Wyndham Town Football Club president Carl Lambert is over the moon the club has been given the green light from Southland Football to branch off on its own.
The club, which formed last year, associated with Queens Park Football Club, of Invercargill, to establish its first team for the season.
“I was coaching with Queens Park at the time and the thought of creating a football club in Wyndham had been in my mind for a while, but I wanted to make sure it was sustainable if I was to start something up,” Lambert said.
“Queens Park was happy for me to create a team under them, so we’ve been Queens Park Wyndham Town for the past two seasons.”
The club, which at present had only a female team, had attracted 17 players in its first season and 36 this season.
When Lambert realised the club had developed significantly, he applied to Southland Football for it to become stand-alone.
“The reality is, without Queens Park and Southland Football we wouldn’t have been able to do this. They’ve been a huge help and a big support for us,” he said.
“We still need to go through all their processes, hold our annual general meeting, have 20 registered players, but I’m really happy.”
Southland Football manager Ignacio Sande said he was happy to see football growing and developing in the Wyndham region through the club.
In the club’s first season, the team won division 1 and the Knockout Plate, and it made it to the senior women’s knockout final this year.
Lambert started with a female team because he recognised there were strong female players in the region.
“I’ve been coaching girls for a while through Menzies College and other clubs around the area and girls are like sponges: they listen to everything you say, they ask questions, they really want to learn and spend time developing themselves.”
After player development, Wyndham Town and Thistle Football Club, of Invercargill, had created a seven-a-side development league in which Wyndham Town had been able to field two teams.
The Wyndham community had embraced the new club with open arms.
“The community has been fantastic. So many people wrote in letters of support when we were applying to be our own club and supported us,” Lambert said.
“The Three Rivers Hotel has even let us use their establishment as a clubroom and given us some space on the wall to put photos, which is pretty great.”
The club had a family environment and Lambert looked forward to what the future held.
“We really want to support them. If the girls wanted to put teams into masters tournaments under our name, we’d support it, or go away for different club tournaments – we’d be right behind it.”
Lambert said the club would look at having a men’s football team next year.