It takes a brave man to oversee the changing of the longstanding playing shirt at his club in his first six months in charge.

But for Tauranga City AFC chairperson Brendon McHugh a new playing strip is a vitally important step forward in unifying the two previous sections of the club — juniors playing under the Mount Maunganui banner and the senior teams under Tauranga City.

Tauranga City had played in a dark blue shirt for decades with the juniors running around in Mount Maunganui's green shirts. Now a new sky blue playing shirt will be rolled out across all teams at the club this season.

McHugh says the kids will be able to come along to games and associate the senior team with the junior teams in one colour, which is really important.


"There is a history of royal blue from the Tauranga City days and there are members who will be upset by a colour change. But we also have the Mount juniors and the bulk of the membership is junior membership. They have played in the bottle green so to try and mix the two colours together is a fairly impossible task.

"Last year both clubs agreed to merge at their AGMs to become one club. It wasn't like it was a major change as we shared the ground together and were under the same roof. It is more about combining constitutions and going through the merger process."

McHugh says they were hoping to have a chance to give members a look at the new shirt before the men's team ran out wearing them in the Northern League Division 1 opening game on Saturday.

But it was not possible so the new look came as a bit of a shock to some.

"There were a few comments about change. We wanted to give them a heads up about what was going on but we didn't have that as it all happened pretty quickly," McHugh said.

"In the last two weeks we signed up with a company called Ultra Football that Ben Sigmund is part of and they have Nike kit. So our club will slowly go about changing all the teams over to the new gear.

"Part of that shift and change is to say we are a new club with the history of Tauranga City and Mount Maunganui juniors. We have to pay respect to that but also look at it as a fresh new club Tauranga City AFC."

McHugh is also excited about the opportunity for two young members of the club to win a once in a lifetime trip to the Fifa World Cup in Russia later this year.


"Tauranga City United Football Club have been assigned a role as being an ambassador for New Zealand Football at the World Cup. We will be able to send two children aged 12 with their parents or guardian.

"We are going to roll that out to members. There will be a selection process. One kid will be a forward in a five aside tournament team from New Zealand and the other is a young kid who is interested in sport journalism who gets to go along and get to experience the Fifa media."