Waiheke United celebrate promotion

Waiheke United have won promotion to the Lotto NRFL second division for 2017.

The island dwellers confirmed their promotion defeating Glen Eden 3-1 at their Onetangi Sports Club home on a memorable day for the team.

Waiheke United’s last participation in the NRFL was in 1996 when they were relegated from the third division having won just one game, a 3-2 derby victory over Navy.

Waiheke United’s reputation has grown exponentially with the club covered in documentaries in South America via ESPN largely because of their passionate ex-patriate Argentine following.

The club’s supporters have attracted attention with flares, red flags waved, drums and selection of non-stop chants creating a unique atmosphere rarely seen in New Zealand football grounds.

In four years, Waiheke United has progressed from Auckland Football Federation’s Conference Division 7 to Division 3 in just four years.

They also competed in the Chatham Cup this season reaching the fourth round after beating West Hamilton 3-0, Glen Eden Rangers 2-1 and a 4-2 win over Ranui Swanson. They exited the competition following a thrilling 5-3 defeat to Te Atatu United.

The multicultural team features players from Australia, Argentina, Chile, England, France, Indonesia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Waiheke United’s final game of the season is against West Auckland on September 24 at the Onetangi Sports Park.