9th last year)
Northland FC (10th last year)
Beachlands Maraetai (promoted from the AFF/NFF Conference)
Papatoetoe (promoted from the AFF/NFF Conference)
Other potential participants
Manurewa (3rd last year) or Fencibles United (relegated from Division 1)
Franklin United (relegated from Division 2) or Te Atatu (3rd in the AFF/NFF Conference)
Cambridge FC’s website will publish the confirmed fixture list as soon as it’s confirmed in mid-March.
Some drafts of a potential schedule have been published online but are subject to changes caused by the two VPS.