BBAFC started in April 1976 when 4 people attended a meeting at St Johns Church; between them they had 5 boys wanting to play!! By 1977 a composite team of 12 players were playing in unofficial games organised with other clubs, by their coach Bill McNeill. There were no fees and the parents purchased the balls.
In 1978 they were still playing friendly matches while wearing the official club uniform of brown shirts, white shorts and brown socks, obviously chosen to hide the dirt! By 1979 there were 5 teams and the club fee was $4.00 per player. In 1981 the club changed to the present coloured uniform and had 11 teams, the club fee was a whopping $9.00 for midgets and $ 14.00 for Juniors. This was the year the All Whites began their campaign for the World Cup eventually qualifying and in the process making soccer more popular than ever.
Bucklands Beach AFC's inaugral team 1977
In 1982 the club had so many people wanting to be officers on the committee that they had to have nominations and voting!!! (Tell that to the lone 3 committee members the club had in 1999!! ) There were 169 members, not enough coaches and the “8 O’clock” newspaper wouldn’t print the results of games!. On the bright side there were 35 Social members playing on Sundays and a fundraiser made $1,146.00 by selling 540 packets of jubes, 240 packets of Licorice Allsorts and 1000 packets of Pineapple Lumps!!! This money was for the new clubrooms. The only problem was getting grounds to put them on. Many discussions with council etc took place with Pigeon Mountain, Lloyd Elsmore (joining with Cricket Club was suggested) and William Green Domain (now the Fencibles grounds) all being considered. By 1984 Rogers Park was chosen and the plans for clubrooms were completed and approved. Unfortunately local residents objected to the plan as they thought it was going to be a “booze barn”. 1984 was also the year the club had it’s first player sent off. An application to National Mutual for a mortgage was turned down but they would still be a sponsor(!!??) After many delays and endless problems Stage 1 of the clubrooms were started in January 1986. But wait, there’s more!!! Because of problems with the council and leases, construction was stopped and didn’t restart until 13th October. Stage 1 was still not finished at the end of December!! The only good news was that the club had money invested at Wespac for 21%!!
In 1987 the local residents were still trying to stop the clubrooms from being built. The March minutes reported that the builder was given strict instructions not to talk to them to “ eliminate rumor and false information”.
1988 season began with 48 Midgets(only 2 girls!), 71 juniors, 1 senior team and 1 over 30’s team. A decision was made to allow the over 30’s back to Rogers Park after they were banned the previous year for “bad behaviour”!! Stage 2 of the clubrooms was started at last and were finished the same year.
Additionally there was further growth of the club under the leadership of Carey Heywood, a real stalwart of the club who unfortunately passed away prematurely after leaving a great legacy of growth, organisation and family values. Carey was chief instigator of the annual competition trip to the Taupo Tournament; a new club strip; and what has become the annual club quiz night. Major events of this period also included the rebuilding of the clubrooms after it was gutted by fire and the installation of floodlights at Rodgers Park. Carey also designed the current club logo for all the strip. The chairmanship was then grasped by Charles Ferguson who introduced a head of coaching - Joe Hunn; an annual coaches day BBQ and ran the annual quiz night for fundraising, very successfully. Charles also re-introduced senior football as well as personally upholding and putting into place standards for the club and its members to abide by. As at season 2008 the club had won its first metro league, had 4 players representing New Zealand at various levels, record levels of league winners - up to 22% in 2007, 650+ players and 1200 members.
Carey Heywood (President) presenting Paul MacKenzie (Life Member) with Youth Coach of the Year 2003. In the background is John Burwood (Burwood Memorial Cup)
Lastly it would be a shame not to mention the fact that for two decades the longest serving member and still coaching today is Larry Banks. A guy of great heart and humour, without whose efforts to make football at BBAFC a fun and enjoyable experience for our youth, the club would not be where it is today. As at 2017 Larry still coached the top 10th grade boys team.
