The ASFA was established in 1975. Formerly known as the Auckland Business House Sunday Soccer League (ABSSL), it is an incorporated society governed by an executive committee of volunteers elected by the teams within the league at the ASFA annual general meeting every February. The Executive Committee consists of a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and a sub-committee.
The objective of the Association is to promote and administer the amateur game of association football within the Auckland region, as applied to Sunday football, under the ‘Laws of the Game’ as defined by Northern Football Federation (NFF), Auckland Football Federation (AFF), New Zealand Football (NZF) and FIFA.
The Rules and Regulations of the ASFA are located with the annually-updated ASFA Constitution, which is confirmed at every AGM and sent to all team managers prior to the start of every season. This document also lists all the past league and cup winners from the past 45 years.
Since 1976, the ASFA has run a cup competition to compliment the league championships. Teams in the top two divisions currently compete for either the Premier Cup (PC) or the Premier Plate (PP). Teams that lose their round one PC fixture are automatically entered into the PP. Teams in the lower divisions and Masters leagues also compete for a separate Cup and Plates.
The Michael Trevor Jones Cup (League Cup). Michael Trevor Jones was born in Monmouth, Wales on 25th September 1951 and came to New Zealand in the late 1970’s with his wife Sally, and children Victoria & Gareth. He started work as a Psychiatric Assistant at Oakley Hospital, and joined Hospital United AFC as a superb striker, later becoming a Recreation Officer in Carrington-Oakley Hospitals in 1984. In 1989 Mike took over the management of Hospital United, withdrawing the team from the AFA and entering it into the Auckland Business House Sunday Soccer League (ABSSL). A year later he was diagnosed with ‘Motor Neurone Disorder’ and after a long, slow physical deterioration Mike died on 29th March 1995 at the age of 43. Mike never gave up – when the time came that he could no longer run he continued to come and support… the bar! (Jim Jacobs).
The Michael John Anderson Shield (League Plate). Michael John Anderson was born on 23rd March 1956 in Avondale and was an exceptional sportsman. He began his nursing career at Carrington in 1972 and became a Registered Nurse in 1976, during which time he switched codes from Rugby League to Football where his speed on the wing, and his tenacity on the ball made him an invaluable member of Hospital United – he was top goal scorer three years running and was always in the top three. In late 1994 Mike began feeling unwell and was diagnosed with Leukaemia. After a successful bone-marrow transplant and a slow recovery he contracted an infection, becoming critically ill. He died in Auckland Hospital on 11th May 1996 just weeks after his 40th birthday. Both Michaels were Hospital United’s top goal scorers for the years they played for the team and took Hospital United through many AFA and ABSSL leagues. Both guys were top blokes who will be sadly missed. (Jim Jacobs).
The Stuart McMonagle Cup (Masters Cup). Stuart McMonagle was born in Highbury on the North Shore in 1952. He didn’t play football until 1963, when Glenfield Rovers started at McFetridge Park. Fifty seasons later Stu is still playing the beautiful game in the ASFA. In 1973 he debuted for Glenfield Rovers first team, only to discover both knee cartilages were shot and that social football now beckoned. Greenhithe City FC was born and, after two seasons of friendlies, the ABSSL was formed. He became Chairman in 1977 and resigned in 1982 to attend Espana ’82. He then attended Mexico ’86 (where he was behind the goal for ‘The Hand of God’) and Euro ’96 in England. Completing the ABSSL treble in 1984 was his social football pinnacle and, seeing the Sunday league he helped form expand from one division in 1975 to seven divisions in 2011 is indeed very satisfying for him; a young lad from Greenhithe where only rugby balls were used at his first school. Stu was also a driving force behind the ASFA’s creation of the ‘Masters Division’. (Stuart McMonagle/Craig Harrison).
The Bernard Howe Shield (Masters Plate). Bernard Howe was born on 10th July 1943 in Barking, Essex. Whilst working for the BNZ during the 80’s he was asked to manage their social team that entered the ABSSL, which subsequently went on to win the division 4 title in its first year. Their second season was much tougher and in Bernie’s opinion, the standard of refereeing in the competition was quite poor. He chose to join the Referees Association in 1987 to improve the standard and, due to the demise of the BNZ team in 1989, he soon decided to join the committee of the ABSSL as the Referee’s Secretary. Bernie wanted to associate himself to a team in the newly named ASFA so he joined Cavalier FC in the mid-’90s, enjoying some wonderful football at Coxes Bay Reserve followed by a few drinks afterwards at The Cavalier Tavern. Bernie spent many hours recruiting referees to officiate in ASFA games and slowly built up a base of refs that appreciated the quality of football on show in the ASFA. Despite Bernie having double hip-replacement surgery in 2003, you will still see him refereeing ASFA games, as is his passion for not only refereeing but also the ASFA and his beloved West Ham. (Craig Harrison).
Since 1984, the ASFA Season has kicked off with the Charity Shield, a friendly fixture between the Premiership champions and the Premier Cup winners. In 2019, the ASFA introduced the Community Plate, a second season-opening fundraising fixture contested between the winner of League 1 and the winner of the League Cup. The Society Plate was added in 2020, contested between the winners of the top Masters Division and the Masters Cup.
ASFA Life Members (year awarded): Stuart McMonagle (1982), Glen Town (1992), Chris Heilbronn (1994), Dave Baker (2000), Ash Connor (2001), Bernard Howe (2003), Jim Jacobs (2004), Craig Harrison (2004), Oliver Brinkmann (2008), Warwick Eade (2008), Trevor Brook (2008), John Tik (2009), Tony Goulding (2009), Mike Hayes (2012), Morgan Breuer (2012), Graham “Butch” Whitford (2015), Anthony Barnes (2015), Stephanie Brown (2016), Roy Salleh (2016), Ash Maharaj (2019), Matt Hunt (2019).