New Zealand Knights FC

New Zealand Knights FC

This page details the history of the club. For information on seasons and results see New Zealand Knights seasons 2005-06 and 2006-07

New Zealand Knights
New Zealand Knights FC.svg
Full name New Zealand Knights
Football Club Ltd
Nickname(s) The Knights
Founded 1999 (as Football Kingz Football Club)
Dissolved 2007

Mt Smart Stadium

North Harbour Stadium

NSL as Football Kingz F.C. (1999-2004)

A-League (2005-2007).
Home colours
Away colours

New Zealand Knights Football Club (known as Football Kingz Football Club until 2004) were the only professional football club in New Zealand before they became defunct. Based in Auckland, New Zealand, they played in the Hyundai A-League, Australia's premier football competition and have since been replaced by the Wellington Phoenix.



Kingz and the NSL 1999-2004

Kingz logo

Football Kingz FC (promoted as Auckland Kingz within Australia) joined the Australian National Soccer League in 1999 and proceeded to play in the last five seasons of the NSL, failing to qualify for the playoffs in every season. The club was originally to use the spelling of "Kings", however this was changed to the Kingz after receiving legal threats from another Australian sporting franchise.

Their inaugural coach was OFC Player of the Century and former New Zealand international Wynton Rufer in a player-coach role, with his brother Shane as assistant coach. These two seasons were the most successful for the club, both resulting in eighth placings. However after those two seasons, the owners fired Wynton Rufer as coach but still wanted him to remain as a player. Rufer's desire, however, was to remain as coach and to retire slowly as a player. Once it was clear that Rufer was not to be a coach, Rufer immediately retired from playing.

NSL Seasonal Results

Season Position GP W D L GF GA GD Pts Best Result Worst Result
1999–2000 8 (of 16) 34 15 5 14 57 59 -2 50 4-0 against Parramatta Power
19 April 2000
0-4 to Melbourne Knights
26 April 2000
2000–2001 8 (of 15) 30 12 7 11 52 52 0 43 5-1 against Newcastle Breakers
27 October 2000
1-6 to South Melbourne FC
25 April 2001
2001–2002 13 (of 13) 24 3 5 16 28 58 -30 15 2-1 against Sydney United
9 November 2001
1-7 to Parramatta Power
15 March 2002
2002–2003 11 (of 13) 24 6 6 12 26 45 -19 24 4-1 against Northern Spirit
27 September 2002
0-7 to Parramatta Power
15 February 2003
2003–2004 13 (of 13) 24 4 3 17 25 51 -16 15 3-1 against Marconi Stallions
23 November 2003
0-6 to South Melbourne FC
30 November 2003

Restructuring Football Kingz into New Zealand Knights

Football Kingz then had a name change into New Zealand Knights as a new restructured franchise for Australia's new national football competition called the Hyundai A-League. Market research carried out by the club, to determine the viability of a new identity for the team, indicated that 76% of respondents were in favour of a name change. When that research was focused on those aged 35 and under, the percentage in favour of a change rose to 90%. Further to that, the name of "Knights" were polled best of all names suggested in the survey, a clear 30% higher than any other option.[1]

The former Football Kingz General manager Guy Hedderwick was promoted to the role of New Zealand Knights chief executive officer. Along side him Football Kingz and Waitakere City Chairman, Anthony Lee, became the New Zealand Knights Chairman in the restructuring.[2]

Initially Anthony Lee had invested into the New Zealand Knights, with his company's (Total Football Ltd) 20% shareholding second only to majority owner Brian Katzen's Octagon Sport (later included Maurice Cox as partner) with 60%. The other shareholders were Sky Television (5%), Chris Turner (10%), and New Zealand Soccer (non cash 5%).[3]

The only major sponsor the club had was retailer Zero's New Zealand (Sub Sandwiches). They agreed to a deal with the Knights over the first three seasons in a six figure deal as a sleeve sponsor.[4]

New Zealand Knights was confirmed as one of the eight founding teams in the Hyundai A-League.[4]John Adshead, who took the New Zealand national side, the All Whites to their first ever World Cup finals appearance in 1982 was named their inaugural manager/coach.[1] former New Zealand international, Danny Hay, who previously played in the English Premiership with Leeds United was named the inaugural captain of the team.

