Retro Corner – Dethroning the Kingz


Our picture this week takes us all the way back to October 2001 when the NSL was still in full swing and enough sniggering teens had bought copies of Afroman’s ‘Because I Got High’ to send it to number one in the singles chart.

Afroman was also flavour of the month in New Zealand, but the same could not be said of the Auckland Football Kingz where new Head Coach Mike Petersen was  enduring a baptism of fire.

The Kiwi side were still reeling from a 5-3 shellacking at the hands of Marconi Stallions when Glory rolled into Ericsson Stadium for a Round 4 clash that was to turn into another goal-fest.

Having started the season with three consecutive wins, confidence was sky high among Mich D’Avray’s men and they simply blew their struggling hosts away.

Damian Mori helped himself to a first-half hat-trick after opening the scoring in the sixth minute and with a scoreline of 4-1 to the visitors, the game was all but over as a contest at half time.

But Bobby Despotovski wasn’t content to let his strike partner claim all the plaudits and he added a further two goal in the second half, with Brad Maloney also helping himself to a brace as Glory cruised to a thumping 7-2 victory.

The result provided an accurate gauge of how the rest of the season would ultimately pan out for both sides, with Glory being crowned minor premiers before losing in the Grand Final and the Kingz securing only three wins en route to claiming the wooden spoon.

Sadly, two years later, the Kingz were gone altogether.

By 2005, however, they had effectively been relaunched as the New Zealand Knights who flew the flag for NZ football in the newly-formed Hyundai A-League.

And the Knights would, in turn, make way for the Wellington Phoenix that we know today and will get a close-up view of at nib Stadium on Saturday evening.

So having finally managed to connect this column, admittedly a little tenuously, back to the here and now, how about another of the traditional Retro Corner comps?

If you can name all the Glory players in this picture, we’ll dig out another random shot of a player of your choice from the Getty archives.

So join the conversation via Twitter or our Facebook page.