Football came back to the Bay as Napier City Rovers opened its doors once again with players back on the field and supporters back in the clubrooms.

The club hosted three preseason games on Saturday with Thirsty Whale NCR taking on Napier Marist Feds at Bluewater Stadium, while the Duke of Gloucester prems faced Marist prems, and Thirsty Whale Prem Reserves played Paddy's Irish Bar Divison 2.

It was a typical pre-season knckabout, so the scores weren't important, though it's worth noting there were 12 goals scored in the NCR match, by NCR.

"It was fantastic to see all the players back on the park and the supporters back in the stands and on the touchline on Saturday," Napier City Rovers AFC Chairman Phil Doran said.


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"It was also great to see our supporters and other members of the local football community back in the Napier City Rovers clubrooms.

"Even having to restrict the numbers to 100, it was a hive of activity, buzzing with laughter and optimism again."

Doran said all clubs were keen to get money and fans back into their respective clubs.

"Obviously, like other clubs, the situation has had a financial impact, there is no denying that, so getting people back into the stadium and in the clubrooms will obviously help us get back to business as usual," he said.

Thirsty Whale Napier City Rovers Coach Bill Roberston, left, and Assistant Coach Stu James watch on as their team gets back on the field. Photo / Ian Cooper
Thirsty Whale Napier City Rovers Coach Bill Roberston, left, and Assistant Coach Stu James watch on as their team gets back on the field. Photo / Ian Cooper

"We can now turn our attention to the juniors, and make sure our youngsters can get on the football pitch and back to playing the game."

Thirsty Whale Napier City Rovers Head Coach Bill Robertson said it was great to finally get players back on the park again with the team only previously able to do small group trainings.

"Nothing beats a full eleven versus eleven game and it helped to get some of the rust off ahead of the season but all and all it was a good outing and good way to kick things off."


The season proper is scheduled to start June 13.

Football isn't the only sport getting up and running with hockey training having started and competition set to start in a matter of weeks.

Club Competition starts 20 June with a 15 week competition and Secondary Schools Division 3&4 starts on 22 June and Division 1&2 starts on 24/25 June, all being 10-12 week competitions.

Intermediate Schools Division 1&2 starts 21 July and Division 3 and 7s starts on 24 July with a 10 week competition and Primary Schools from Year 3-6 with start on 25 July, with a 10 week competition.

Unfortunately Hawke's Bay Hockey said that they will not be running Funsticks, a Year 1-2 hockey programme, until it summer series from October to November.

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