New Zealand Knights A-League seasons 2005-2007

Despite having a squad boasting several players with extensive experience in English football, many pundits did not rate the Knights as serious contenders for the A-League title, and they were considered favourites for the wooden spoon. These predictions turned out to be true, with New Zealand Knights proving to be well out of their depth in their debut A-League season.

In April 2006, after the poor season, manager John Adshead resigned from the club.[5] Paul Nevin was confirmed as manager a month later,[6] having worked as caretaker manager since the position was vacated by Adshead.

In late October 2006, as a result of low crowd attendance at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland and continual poor on-field performances, rumours began to circulate that Football Federation Australia (FFA) was considering the possibility of revoking the Knights' A-League licence and granting it to a new team that would be set to enter the competition in the 2007-08 season.

On 15 November and nearing the end of the November transfer window New Zealand Knights board and management decided to relieve Paul Nevin of his coaching duties due to a string of poor performances.[7]

On 13 December 2006, strong rumours resurfaced that the FFA was considering the revocation of the Knights' licence to compete in the A-League. It quickly became clear that, with five weeks remaining in the current season, the FFA fully intended to reclaim the licence from the Knights.[8] The FFA had continued to express angst at low attendance numbers, poor on-field performance and the lack of domestically developed players.

Late on 14 December, the FFA announced that it had revoked the competition licence held by the Knights' owners. An arrangement with NZ Soccer would see the national body step in to manage the club for the remaining five weeks of the regular season, with former All Whites player Ricki Herbert to fill the role of Head Coach.[9]

Effectively, the Knights dissolved on 21 January, when the final match of the season was played against Perth Glory FC.

On 19 March 2007 after several delays,[10] Wellington Phoenix was selected as the successor to the New Zealand Knights.[11]

A-League Seasonal Results

Season Position GP W D L GF GA GD Pts Best Result Worst Result
2005-06 8th 21 1 3 17 15 47 -32 6 2-0 against Central Coast Mariners
10 September 2005
0-4 to Newcastle Jets
18 September 2005
2006-07 8th 21 5 4 12 13 39 -26 19 3-1 against Queensland Roar
29 December 2006
0-5 to Queensland Roar
15 September 2006


The stadium from the south-east.

North Harbour Stadium is a rectangular stadium situated in Albany on Auckland's North Shore in New Zealand. It was opened in 1997 after nearly a decade of discussion, planning and construction.

North Harbour Stadium has four main seating areas with an official capacity of 25,000. 19,000 (76%) of this capacity is seated, and the other 6,000 are on grass embankments.

  • Main Grandstand — A futuristic looking structure with a distinctive arched roof. It has three main tiers of seating, as well as a row of corporate boxes and several corporate lounges. A total of 12,000 can be seated, mostly under the roof. This is on the southern side of the ground.
  • Open Stand — A single uncovered tier opposite the Main Grandstand that can seat 7,000.
  • Embankments — At either end (East/West) of the ground, there is a single-tier grass embankment with a capacity of 3,000 people. The scoreboard is at the Western End, while the replay screen is directly opposite.

The stadium is lit with four 45 m tall light towers.

Colours and badge

The Knights played in all-black strips, with a silver left sleeve. The change strip was white, with black shorts and white socks.

The badge was designed for the inaugural 2005-06 season and launched at the January 2005 press conference which highlighted the club name change.[1]


The New Zealand Knights supporter base was known as Bloc 5.

