Waiheke United on their way to the top
Waiheke United football club is celebrating next season's promotion to Division 1 after a sixth consecutive win.
The latest Northern Regional Football League Division 2 match saw Waiheke United Fullers Boom achieving a convincing 7 to 1 victory over Te Atatu AFC on August 5.
The win over Te Atatu gave the Waiheke side enough points to secure second place in the competition, putting them 13 points ahead of Takapuna AFC in third.
Waiheke trail table leaders Fencibles United by four points and, with three games still left and a maximum of nine-points up for grabs, an overall win is still possible.
Waiheke captain Alan Llunes said he was pleased with the performance of his team.
With promotion to Division 1 secured, his focus had shifted to winning the Division 2 title.
"The objective from the beginning of the year was to get promotion into Division 1 for next season and we have achieved that.
"I'm very proud of the way we played against Te Atatu."
The Waiheke club has been celebrating its 30th anniversary and its record of remaining unbeaten this season.
Coach Nick Saunders said securing promotion was just the first step in a bigger picture for the team.
"This result has been months of hard work and commitment.
"To secure promotion is fantastic for the club but we're hungry, we want the title."
The Waiheke club is somewhat of a marvel for New Zealand football, with the team enjoying a healthy component of passionate players from Argentina, Spain, France, Uruguay and Japan.
"Waiheke has been winning titles for 20 years – long before we had this influx of fantastic overseas players," Saunders said.
"Now we've taken the game to another level.
"The football quality has totally changed and inspiring the younger generations coming through the ranks of our club.
"It's not about the type of football that they play overseas, it's about playing football at a fast tempo and continually moving.
"The fitter the team is, the better game you can play."
Waiheke United will play Albany United at Rosedale Park on August 12.