After latest results in regional competitions, the 10 qualifying teams for this year’s men’s National League’s Championship have been confirmed.
Hamilton’s Melville United became the fourth and final qualifier from the Northern League after their 3-0 win against North Shore United at Gower Park.
Meanwhile, Christchurch United pulled off an unlikely Southern League title win.
Going into their final game against Mosgiel, United needed to win by eight goals or better to overhaul Cashmere Technical who had beaten Dunedin City Royals 5-4.
Christchurch United beat Mosgiel 10-0 to take the title.
Here are the match highlights:
United and Technical will represent the Southern League in the National League Championship.
Main photo: Napier City Rovers ready for the National League season. Source: NCR social media.
Northern League qualifiers
- Auckland City
- Birkenhead United
- Auckland United
- Melville United
Central League qualifiers
- Wellington Olympic
- Miramar Rangers
- Napier City Rovers
Southern League qualifiers
- Christchurch United
- Cashmere Technical
- Wellington Phoenix Reserves
How the National League’s Championship phase works
Since restructuring for the 2021 season, the top tier of domestic football provides a National League that comprises the 32 clubs playing in the Northern League, Central League and Southern League.
From those regional competitions, nine clubs qualify on their final league placings to join the Wellington Phoenix Reserves in what’s called the National League’s Championship phase.
Starting in October, each club will play all other nine teams.
After all nine rounds have been played, the top two teams will meet in the Grand Final.
The Phoenix reserves are ineligible to play in the Grand Final (between the two teams finishing top of the home and away competition).
For the Championship phase, each team can field a maximum of four foreign players as well as one player who has Oceania Football Confederation nationality.
Each team must also have at least two players aged 20 or under in their starting line-up.