What is the Hillcrest United Football Club?

The Hillcrest United Football Club (HUFC) is a football club based in the south-eastern Hamilton suburb of Hillcrest. HUFC’s focus is on developing football in children between the ages of four years (Grade 5) and 14 years (Grade 14), i.e. Primary and Intermediate school years, and has more recently been involved in the First Kicks programme which allows younger players (kindergarten–age) to participate. HUFC works to foster a supportive and inclusive environment within which children can enjoy physical activity in a team situation while developing their football-playing abilities.

Where is HUFC?

Hillcrest United Football Club (HUFC) is based in Hillcrest, a suburb in the south-east of Hamilton, New Zealand. HUFC plays all home games at Jansen Park, an 11 hectare cricket/football venue that can be accessed off Morris Road, Morrinsville Road, and Regent Street. Managed by Hamilton City Council, Jansen Park provides an excellent surface for our fields. Jansen Park has off-street parking, accessed off Morris Road. Jansen Park also has a children’s play area with a slide, some swings, and a seesaw (teeter-totter). Adjacent to the parking area are public toilets, with disabled access, which are open 7 days (7.30am to half-an-hour after sunset). 
HUFC does not have a club-room. (If necessary HUFC will book the Hamilton City Council pavilion located at Jansen Park.) Any large meetings convened by HUFC are usually held at Hillcrest Normal School.

Who runs HUFC?

Hillcrest United Football Club is run entirely by volunteers. Parents and care-givers and guardians of players volunteer to complete the various administrative and practical tasks involved in getting teams onto Waikato football fields each weekend. In addition to the tremendous ‘informal’ work done by adults associated with HUFC players – in refereeing, coaching, providing transport, washing shirts, supporting teams, etc. – there is a management committee of between 8 and 12 people. 
The HUFC Committee is comprised of volunteers nominated at the Annual General Meeting. During the football season the HUFC Committee meets once a month. The Committee makes decisions on matters relating to the operation of HUFC. Topics discussed at Committee meetings may include in-coming and out-going correspondence, equipment purchases, uniform replacement, fundraising, grievances (relating to teams, players, coaches, supporters, etc.). Parent participation in the running of HUFC is very much encouraged. Not only are there a lot of tasks to be undertaken but parental participation adds to the feeling of ownership and ‘belonging’ everyone has of the club. The two key areas in which HUFC extends beyond immediate voluntary support is in the annual auditing of HUFC accounts, and the use of the skills and resources of the full-time coaches employed by the Waikato Bay of Plenty Football Federation.

What is HUFC philosophy on junior football?

HUFC fosters a supportive and inclusive environment within which children can enjoy physical activity in a team situation while developing their football-playing abilities. While there is an emphasis on fun and participation HUFC does not ignore player development. As such, HUFC actively encourages parents to attend coaching courses offered by the local football federation, Waikato Bay of Plenty Football. HUFC also encourages players to put themselves forward for programmes organised by Waikato Bay of Plenty Football – Skill Centres, Representative Programmes, etc.

How many members does HUFC have?

In 2018 HUFC had approximately 190 players. The youngest players compete in First Kicks and the oldest players are in the 14th Grade. These players, across all ages, are either playing in the First Kicks programme or in our 20 teams in Waikato Junior Football Association competitions.

What age children does the club cater for?

Children of any age, up to 14 can play for the club, from Kindergarten (First Kicks) through to Primary and Intermediate school ages. Players are spread across ten grades (5 through 14). The age of the child will determine the Grade in which they play.

What are annual HUFC membership fees?

See fees page.

How can I register to play for HUFC?

Registration is done online via MyCOMET. See the link on our registration page.

What are my HUFC membership fees used for?

In order to represent HUFC each player must pay a subscription fee. Each year fees for the following year are set at the club’s Annual General Meeting. The HUFC Committee decides how these fees will be used. In any given season the bulk of the funds received through player subscription are used to pay for: fees to enter competitions organised by the WaiBOP Football Association; Hamilton City Council’s annual charge for the use of Jansen Park (for both training sessions and match days); equipment (training balls, match balls, bibs, shirts, cones, agility poles, kit bags, goalkeeping gloves); web hosting;  coaching and refereeing courses for interested parents.

What uniform does HUFC provide?

HUFC provides team shirts and shorts. Parents/players need to provide black socks, shin-pads, and boots. Players MUST HAVE shin-pads and boots for all practices and games. For First Kicks, only shirts are provided. First Kicks players also need to provide black shorts.

