In 1972, a group of six football enthusiasts formed a semi-professional club in Redcliffs, Christchurch. That club was Ferrymead Bays. Its nickname, The Bays, was a result of the fact that the club is set amidst several bays.
Having been crowned the champions of the Mainland Premier League on four occasions, this club is undoubtedly one of the most successful football outfits in the city. In 2012 season, Ferrymead Bays took home four silverware pieces, including the English Cup, the Hurley Shield, and the Mainland Premier League.
In the 2013 season, the club lost the league title to Cashmere Technical, their local rivals, finishing third behind Nelson Suburbs. That year, however, Ferrymead Bays retained the English Cup after edging their opponents, Coastal Spirit, 2 goals to 1 in the final. The year marked the end of Mick Braithwaite’s tenure as the club’s main coach.
The Bays recruited Danny Halligan, a former player of the New Zealand national team, as their new coach in 2014. The club finished third in the league, as Cashmere Technical retained the title. The team has struggled under the new coach, winning only one trophy (English Cup) in 2014. However, the writing is on the wall that The Bays are still a real force in the Mainland Premier League.
Coastal Spirit FC
Coastal Spirit FC is a Christchurch-based football club that was founded in 2007, following a merger between Rangers AFC and New Brighton AFC. The club’s premier men’s team competes for the Mainland Premier Football League, while their female counterparts challenge for the Mainland Women’s Premier League silverware. Although Coastal Spirit FC are yet to win any silverware, it should not be forgotten that they are only a new kid on the block, and if the club’s ever-improving performance is anything to go by, then some silverware may be in the offing.