Whichever team lifts the Kate Sheppard Cup on Sunday, they will write a new chapter in the history of their clubs.
For Wellington United, a club that forged its football roots in 1893, a victory at Auckland’s North Harbour Stadium will bring the cup to the capital for the first time since its inception in 1994.
For Hamilton Wanderers, the trophy would deliver the club’s first national football title in its 58-year history. If Wanderers win, they’ll join Waikato Unicol (1995) and Claudelands Rovers (2010) as the only Waikato clubs to do so.
Isn’t that what cup football is all about? A chance to set new marks, enjoy a day of glory and create footballing stories for generations to come?
Of course. And the NZ Football Foundation-sponsored cup provides plenty of scope for that.
Time till kick-off
A goalscoring record at stake … and the return of a cup winner
Wanderers striker Helen Arjomandi, for instance, has the chance to equal (or better) the all-time record for goals scored in New Zealand’s premier knockout competition for women.
She’s on 36 goals, one behind the record of 37 set by Football Fern Katie Rood.
Arjomandi, now 32 and on the comeback trail after rethinking her retirement from the sport, will lead the frontline for a youthful Wanderers side, some of whom will play their last game for the side due to relocations for work and study.
For Wellington, defender Sophie Dijkstra will be looking for a rare cup double, having won the Kate Sheppard Cup in 2018 with Dunedin Technical.
Wellington United go into the game with an impressive semi-final win against cup-holders Eastern Suburbs who were restricted to only a few goalscoring chances in a tight game, won 1-0 by United’s Diamonds.
Sunday’s game is open to spectators and ground entry will be free.
Gates will open at North Harbour Stadium at 2pm for kick-off half an hour later. The final will be broadcast live by Sky Sports NEXT.
How they reached the final
Round 1: Bye
Round 2: Beat Bucklands Beach 9-1 (away)
Round 3: Beat Auckland United 4-1 (home)
Quarter-final: Beat Ellerslie 3-1 (home)
Semi-final: Beat Coastal Spirit 3-1 (away)
Round 1: Beat Kapiti Coast United 8-0 (home)
Round 2: Beat Waterside Karori 3-2 (home)
Round 3: Beat Marist Palmerston North 4-3 (away)
Quarter-final: Beat Wairarapa United 5-1 (home)
Semi-final: Beat Eastern Suburbs 1-0 (home)
All the Kate Sheppard Cup results
1994 Nomads United (Christchurch)
1995 Waikato Unicol (Hamilton)
1996 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
1997 Three Kings United (Auckland)
1998 Three Kings United (Auckland)
1999 Three Kings United (Auckland)
2000 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2001 Ellerslie (Auckland)
2002 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2003 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2004 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2005 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2006 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2007 Western Springs (Auckland)
2008 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2009 Lynn-Avon United (Auckland)
2010 Claudelands Rovers (Hamilton)
2011 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2012 Three Kings United (Auckland)
2013 Coastal Spirit (Christchurch)
2014 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2015 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2016 Forrest Hill Milford United (Auckland)
2017 Glenfield Rovers (Auckland)
2018 Dunedin Technical (Dunedin)
2019 Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
The Kate Sheppard Cup is supported by the NZ Football Foundation.