Boys who become eligible for 12th grade football in 2019 have the option of seeking to play Saturday football against local teams or trialling to join a Cambridge FC team in a regional competition on Sundays.
This follows the introduction two years ago of federation junior and youth leagues overseen by WaiBOP Football.
To help families and players understand their opportunities, the following explains what’s available through Cambridge FC and its partnership with the Ricki Herbert Football Academy.
Option 1 – 12th grade football (Saturdays)
This follows the same format of football for teams up to 11th grade during 2018.
Matches are played on Saturday mornings in the Waikato area, mainly at Cambridge or in Hamilton. The season runs from May till September.
Players are allocated teams for the season after grading days held in March.
Coaching is typically once a week and is usually carried out by a parent volunteer.
Costs in 2018 were $99 for a junior subscription fee but extra costs can be incurred if players choose to attend sessions part of the Future Reds programme (run by the Ricki Herbert Football Academy on our behalf), or if players also want to attend Futsal sessions.
Please note that in 2019, we anticipate most of the top teams and their players from 2018 will be seeking to play for the Federation League squads on Sundays, and won’t play Saturday football.
Option 2 – Federation Boys League (Sundays)
This format is played on Sunday mornings and is a Waikato/Bay of Plenty competition, bringing together the young players considered to be the most developed in their age group.
In 2018, the competition had 14 teams (seven from Waikato, seven from BoP). The first round was split into local rounds (i.e. Waikato teams played each other as a grading round) and then the competition split into divisions for the next phase where the top four teams from each region played each other, and the bottom three from each region met each other.
The competition provided 13 games for each team.
To select the club’s squad for this competition, the club will host a series of trials run by our coaching partner, the Ricki Herbert Football Academy.
Trials will be held in February 2019.
We anticipate strong interest in this squad for 2019 after the success of our boys’ teams in 11th grade Waikato competitions last season where Barcelona won the grade and the Clarets came runners-up.
Cambridge’s Federation teams have generally been selected from those players who have consistently played for the 1st or 2nd teams for the club and are wanting to develop their game further.
The club will offer the opportunity to participate to players at nearby clubs as we see the federation leagues as a collaborative space to ensure our teams have sufficient numbers and quality to enjoy the season.
The emphasis in this league is meant to be about player development, so there is an entry requirement from WaiBOP on how many coaching sessions per week (and season), the structure of these coaching sessions and the qualifications of the coaches, plus clubs having a pathway through to senior football for these junior and youth players.
To ensure we meet these high standards, Cambridge FC has partnered with the RHFA.