How do I join HUFC?

All players must register on-line via MyCOMET, and pay season fees by online banking. See the Register/Fees page.

Is there a muster?

In 2019 we are trialling a new muster/grading system.

We are running 3 training/grading sessions for players 11th grade and above. These will be held Sundays 3, 10, 17 March, 5.30-7.30pm at the University of Waikato football fields. Ideally players will attend all sessions if they can. After these sessions, players will be graded into teams.

Players 10th grade and below will not be graded this year, but will be placed into teams loosely based around last years teams.

A general meet and greet will also be held at 5.30pm 17 March at the University fields for any other players who would like to come and meet members of the HUFC Committee, ask questions about the club, and get to know fellow players

What happens after I have registered or enrolled?

Once enrolments have closed players are sorted into age-based Grades (see below). Players in Grades 11 and above are graded. See above.

Players in First Kicks and 7th – 10th grades will not be graded this year.

Teams are expected to be released at the end of March. Each team will need parents to volunteer to coach and manage the team. Team Coaches will then decide the training time for the team.

Team details will be posted on the HUFC website on the Teams page. Players will be notified by email as to which team they are in.

In what Grade will I play?

The qualifying birth date for each grade is the 1st of January. Birth-years and associated Grades in 2019 are:

Date of Birth

2015 and younger – First Kicks
5th Grade – 2014 (First Kicks)
6th Grade – 2013 (First Kicks)
7th Grade – 2012
8th Grade – 2011
U8 Girls – 2011/2012
9th Grade – 2010
10th Grade – 2009
U10 Girls – 2009/2010
11th Grade – 2008
12th Grade – 2007
U12 Girls – 2007/2008
13th Grade – 2006
14th Grade – 2005
U14 Girls – 2005/2006

When is the Football season?

Junior Football in New Zealand is a winter sport. The Junior Football season in the Waikato runs from May through to September with breaks for School Holidays. Teams play (approximately) 15 Championship Games in a season.

Players in Grades 8 through to Open grade may play games in the annual Knockout Competition. It is up to the team if they wish to be entered in this competition. There is no charge for this competition.

Players in Grades 7 – 14 may wish to play in the end of-season 5-a-side Tournament at Jansen Park. There is a small charge for this tournament which the team has to meet.

See the Calendar for the schedule of game dates. See the Competitions section below for information on the structure of Waikato Football competitions.

When does the 2019 season start?

The first game of the 2019 season is scheduled for 4 May. For most teams the season will end with the annual 5-a-side competition scheduled to be held mid September. Visit the Calendar for details on game days.

Do I play in the school holidays or public holidays?

Games are normally scheduled for the first weekend of the school holidays. There is no game Queen’s Birthday Weekend. Visit the Calendar for details on game days.

Can I play with my friends?

When you register online there is a comments section where you can indicate the names of any friends with whom you would like to play. This applies mainly to players grade 10 and below, as teams 11th grade and up are graded. While HUFC will make every effort to take this into account there may be circumstances that do not allow friends to play together; for example, a team or Grade may already be full or your friend may be in a different grade.

Who will be my coach?

Your coach is normally a parent. HUFC is a voluntary organisation that relies on parents taking an active part in the life of the club. Coaches often have children in the team they look after. This means a Coach may move through the Grades with their child. HUFC encourages all coaches, whether new or experienced, to take advantage of the coaching courses offered by Waikato Bay of Plenty Football. The Club will pay the fees associated with these courses.

When is team training?

During the football season most teams will meet once a week for training. The day and time of training for individual teams is negotiated between the Team Coach and the parents/care-givers/guardians of players. (As Team Coaches are often giving up work time to run practice sessions it is these volunteers who tend to determine practice times.) 
Most teams train mid-week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) between 3.30 pm and 6.00 pm. First Kicks players plus teams in Grade 7 will often train for 45 minutes per week while teams in higher grades will generally train for a minimum of 60 minutes per week. Some teams may agree to train twice weekly. Jansen Park does not have lights so night-time practice sessions are not an option.

What competitions will my team play in?

All HUFC teams play in Waikato Football organised competitions. Waikato Football operates three competitions each year: the Championship rounds, the Knockout competition and the 5-a-Side.

