This weekend there was no live football on in Wellington at all, but after last weekend maybe that was a good thing - no that's just silly, but it did give me time to catch up with what happened the weekend before. What a weekend it was, four games of football, an awards dinner, Peru fan's, and the World Cup playoff.


Two in a row , NZFMA Website of the Year 2015 & 16 The JourneyFan

There were several highlights for me in the weekend, but the best one was last Friday night at the New Zealand Football Media Awards, where I won the Website of the Year award for the second year in a row! I also was named Runner Up in the Writer of the Year award. This was won for the fifth time in a row by New Zealand Herald football writer, Michael Burgess, so I was pretty chuffed to be named runner up to someone of his stature. 

This is what the judges had to say about me -
Website of the year
But the Journey Fan website again tops them all, with its mix of unique, well-crafted content, clever ideas, photography and semi-obsessive fandom. In its own way, it’s one of the closest things New Zealand has to that iconic British football fan bible `When Saturday Comes”..............The range and breadth of content edges it ahead of Yellow Fever, and a deserving winner of the 2016 NZFMA Football website of the year.”

Writer of the year
Runner up: Dave Webster’s was another informative portfolio covering a wide range of topics. Especially enjoyed “Island Time” –football and more Waiheke style and “Play-off Pandemonium” – a wrap of a trip to the outer reaches and a report on a game most fans would not have bothered with.”

There were other winners as well
Program of the Year - Waitemata FC & Papatoetoe Ladies (Shared)
Publication of the Year - Fully Committed - Ben Sigmund & Jason Pine
Writer of the Year - Michael Burgess (NZ Herald)
Internet-Community Writer of the Year - Bruce Holloway (In the back of the net)
Photographer of the Year - Shane Wenzlick (Phototek)
Audio Broadcaster of the Year - Phoenix City (Patrick Barnes, Cam MacIntosh, Dave Richardson, Andrew French)
TV Broadcaster of the Year - Gordon Glen Watson

So congratulations to all the winners and finalists and big thanks to Enzo Giordani for organising it this year, Keith Blok from Connect for sponsoring the awards and to everyone who has read the site and given me support and encouragement.


Game one for me was a re-match of last season's National Women's League Final - Capital Football v Canterbury United Pride. The Pride won by two goals again, 3-1 this time. I didn't take any photos , but Dr Yomcat was there - click here to see his photos.  I also didn't write a report on the game, but if you really do want to read one, Pride fan, Phil Clayton did one over at In The Back Of The Net  


An All White's fan in the Peru end The JourneyFan


The big game of the weekend, the World Cup playoff, and Wellington was invaded by several thousand Peru fans. I was told by one that they reckoned about 4,000 came over (mainly from Australia). They were brilliant. NZF, in their "wisdom" had deemed that they wouldn't be allowed musical instruments in the ground (despite granting permission for the White Noise to have a drum), but the Peruvian's didn't need them and were singing from when they arrived until they left. In another example of Kiwi's not really getting fan culture, the Wellington City Council noise control officers turned up at JJ Murphys, which had become the base for the Peru fans, on the Friday night to try and get them to be quite - it didn't really work!

As for the game itself there has been plenty written elsewhere, but 0-0 was a pretty good result for NZ, and we almost stole it in the last few minutes when Ryan Thomas' shot went just wide. For me it was an extra buzz as I had got media accreditation and was taking photos at pitch side - easily the biggest game I have ever photographed at (cheers to Dr yomcat for the loan of the lens)

Here are my photos of the fans

and my photos of the game



Tasman United's Tinashe Marowa wins the ball The JourneyFan


The ISPS Handa Premership was an entertaining game that saw Team Wellington sneak a win with a 90th minute penalty. It was a fairly even game and Davor Tavich's Tasman side will be seeing it as two points dropped. Tommy Jackson got both Team Wellington's goal, while Paul Ifill scored after a great solo run for Tasman United. 

Here are my photos of the game


It was then a mad dash across Wellington to find a park and get into the Phoenix game which kicked off at 4:35. I got in just in time to see Perth score from a free kick, and thought here we go again. But no the Phoenix put in a great performance and hammered Perth Glory 5-2, a great way to finish a great weekend.