The remaining ISPS Handa Chatham Cup and Women’s Knockout Cup teams have been pulled out of the hat for their Round 3 fixtures by an appropriate hand after the official draw was conducted this afternoon by former All White and two-time cup winner Noel Barkley.
Barkley, who won the highly sought-after Chatham Cup in 1990 and 1994, assisted with the draw at New Zealand Football headquarters in Auckland and was joined by adjudicator Terry Hobin, competitions manager for the Northern Football Federation.
“It was really exciting actually, it’s the first time I’ve done a draw,” said Barkley, whose life has been entwined with the world game in this country for a long period of time.
The former striker played 35 times for New Zealand – including 20 ‘A’ appearances – and was sales director for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup before taking up his present role as chief executive of the New Zealand Football Foundation, as well as currently serving on the Auckland Football board.
“Obviously, I know most of the teams, either from playing against them all over the years or through the U-20 World Cup. I got to know all those clubs quite well because they were buying tickets around the country,” says the Northern Ireland-born Kiwi, who was particularly disappointed not to have given Queenstown Rovers a tie at their picturesque home ground.
“I was curious to see how the teams came out and was hoping Queenstown would get a home draw – but I pulled them out away so I apologise for that,” he says.
Barkley has his foot in several different camps after winning the cup with Mt Wellington and Waitakere City – he found the net in both finals – and earning a runners-up medal with Mt Maunganui in 1986, while his son Adam plays for Ellerslie.
“Unfortunately, they got knocked out in the first round to Melville United, who are looking pretty sharp and have a good draw this time against Franklin United,” he says.
“I’m always interested to see how Waitakere go because they’re my old team and I won a league and a cup there. I see they’ve got Western Springs and that’s probably one of the games of the round, it will be a beauty so I think I’ll definitely go along and have a look.”
Barkley has been impressed by Springs, who play in the Lotto NRFL Division One after relegation from the top flight last season – and is picking the Neil Emblen-coached side to go all the way.
“I’ve seen them a couple of times and they’ve been very good, they’ve got a lot of pace and are experienced at the back. I think it will take a really good team to beat them,” he says.
“The biggest challengers are probably Onehunga and Birkenhead but I’ve just got a sneaky feeling that, if they can get past Waitakere and get home draws on their artificial turf, then Springs will be hard to beat. And Matamata are also still in the cup, who would have thought that? They could get through to the next round as well but Springs are the team for me.”
Having enjoyed such memorable moments in the competition, the Chatham Cup holds a special place in Barkley’s heart.
“The cup is special, it’s been around for a long time – close to 100 years now – and excites everybody. For me, it’s New Zealand’s premier competition in terms of winter football, that’s for sure.”
Barkley also pulled out the teams for the third round of the Women’s Knockout Cup as the female club-based showpiece enters the last 16 stage.
There will be a historic occasion for AFF/NFF Conference side Central United, who will take on Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier opposition for the first ever time in heading across the Harbour Bridge to meet cup holders Forrest Hill Milford United. It’s an all-top flight affair across the rest of the northern region with the other NRFL sides all meeting each other, the highlight of which appears to be the trip of 2016 runners-up Glenfield Rovers – who lifted the cup in the previous two years – to 2007 winners Western Springs.
Similarly, it’s only the big guns that are left in the lower North Island with Capital W-League leaders Upper Hutt City hosting bottom-placed Wairarapa United while title-chasing Palmerston North Marist face a trip to fourth-placed Seatoun.
Down south, there will be huge interest in the outcome of the clash between Christchurch-based heavyweights Coastal Spirit and Cashmere Technical – the two stand-out sides in the Mainland Women’s Premier League by some distance – while Dunedin Technical’s hosting of Roslyn Wakari is just as tough to call.
All games in Round 3 of both the ISPS Handa Chatham Cup and Women’s Knockout Cup will be played on the weekend of June 24-25 with the match details to be confirmed by each federation in due course.
ISPS Handa Chatham Cup Round 3
Takapuna vs Central United
Three Kings United vs Ngongotaha
Melville United vs Franklin United
Hibiscus Coast vs Onehunga Sports
Hamilton Wanderers vs Bay Olympic
East Coast Bays vs Birkenhead United
Waitakere City vs Western Springs
Matamata Swifts vs North Shore United
Petone vs Western Suburbs
Napier City Rovers vs Wairarapa United
Miramar Rangers vs Tawa
Stop Out vs North Wellington
Cashmere Technical vs Nomads United
Nelson Suburbs vs Coastal Spirit
Dunedin Technical vs Queenstown Rovers
Caversham vs Green Island
Women’s Knockout Cup Round 3
Forrest Hill Milford United vs Central United
Western Springs vs Glenfield Rovers
Claudelands Rovers vs Three Kings United
Eastern Suburbs vs Norwest United
Seatoun vs Palmerston North Marist
Upper Hutt City vs Wairarapa United
Coastal Spirit vs Cashmere Technical
Dunedin Technical vs Roslyn Wakari