Northern League football returns to Cambridge after a six-year absence this weekend. The Reds, who are current Waikato/Bay of Plenty champions, will host their first home game at John Kerkhof Park on Good Friday with Hamilton’s Claudelands Rovers.
The club will mark that game by inviting members of Cambridge’s ‘Class of ‘93’ squad to be special guests. That team went unbeaten through the Northern League 1993 season, a feat not since repeated by the club, and supporters want to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the achievement.
The 1993 side won 19 matches and drew 3 to win the Northern League’s second division, and now provides the inspiration for a new generation of footballers representing Cambridge.
Cambridge Football Club are trying to track down as many of the 1993 squad as possible, inviting them to a pre-match lunch on Easter Saturday and to cheer on the current team. The invitation is also extended to other players from the early 1990s era.
The 1993 side was named Waipa’s Sports Team of the Year, an award in common with Cambridge’s current team who won that title for 2017.
Winning promotion to the Northern League means Cambridge now plays in the fourth tier of competition, behind the ISPS Handa National Premiership, the Northern League Premier League and the league’s division one.
Only five years ago, Cambridge were playing two tiers lower, in the WaiBOP Federation League Two.
Cambridge’s squad retains most of last year’s title-winning team but has gained some new signings including Wayne Teague (from the UK), Bradley Rea (from Melville United), Jason Walker (from Rotorua United) and New Zealand U-18 futsal international goalkeeper Patrick Steele (from Matamata Swifts).
As part of their participation in the Northern League, Cambridge will also field a team in the reserves competition, giving players the chance to develop and progress to a higher level.