Wellington Olympic to face Christchurch United in season-opening Charity Cup

National champions Wellington Olympic will host Chatham Cup holders Christchurch United in a season-opening match for the resurrected Charity Cup.

The match, to be played at Wellington’s Martin Luckie Park on Sunday March 3, provides the first opportunity in 2024 for the clubs to take home a trophy.

The cup was last contested in February 2021 when Auckland City beat Team Wellington 3-1.

Despite being the holders, Auckland City are not eligible to defend the trophy as the Charity Cup is a pre-season fixture to pair the winners of the Men’s National League (Wellington Olympic) and the winners of the Chatham Cup (Christchurch United).

Auckland City won the trophy for the 2020-21 season, beating Tem Wellington 3-1 at Kiwitea Street. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

It’s the first since this version of the Charity Cup was introduced in 2011 that Auckland City have not been in the final.

Instead, spectators to the 2024 match will see Wellington Olympic’s new director of football, Paul Ifill, face Christchurch United, the club he left last season after winning the Southern League, Chatham Cup and the English Cup.

READ MORE: Paul Ifill takes Director of Football role with national champs Wellington Olympic >>>>

It’s also a chance to check out Olympic’s new-look squad which includes new signings, U-23 international Jesse Randall (back from Charleston Battery in the United States) and Jonty Roubos, who has crossed town from Miramar Rangers.

Olympic will be without without last season’s Golden Boot winner, Gianni Bouzoukis, and defender Jack Cawley, both of whom have moved to Australia.

The cup match will provide Olympic with high-level preparation for the two-legged OFC Champions League play-off against Auckland City, scheduled for Saturday March 9 and Saturday March 16.

READ MORE: Dates set for OFC Champions League tie between Olympic and Auckland City >>>>

For Christchurch United, new head coach Ryan Edwards will have his new squad on display after a number of summer changes.

READ MORE: Petone’s Ryan Edwards to replace Paul Ifill as Christchurch United head coach >>>>

The club’s main loss has been leading goalscorer Sam Philip (24), who found the net 29 times in last season’s Southern League. He’s been playing in pre-season for Northern League club Birkenhead United.

United have also lost experienced winger Dan MacLennan (32) who has returned to his former club, Melbourne’s Nunawading City, who play in the Victoria Premier League 2. He scored eight goals in United’s last Southern League campaign.


Game to be played on Sunday March 3, 2024

Wellington Olympic v Christchurch United
Martin Leckie Park, Wellington, 1pm

About the Charity Cup

Tickets for the match will be free but spectators are invited to make a charity donation at the gate.

As the host club, Wellington Olympic have chosen Heart Kids New Zealand as their nominated charity to receive the proceeds.

The Charity Cup has been previously known as the NZFA Challenge Trophy (1978-1987), and the ASB Charity Cup.

Past winners

NZFA Challenge Trophy

1978 Manurewa AFC 2-0 Christchurch United
1980 University-Mount Wellington 3-1 North Shore United
1981 University-Mount Wellington 2-0 Gisborne City
1982 Wellington United 1-1 (5-4 pens) Dunedin City
1983 University-Mount Wellington 1-0 North Shore United
1984 Manurewa AFC 2-1 University-Mount Wellington
1985 Gisborne City 1-0 Manurewa AFC
1986 Wellington United 2-0 Napier City Rovers
1987 North Shore United 3-0 University-Mount Wellington

Charity Cup

2011 Auckland City 3-2 Waitakere United
2012 Waitakere United 2-1 Auckland City
2013 Auckland City 4-1 Waitakere United
2014 Team Wellington 2-2 (4-3 pens) Auckland City
2015 Auckland City 3-0 Team Wellington
2016 Auckland City 3-1 Team Wellington
2017 Team Wellington 3-1 Auckland City
2018 Auckland City 4-3 Team Wellington
2019 Auckland City 2-0 Eastern Suburbs
2020 Auckland City 3-1 Team Wellington

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