The Championship is divided into three ‘rounds’ – the first round is the Grading Round, a series of three to four games in which teams are ranked according to their performances (results) against other teams from their Grade. The second round, the Preliminary Round, refines the initial grading process through five games against teams of similar ability. Following this the teams are re-graded and placed in the Championship Round. This is the third and final round where teams are in groups of four and play a series of home and away games.
 These teams are usually at a very similar football level.

The Knockout Competition is for teams from 8th Grade and above. Entry to the Knockout is voluntary. Pairing teams from the same Grade – but not necessarily the same Division within each Grade – the Knockout competition operates on a simple win-loss formula. If a team wins then it progresses to the next round of the competition. If a team loses then it has no further games in the Knockout competition. The two unbeaten teams in each Grade meet in a Knockout final. 
The Knockout competition is played on Saturday afternoon in the latter part of the season. Teams play their usual football game in the morning and then has their knockout game scheduled for the afternoon.

The 5-a-Side Tournament is held in September of each year at Jansen Park. The tournament is held over two days, with half the grades playing on the Saturday, the other half on the SUnday. See the Calendar for 5-a-side dates and grades.

What are the rules of junior soccer in New Zealand?

All members of the HUFC play by the football rules set by NZ Football, in conjunction with FIFA. See the Rules page for more details.

Where will my games be played?

The home ground for HUFC is Jansen Park. Regardless of the Grade in which you play, you will be required to play teams from other parts of Hamilton and from the wider Waikato Region. Thus, in addition to playing other Hamilton teams (such as Hamilton North, Hukanui-Rototuna, Glenview, Western United) you may have to travel to games in such places as Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Ngaruawahia, Pirongia, Matamata, and Raglan. Maps of grounds identified by Waikato Football as being used for junior Football in the Waikato can be accesses via the fields page.

How do I know where I will be playing?

The draw for the grading round games is normally emailed to HUFC on a Tuesday. This information is can be found via the links on our Fixtures/Results page.

How do I find out if my game is cancelled?

While it is extremely rare for Waikato junior football to be cancelled, notification of cancellations can be found on the Waibop web-site from 7:00 am on Saturday. If you have any doubts about whether you are playing on a Saturday it is best to check the Waikato Football web-site and/or contact your Team Coach or Team Manager. If games are cancelled prior to Saturday morning, Team Coaches and Team Managers will make every effort to inform players in their team. (Adequate timing may also mean notice of cancellations are posted on the HUFC web-site.) During extreme weather conditions it would pay to check your email on Friday evening and perhaps have a look at the Waibop web-site.

What should I do if I can’t play?

Let your Team Manager and/or Team Coach know you are unable to play. If you know you are going to be away on a given date (or dates) – such as when you are on a pre-planned holiday– please let your Team Manager and/or Team Coach know as soon as possible.

What happens at the end of the season?

You should return any HUFC clothing or equipment you may have (shirt, shorts, goalie gloves, etc) to your Team Manager or Team Coach after your last game. 
The date and venue of the end-of-season HUFC prize-giving is announced mid-way through the season. Keep an eye on the HUFC web-page for prize-giving information.

Who can I contact to see if the grounds are open?

Only in very extreme circumstances will grounds be closed. To check if fields are open for training or games phone your Team Coach or Team Manager. If the Hamilton City Council close the fields during the week a committee member will let the schools know and all coaches and managers. They will then contact you. If you are unsure and go down to the fields please stay with your child until the coach arrives.

I’ve registered (enrolled) but have decided not to play. What do I do?

If you’ve already received notification that you are in a team, you need to let the Team Coach and/or Team Manager of your team know immediately that you will not be playing. You also need to inform the HUFC secretary of your withdrawal.

If I withdraw do I get a refund on my registration fees?

Enrolled players that withdraw before the start of the football season will receive a refund less a $20 administration fee. For withdrawals after the start of the season, a partial refund may be payable at the discretion of the club. Withdrawals are to be advised to the HUFC Secretary and any refund payment will be by cheque. Please note that it may take one to two months for any refund to be processed and posted.

How is HUFC funded?

The bulk of HUFC funds come from enrolment fees. Additional income is generated through grants from charitable organisations and fundraising.

How can I help?

HUFC relies on parental involvement in the running of the club, whether it be as President, Treasurer, Team Coach or an occasional referee on game days. If you want to talk about how you can help please contact a member of the HUFC committee.

What do I do if I still have unanswered questions?

Contact a member of the HUFC committee.