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Manawatu United (previously known as YoungHeart Manawatu) was a football club based in Palmerston North, New Zealand. It participated in the New Zealand Football Championship, and fielded a youth side in the National Youth League. Their home ground was Memorial Park.
|Full name||Manawatu United|
Palmerston North, New Zealand
|League||ASB Youth League|
In 2014, the team was renamed to Manawatu United.
Manawatu United was formed in 2004, under the name YoungHeart Manawatu, to compete in the New Zealand Football Championship (NZFC). Based in Palmerston North, they were the sole franchise in the region.
In the inaugural NZFC season (2004–2005), Manawatu United finished bottom of the league.
However, in 2005–2006 they finished runner-up to champions Auckland City FC at the end of the regular season. In the finals, United lost both their playoff matches and exited early.
The 2006–07 season saw Manawatu United finish second again at the conclusion of the regular season, this time behind Waitakere United. United lost their preliminary final to Auckland and missed out on a spot in the O-League as a result.
2007–08 was a somewhat disappointing campaign given the success of the previous two seasons. Manawatu United finished the regular season placed sixth on the table, well adrift of the playoffs.
A return to the playoffs came in the 2008/09 season, as United finished in third place in the condensed regular season. What followed was an emphatic two-goal victory in the first leg of a two-legged semi-final against Auckland City FC in Palmerston North. In the return leg Auckland used their home advantage equally as well to win 3–0, consigning Manawatu to a 4–3 defeat on aggregate and another missed grand final and O-League appearance. Auckland went on to win the final.
2009–10 was a frustrating season for the Manawatu United faithful as the side finished in sixth place but only two points away from a playoff spot. Perhaps the highlight of the season was an unexpected 4–1 victory over Auckland City at Kiwitea Street.
A bittersweet moment came during the 2010 off-season as standout young player Cory Chettleburgh signed a contract with professional Dutch club Sparta Rotterdam. This was a significant loss for the side as they looked to bounce back from a fairly disappointing campaign.
At the conclusion of the 2012–13 season the franchise didn't have their league license renewed and were replaced by a New Zealand Under 20 squad Wanderers Special Club for the 2013–14 season although they retained a team in the ASB Youth League.
Due to the ASB Youth League being reduced to only the 10 teams given licenses to the 2016–17 ASB Premiership, Manawatu United dissolved at the end of the 2015 ASB Youth League Season.
Memorial Park was the home ground of Manawatu United. They had played at this ground since the 2008–09 season, having previously played their home fixtures at Central Energy Trust Arena. Memorial Park has a capacity of approximately 8000 people.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Team Manager: Steve Green.
- Head Coach: Stu Jacobs.
- Assistant Coach: Andy Sawyer.
- Goalkeeper coach: Steve Green.
- Physiotherapist: Rodney Brooks-Mann.
- General Manager: Neil Perry
- Sponsorship & Marketing Manager:
Performance in OFC competitionsEdit
- Oceania Club Championship: (1 appearance)