Puhoi Sports Club’s first football team got a surprise late last year when the Northern Football Federation (NFF) informed them a reshuffle meant the team would be dropping to division two.
It was a blow for the rising team, which ranked ninth out of 12 in division one after its first season, seemingly clear of relegation.
However, Puhoi have been displaced by the promotion of Hibiscus Coast’s second team, which came top of division two last season, as well as teams dropping down from the conference league.
Having 12 teams in division one last season meant more games were required than could fit within the timeframe of the season. A switch to just 10 teams will solve this problem.
Head coach Luke McIntyre says the goal for Puhoi SC this season is to come top of division two to reclaim their spot in division one.
Their ultimate goal is still to make the AFF/NFF conference and the team has conducted a recruitment drive over the summer in order to maintain the two teams required.
McIntyre says preseason training has already seen good turn outs and the team is likely have a squad of 18-20 players. The team is keen to get more players from the Puhoi area to ensure that when winter comes there are still plenty of people willing to travel to train.
Practice is at the Metropark in Millwater on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6.30pm and those interested should contact Luke McIntyre on 021 109 5494.
Meanwhile, Warkworth AFC has dropped from the AFF/NFF conference league to division one at its own request after struggling to maintain enough players for the two teams required.
Captain James Woodall says the club is in in the process of moving younger players up its ranks.