For over 40 years Forrest Hill Milford AFC has been operating from headquarters at Becroft Park on the corner of Tristram Avenue and the Northern Motorway. During that time the Club has grown from strength to strength. Over the years the Club has been at the forefront of a number of key initiatives, primarily focused on the growth of the sport at the First Kicks, Fun Footballers and Junior levels.
In 2006 the Club implemented one of the most innovative and ambitious programmes offered by any club in the region with the retention of a Technical Director and seven qualified professional coaches. In subsequent seasons the Club has grown the number of professional coaches as the Club has grown. These coaches are actively involved on a day-to-day basis in improving the skills of all our junior players. The Club also have several initiatives running for senior players.
The Club’s goal is to continue building the Club both in terms of numbers and skill by creating excellent players today who will become the role models for future generations of First Kicks, Fun Footballers and Juniors.
Forrest Hill Milford AFC was formed in 1975 with four junior teams as a result of demand for a soccer club to cater for the needs of the rapidly growing population of the greater Forrest Hill Milford areas.
Under the guidance of several local personalities including Rod Mills, Rick Turner, Derek Fitzpatrick and Norman Pound, the club was incorporated with its headquarters at Becroft Park, Forrest Hill. This has proven to be a most convenient location for players from Forrest Hill and the surrounding suburbs of Milford, Castor Bay, Campbell’s Bay, Mairangi Bay, Sunnynook and Glenfield.
The original logo and white shirts with 2 black strips down was the work of Norman Pound.
The club grew very steadily over the first ten years. Under the direction of Ian Shaw, Ross Bindon and Ray Allen a major commitment was undertaken in 1985/86 to build clubrooms at Becroft Park for the Club’s exclusive use.
At the same time a commitment was made to promote the senior side of the club in order to provide ongoing opportunities for players graduating from the junior ranks. The club’s senior team, which had been formed in 1984 to contest the Northern Qualifying Division of the Northern League, won this League in 1987 and promotion to the Northern League Fourth Division. In that year the senior side of the club fielded four teams, three of which won their respective competitions. 1988 saw the Club’s senior team again win promotion by winning the Northern League Fourth Division.
A newly formed women’s team was added to the senior club in 1989, a year in which the men’s senior team was successful in winning both the Annual Cambridge Pre Season Tournament and also the Tokoroa Amcor Cup Tournament at the end of the season.
The following year, 1990, the senior team won the Northern League Third Division and further promotion which necessitated, at a cost of some $19,000 in early 1991, the extension of changing rooms etc. to provide the necessary separate changing facilities for both home and visiting teams, plus match officials. A North Shore City Council grant of $12,000 assisted with this expense.
In 1992, the council recognized the growth of the club when it allocated the existing rugby field at
Becroft Park to football as part of a rationalization of sports grounds to various codes. The club has maintained sole use of the grounds for the football season and anticipates doing so for the foreseeable future.
In October 1995 the original clubrooms were destroyed by fire in a suspect arson. With the subsequent demolition of the burnt shell the Club’s temporary Clubrooms became the Chances Bar on Wairau Road.
Building on new clubrooms started in 1996 and were completed in 1997.
Over the last decade the clubs junior ranks have been gaining in strength and the Club now attracts players from a wider radius. At the present time the Club caters for over 800 junior and over 100 senior players. With the implementation of our professional coaching scheme, including “First Kicks & Fun Footballers” numbers continues to grow.
The Club’s First Kicks, Fun Footballers and junior players attend tournaments all over the upper North Island. While encouraging members to play the game for the games own sake, the Club does encourage serious competition and is active in coaching and training the top teams in each junior grade with professionally accredited coaches.
The Club has recently introduced the NZ Football Skill Centre Programme and is one of the few Clubs in New Zealand to be accredited by NZ Football to deliver these community based programmes.
Building on the stunning success of the introduction of professional coaching the Club has developed a comprehensive Academy offering specialised and focussed development programmes for our most promising girls and boys. The Academy takes a meritocratic approach and is by invitation only.
The Club also maintains an excellent relationship with key sponsors, all of whom have continued to offer their unwavering support through the provision of kit, discounts and cash grants to assist the Club with its many worthy causes. The Club’s catchment area, the wide demographic of membership, together with its prime location at Becroft Park offers an excellent opportunity for sponsors.