Established in 1964, Richmond Athletic AFC was the result of 2 local Nelson clubs merging and becoming one. The two clubs were around since about 1948, but made the decision to join based on player availability in the region at the time. Since 1964, the home ground of Richmond Athletic has been Jubilee Park.
Richmond Athletic AFC has enjoyed many successful seasons over the years and in 2006 won the local Nelson 1st Division and entered the play-offs for promotion to the Mainland Premier League (MPL), beating both Burnside FC and Avon United on aggregate. We only lasted two years before being relegated from the MPL following an aggregate loss to Christchurch United in the play-offs. However, we again earned the right to a promotion play-off in 2010, but lost on aggregate after a 4 – 2 first leg home win and an away loss of 3 – 0 against Coastal Spirit FC.
The 1st Division team then won the local Nelson league for the next 2 years, however the club declined the opportunity for another play-off because the financial cost to compete in the Christchurch based league is extremely high, and therefore shifted their desire and focus more on local youth and junior development.
The club has reached the 4th round of the Chatham Cup twice in its history – in 1979, and again in 2011 after knocking out Nelson Suburbs 2 – 1. We then lost 5 – 3 to Coastal Spirit FC.
Our teams across all grades constantly finish in strong positions each year and we annually celebrate many players being selected for Nelson Bays Football representative teams and Federation Talent Centres. Most recently in 2014, we had 7 youth aged players selected in the Nelson Marlborough Falcons National Youth League squad, who then went onto win the title.
Club History: In 2014 we celebrated our clubs 50th anniversary with lots of activities and events, and finished with a huge dinner with over 150 people. We started with one ground, a couple of senior teams, a few juniors, and a little wooden shed that acted as the clubrooms, changing rooms, toilets and showers. 50 years on, we have our own clubrooms, 4 grounds at Jubilee Park, two at Ben Cooper Park and 5 at The Avery Park. In 2014 we registered around 40 1st Kickers (midget players), and 21 junior, 4 youth, 2 women and 5 men’s teams – giving us nearly 400 players in total.
At the 50th Anniversary Dinner, Stu Reid (club president 2006 - 2015) wrote a poem he'd written, designed specifically for the people who were there, but that also captured a lot of the clubs history. Click below to read it yourself.
Our Members: Each year our season is filled with ups and downs, wins and losses, and happy and sometimes sad times. But one thing remains constant throughout it all – the people we have involved. We are successful in more than one way – and regardless of results, achievements, or levels of football our players reach, we remain focused on being a family friendly club and provide an environment where all levels of players can enjoy themselves playing football.
Sponsorship: Being such a large club we do rely on the generosity and support of local businesses and individuals, and without them we would struggle to keep the club going as successfully as we do. As a sports club, we can’t guarantee or promise our sponsors more customers or great commercial return, but what we do offer is the sense of support, being part of the community, and of helping kids to have sports gear. We have a comprehensive Sponsorship Package available for those interested.
Vision Statement: Our clubs vision is “To create a competitive club with strong family values that encourages the community to engage with the sport for life”. We pride ourselves on developing kids that have a love of the sport and a desire to succeed both on and off the playing field.
Ambassadors of Football: We are honoured and privileged to have Jeremy Brockie acting as our boys Ambassador of Football. Jeremy is a current All White and recently signed a 3 year deal with Super Sport FC in South Africa. Jeremy finished his first season with Super Sport scoring 10 goals. Jeremy grew up in the Nelson region and played his junior football for Richmond Athletic AFC.
We are also very lucky to have Emily Jensen acting as our girls Ambassador of Football. Emily left Nelson in 2014, and after a year in Auckland received a scholarship to Santa Clara University in California. Emily is currently part of the New Zealand U20 Women's Football team.
Governing Bodies: FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) is the international governing body for football and has delegated its sporting powers in New Zealand to New Zealand Football (NZF). NZF is one of 209 associations around the world currently affiliated to FIFA, and as a representative, must at all times respect the statues, aims and ideals of football’s governing body and promote and manage the sport accordingly.