The world has changed all of a sudden and for all of us in the domain of football, it got twisted and turned and thrown upside down. The safety of all in our community is paramount and we know this is not permanent. The team at Franklin United are working behind the scenes to try and make sure we come out the other side stronger than before.

Thankfully we went into the Lockdown period on a high. Mark Holt and the senior men’s squad convincingly beat Te Atatu in a two-leg playoff to regain our NRFL spot. The team were prepared for the two-game series. They have trained hard under strong guidance and the togetherness they show speaks volumes seeing they have only trained as a unit since mid-January. The young players stepped up and won it for their community, proving that sticking to our vision of developing our own will bear fruit.

The merger of the two South Auckland Academies, both FUYA and SAE, is progressing well and the quality is strong. We have strong numbers for both our 13 and 14 boys, plus a new 13/14s girls. We have combined our 15s as well. The Franklin United ladies team, coached by Tam Cramer, is training and getting ready for their inaugural season. Definitely exciting times!

And then COVID-19 appeared in New Zealand and the government announced Level 4, and all sport was cancelled. As the team behind the scenes work hard to ensure we come through this, the coaching staff are still innovating and working with players to keep them progressing. Facebook is active. Individual training plans are being given to Men’s and Academy players. The Club is working closely together as senior players provide skills and training drills via video to show to their younger counterparts the way forward. There are always positives in negatives. And I’m proud of how our team has responded to the challenges in front of them and focused on improving our members. It is and will be, a different landscape and there are things we are learning now which we can put to practice in the future.

Another positive was the birth of my third baby on the 2 April – a boy named Zaylor. Now, mother and baby are at home, staying at home in our tight bubble has been great with a new-born around. I want to wish everyone a safe lockdown period and we will be back playing and supporting the sport we love.

Stay safe and stay together.
I was going to say good luck – but we make our own luck!