Bucklands Beach: We’ve Got a Job to do

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Imagine gaining promotion into the Lotto NRFL Men’s Division Two and then finding yourselves as promotion contenders again a year later – This is exactly how Bucklands Beach feel, making them that much more determined to make the fairy-tale story a reality.

Sitting second in the league, seven points behind league leaders, Takapuna, the East Auckland outfit is in for a tough set of matches, which could prove to shape the destiny of Bucklands’ season after an astonishing run so far.

Behind the successes of the team, head coach, Murray Saunders is keen for his side to kick on in the second round of fixtures and continue this good run of form as the side looks to be sniffing near the top by the end of the season.

“The club has created a plan to continue to develop pathways for our youth into senior football and we are glad this year that we are providing an opportunity for our young guys to play and taste some success in the Lotto NRFL Men’s Division Two” Saunders said.

“We want to keep tracking on as we have been all season, we want to focus on our performance, which involves scoring goals and defending well, if we continue to do that, I am sure we will have a good chance of promotion.”

“Plenty can happen with around eight or nine games to go, there’s plenty of teams scrapping around in the mid-table positions that are good teams and that has given us good games.”

“We’re taking each match as it comes, so whether we will be challenging for top spot alongside Takapuna, I don’t know, but we hope to be sniffing around near the top by the end of the season.”

Currently sitting well on-track to achieving the dream goal in the Lotto NRFL Men’s Division Two, a shift in focus is on the cards as Bucklands face a travelling trip to Northland this weekend.

Road trip this Saturday for the lads, Firsts and Reserves head upstate to take on Northland FC at Onerahi Airport 1 (Whangarei).Reserves k/o 12.30pmFirsts 3.00pm

Posted by Bucklands Beach Association Football Club on Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Pulling off a 0-0 draw against Takapuna two weeks ago, the NFF outfit is surely a threatening challenge when they welcome Bucklands to Onerahi Airport on Saturday.

“Northland gave us a really good game in the first round down in Auckland and we know really well from the past that they’re a good side, a few of us have been up there before and we know that they’re a real challenge up in Whangarei and I am absolutely sure they’ll be the same this time around” Saunders said.

“We won last time out, 3-0, but that’s something we had to really work hard for, they were without a number of experienced players, including their top goal scorer, Finn Diamond, so it’s going to be an interesting battle and we’re looking forward to it.”

Enjoying the spoils last weekend against Albany in a solid 3-0 victory, Bucklands Beach welcomed back goal-scoring forward, Dan Culpan, who returned from a five-week injury. His return benefited Bucklands, as his Hat-Trick earned the Saunders coached side the win.

Bucklands Beach’s Daniel Culpan is congratulated on scoring. Photo: David Joseph /

“Dan’s [Culpan] been great for us, he turned up at the start of the season unexpectedly, looking for a new challenge with his football and he’s popped up on the score sheet a few times” Saunders said.

“He’s a natural goal scorer and he can do things that a lot of other guys can’t in terms of his ability on the ball and he can attract defenders to him just with his strength and ability.”

“Having Dan in the squad has been fantastic, his eight goals he’s scored have been absolutely crucial for us, so it’s really fortunate that we have him and he’s really developing some good combinations with our other three-four attacking players, hopefully he can kick on with the form he’s in.”

The match is set to kick off at 3pm at Onerahi Airport.

Full Audio Interview with Murray Saunders:

Other Lotto NRFL Men’s Division Two Fixtures:

Albany United v Franklin United – Rosedale Park
Claudelands Rovers v Ngongotaha AFC – Galloway Park
Onehunga Mangere United v Te Atatu – Mangere Domain
Papakura City v Takapuna – McLennan Park
Metro FC v Cambridge FC – Phyllis Street Reserve

All matches are scheduled to kick off at 3pm.

Lotto NRFL Men’s Division Two League Table: