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Leroy Sisnett
AUCKLAND, New Zealand
  U20 Colts Competition  


The U20 Colts competition is presently only offered in the AFA competition.


The AFA U20 Colts competition origins stem from two separate competition's - the NZAFA and GNZ Auckland base competition's.  Before the merging of the two organization's both facilitated their own age grade competition's to varying degrees of success and with separate goals in place. 

The NZAFA competition in Auckland historically began with the U18 Junior grade with foundation teams from the Wildcats, Metro Lions, Manukau City Islanders, Mt Roskill Jaguars.  The competition progressively grew as a feeder to the then named 'Senior Men's competition' to sustain player numbers and foster the interest shown by younger players in Auckland.  At the very beginning there was apprehension amongst the NZAFA clubs given that they were now moving into unchartered territory however they committed to the growth the sport and moved towards achieving this goal albeit cautiously.

The GNZ competition, which was only Auckland base,  showed optimism in the potential of attracting more players and employed 4 different age grade competition's: U13yrs, U15yrs, U17yrs and U19yrs old.  The flexibility employed permitted movement within the different age grade competitions by players who displayed passion, commitment and the necessary ability to do so.

The merge of the two competition's needed to considered these differences and find a favourable outcome that both organization's would support wholeheartedly as the flagship competition for the sport in Auckland.  

The 2005 2006 U20 Colts competition had the eight teams from the NZAFA and GNZ organizations competing against each other for the first time.  The 2004 2005 NZAFA U18 Junior Champions the Metro Lions took the lead against the 2005 GNZ U19 Champions the Tamaki Lightning in the inaugural competition with the perennial foundation clubs the South Auckland Raiders and the Papatoetoe Wildcats battling too for supremacy in the new look competition.  North Harbour Pride continued to sustain its development seamlessly adapting to new rivals but the outstanding achievement would be the new comers to football with rookie NZAFA teams and clubs the Hamilton Hawks, Carlton Gridiron, and the North Peninsula Panthers.

The successful U20 Colts competition continued in the 2006 2007 season with the eight teams remaining to the competition that provided unexpected results and established club rivalries necessary to encouraging the competitive spirit.  The standard of play and the understanding of the game was beginning to highlight the U20 Colts competition as exciting, disciplined and well executed game.  Essential to this success is the recruitment, development and coaching at clubs to attract new members and maintain current member numbers.

The 2007 2008 season promised more invigorating competition with returning teams including the Metro Lions, North Peninsula Panthers, Hamilton Hawks, North Harbour Pride, Tamaki Lightning and the South Auckland Raiders also introducing the new club JC Spartans U20 Colts team to the Auckland competition.  Unfortunately other clubs fell victim to poor player retention and limited growth when decisions were made to withdraw their teams from the U20 Colts competition.  To date the Papatoetoe Wildcats and Carlton Gridirion clubs no longer offer a U20 Colts team to their members or to the Auckland U20 Colts competition.  It is hoped that clubs will find the desire and means to re-introduce the U20 colts to their club programme which will benefit everyone rather then a small core as it is very evident that this only detracts from the sport.

The present 2008 2009 season is the 4th year celebration of the colts competition in Auckland.  Many players will graduate to the Premier competition at the conclusion of this season, players who have learnt, grown and finessed their atheleticism and understanding of the game within the ranks of the colts competition.  The Metro Lions, North Peninsula Panthers and the Hamilton Hawks clubs are amongst the current six teams in the Colts competition who fully cognizant of this transition for their players.  The challenge faced by all colts teams including the North Harbour Pride, Tamaki Lightning and the JC Spartans will be whether the Premier competition is ready for the influx of talented, competitive and specialized Colts athlete.


The legacy of the Auckland U20 Colts Competition reads as:


2008 2009 Auckland U20 Colts Champions - Metro Lions U20 Colts

2007 2008 Auckland U20 Colts Champions - Metro Lions U20 Colts

2006 2007 Auckland U20 Colts Champions - Metro Lions U20 Colts

2005 2006 Auckland U20 Colts Champions - Tamaki Lightning U20 Colts



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