Coach Mike Woodlock ended his decade in the dugout at Cambridge FC with a thriller of a cup tie followed by a special tribute from his players.
When Cambridge’s ISPS Handa Chatham Cup tie against Waiheke United drew to a close, players past and present formed a guard of honour to applaud Woodlock as he left the pitch for the dressing rooms.
“I’m a bit sad to be going today but we’re in good hands,” he said, acknowledging the handover of the coaching role to Paul Richardson.
Woodlock has coached various teams at the club since joining in 2008 and has had three stints coaching the team in the Northern League.
“The last four years have been special,” he said, referring to the two WaiBOP Premiership titles won in 2015 and 2017, followed by an emotional return to the Lotto NRFL second division this year.
He has coached the club’s U-19s at the national youth tournament in Napier, and takes particular pride in the fact that he has coached some boys from school teams and through into senior football which they now play at Cambridge FC.
“This club’s a bit special,” he said.
Woodlock has one last duty to fulfil on behalf of the club. Next Thursday (May 17), the last race at Cambridge Raceway has been named in his honour, in recognition of his service to the club and to football.
Players and friends are invited to the raceway to cheer one more sporting event with Woodlock.