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Hauraki FC’s Matt Vendt and Phil Jennens, with sons and junior players Ashton and Patrick. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Hauraki FC fields seniors for first time

For the first time in its almost 40-year history, the Hauraki Plains Football Club will have senior players take to the field.
With a new name and a goal to encompass all age groups, the Ngātea-based club is gearing up for an even bigger season in 2024.
President of Hauraki FC, Matt Vendt, and vice president Phil Jennens, told The Profile that this year, seven junior teams made up of more than 70 children took to the field.
But with great junior numbers came a great responsibility to cater to the mum and dads on the sidelines also wanting to play the low-contact sport.
“Next year is 40 years since the club’s been going, so we decided to move with the times and upgrade the name to Hauraki Plains Football Club, and from there, before a muster, we ended up with 17 mens players, and at the moment, the ladies are sitting around five-to-six before a muster,” Matt said.
“For a little town to have some good numbers already, we’re pretty stoked. We’ve got players from around here, Paeroa, Maramarua, Thames, and Te Kauwhata.”
Matt said they generally aim for about 23-24 players to make up a team, and with a muster planned for the end of January, and a first game around the Easter holiday period, he’s sure they will be able to entice more seniors to get back into the sport.
He’s hoping to enlist the new team in the Waikato Division 4 competition which will see the mix of experienced and new players travelling around the district.
“For the men’s team, we’ve had to get everything brand new, and we’ve been lucky that Richardsons are sponsoring our home kit and Gas and Plumbing Solutions are doing our away kit, so we’re super excited for that.”
Formerly called the Hauraki Plains Junior Soccer Club, Matt said the name change and senior introduction was a little daunting to begin with, but so long as they had a field to play on, he could “go from there”.
With him and Phil both formerly playing for Waihī, the pair recognised the importance of having an accessible club on home turf.
“I’ve been on the committee for about five years, and I came in and looked at it and thought: ‘wow, this is growing’, thinking we were just on a steady curve-up, but it’s gone even bigger since Matt’s come in,” Phil said.
“This is a dream that Matt’s had and seeing how he’s got this ball rolling is just unreal.”
DETAILS: To get involved with the club’s junior or senior teams, find Hauraki Plains Football Club on Facebook or email: