After months of hard work in the background from both Ellerslie AFC and Auckland Stadiums, Ellerslie AFC can officially announce a partnership between the two parties to deliver a gold standard tournament experience at a world-class venue.

Auckland Stadiums will be hosting the U11 National Football Tournament at Mt Smart Stadium, a renowned sporting venue with a rich history in football. Mt Smart Stadium hosted the All Whites’ World Cup qualifying campaign for the 1981 FIFA World Cup and is home to Oceania Football Confederation and Auckland Football Federation.

James Parkinson, Director Auckland Stadiums, said “Mt Smart Stadium is an important hub for community sport and the Auckland Stadiums team is looking forward to working alongside Ellerslie Football to create a memorable event experience for the players, parents and patrons”.

Ellerslie’s Director of Football Fred de Jong who used to play at Mt Smart Stadium as a striker for the Football Kingz and Ellerslie’s Director of Coaching Ryan Shiffman came to check out the venue and to confirm the partnership with Auckland Stadiums this week. The team were impressed with the facilities and were visibly excited about running this tournament for the best U11 football players in New Zealand.

2020 will be the second annual U11 Nationals Tournament, the tournament was initially scheduled earlier this year in September but was delayed until 2021 due to the pandemic. Ellerslie Football are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Auckland Stadiums and bring the U11 Nationals Tournament back to 2020. This will give the 2020 U11’s age group a chance to compete in what Ellerslie AFC see as a tournament with massive potential in the future.

Ellerslie AFC Chairman Tim Adams had this to say about the new partnership “I’m really excited for this 2020 U11’s Tournament, for the players they get to experience a stadium atmosphere and for the parents/spectators a great venue to watch and support the teams. Auckland Stadiums have been super supportive in getting this U11’s tournament off the ground, in what will be an unprecedented event at this age group. We look forward to running this event with them and hopefully a few more events in the future”.