2015 saw the retirement of stalwart Joe Hunn from the Director of Football role. Munith Naidu was appointed to the role in late 2015. Munith played for BBAFC in his youth years, then coaching took him to different clubs in Auckland as well as a stint in Australia. Munith wasted no time in creating a coaching programme never before seen at BBAFC. BBAFC became the first club in NZ to be recognised as an official NZF Skill Centre. 2016 saw the introduction of the Summer Academy, designed to keep the top players training at the club over the off season. The traditional holiday programmes also stepped up a gear with "Fun Football" programmes for the juniors and the more serious Academy Programme for the top players. Paid coaches came on board to deliver these programmes as well as to coach the top teams. Gemma Lewis joined the coaching staff in 2016 to run coaching programmes for the elite girls and to also coach the 16th grade Premier team. Gemma came to BBAFC by way of the Wales national team and also stints for the Chelsea women’s team. Today (2022) she is coaching the A-League Women's Team, Wellington Phoenix.
A significant moment came in 2017 when BBAFC signed a lease agreement with Howick Pakuranga Cricket Club to use their clubrooms for six months of the year. We now had four full size pitches at Lloyd Elsmore Park as well as a number of fields for the juniors. Rogers Park is still the spiritual home and the magnificent turf there is used for the top youth teams. The use of the clubrooms led to the creation of the social side of the football season, somewhere to come back after the game for a cold beer and to recreate the goal that was now scored from 80m out on the fly.
As at 2017 the player numbers are at 1130 with over 2500 members. Growth has been phenomenal over the last few years with a 10% increase from 2016 to 2017. To service the club players we have four playing fields at LEP, three quarter pitches at William Green Domain (turf), training fields at Howick Domain and Elm Park. The club has a strong connection with Macleans and Pakuranga College. The First Team coach Murray Saunders taught at Macleans and coached the first XI. Munith Naidu ran the Macleans College Academy and created ties with the top players. The Men's First game made club history by winning the AFF Conference league and being promoted to NRFL Division Two. Merv Hotter stood down as President after five years at the helm and 10 years of service in various roles as convenor, gear man. Andy Pullar took over as President for the 2018 season.
2018 saw more history created for BBAFC. As if promotion in the previous year wasn't enough, the Men's First team gained promotion to NRFL Division One. First time in the club's history we have reached these lofty heights (nearly needed oxygen for the altitude). That was two promotions in two years, an outstanding achievement by any standards.
Sadly we farewelled our Mens First team coaches of Murray (retiring to coach his 7th grade son's team), Ben (moving over the ditch), and Scott (injured and contemplating retirement). The sad news was quickly replaced by excitement within the club ranks as Rudy Mozr was appointed to take the team for 2019. Czech born, Rudy came to us via a stint as assistant coach at Onehunga Sports and various playing stints in Auckland including Eastern Suburbs.
2018 prizegiving saw Life Memberships awarded to stalwarts and legends Paul MacKenzie (Manager of the Mens First Team) and David Parker (promoter of Womens football).
Exciting things happened on the coaching front in 2018. Sander Waterland was appointed the Director of Football in November 2018. He immediately set about building a team of highly qualified and experienced coaches to take the Yellow (top) teams of each grade. We farewelled Munith Naidu, our outgoing Director of Football, who after three years at the helm had achieved what he could.
2019 saw our Women's First team win AFF Div 1 gaining promotion to AFF/NFF Conference for 2020. The team was coached by Charlie Hunn, son of previous DOF Joe Hunn. In 2019 the club sent both a men's and women's team to the Napier U19 Nationals. The Women won the Plate competition and the Men won the Satellite Competition and gained promotion into the Main Draw for 2020.
2020 and 2021 were hard years, with little football due to the effects Covid-19 had on the world. But we still managed to achieve highly across our junior and youth teams, under the watchful eye of our DoF Sander Waterland. Unfortunately the same could not be said for our Mens First Team, they suffered a tough year in 2021 and had to take being relegated back to NRFL Div2.
Onwards and upwards for 2023, with the appointment of Neil Finnigan and Warwick McCarthy as Coaching Staff, to strive for promotion to again be in NRFL Div1. Riyahd Eckstein was appointed to lead and develop the Women's First Team.