Season League Average High Details
2006/2007 A-League 3,009 7,304 R1 - Newcastle Jets
2005/2006 A-League 3,989 9,827 R2 v Sydney FC
2003/2004 NSL 1,273 4,083 R1 v Newcastle United
2002/2003 NSL 2,613 3,682 R7 v Melbourne Knights
2001/2002 NSL 3,874 8,121 R2 v South Melbourne
2000/2001 NSL 6,620 13,111 R23 v Marconi


Former Players

see List of Football Kingz F.C. players and List of New Zealand Knights F.C. players

Club Captains

Manager History

NSL Manager History (As The Football Kingz)

Name Nat From To Record
P W D L F A GD Pts
Wynton Rufer New Zealand October 1999 April 2001 64 27 12 25 109 111 -2 91
Mike Petersena Australia October 2001 October 2001 4 0 1 3 6 14 -8 1
Shane Ruferb New Zealand November 2001 November 2001 2 1 1 0 4 3 1 4
Kevin Fallon New Zealand November 2001 April 2002 18 2 3 13 18 41 -23 9
Ken Dugdalec England September 2002 November 2003 32 7 7 18 36 63 -27 28
Tommy Mason New Zealand November 2003 February 2004 16 3 2 11 15 33 -18 11
Total October 1999 February 2004 136 40 26 70 188 265 -77 146

A-League Manager History

Name Nat From To Record
P W D L F A GD Pts
John Adshead New Zealand January 2005 April 2006 21 1 3 17 15 47 -32 6
Paul Nevin England May 2006 November 2006 12 2 1 9 4 26 -22 7
Barry Simmondsd England November 2006 November 2006 4 0 2 2 3 8 -5 2
Ricki Herberte New Zealand December 2006 January 2007 5 3 1 1 6 5 1 10
Total August 2005 January 2007 42 6 7 29 28 86 -58 25

All Time League Records

  • Record Victory: 3-1 vs Queensland Roar (H), 29 December 2006
  • Record Defeat: 0-5 vs Queensland Roar (A), 15 September 2006
  • Highest League Crowd: 9,827 vs Sydney FC, 2 September 2005
  • Lowest League Crowd: 1,632 vs Central Coast Mariners, 28 September 2006
  • Winning Streak: 2 games (29 December 2006 – 7 January 2007)
  • Undefeated Streak: 4 games (29 December 2006 – 21 January 2007)
  • Losing Streak: 11 games (18 September 2005 – 1 December 2005)
  • Winless Streak: 18 games (18 September 2005 – 2 September 2006)
  • Goals in a game: 2 - Jeremy Brockie vs Newcastle Jets (H), 4 November 2005
  • Goals in a season: 4 - Jeremy Brockie, Simon Yeo, 2005/06
  • Most Assists in a season: 3 - Sean Devine, 2005/06
  • All time most Appearances: 41 - Darren Bazeley
  • All time Top Scorer: 4 - Jeremy Brockie and Simon Yeo

See also


a Caretaker manager during October 2001. b Caretaker manager for two games. c Resigned after 8 games in 2003. d Caretaker manager after Paul Nevin was removed of coaching duties. e Caretaker manager for the remainder of the season before the club was to be defunct.


  1. ^ a b c "Kingz are now the New Zealand Knights". Television New Zealand. 14 January 2005. 
  2. ^ "Kingz reconstruction confirmed". Television New Zealand. 29 September 2004. 
  3. ^ "Kingz in new A-League". Television New Zealand. 1 November 2004. 
  4. ^ a b "Kingz are in". Television New Zealand. 26 October 2004. 
  5. ^ "Adshead resigns from Knights". New Zealand Television. 10 April 2006. 
  6. ^ "Nevin confirmed as manager". New Zealand Television. 11 May 2006. 
  7. ^ "Nevin relieved of duties". New Zealand Television. 15 November 2006. 
  8. ^ "NZ Soccer willing to rescue 'embarrassing' Knights". NZ Herald. 14 December 2006. 
  9. ^ "Knights have licence revoked by soccer body". NZ Herald. 14 December 2006. 
  10. ^ "A-League deadline becomes 'a farce'". 9 March 2007. Archived from the original on 18 March 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2007. 
  11. ^ "Kiwis alive as Townsville pulls pin". Fox Sports. 19 March 2007.,8659,21407148-5000940,00.html. Retrieved 19 March 2007. 

External links

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