In July 1995 the Canterbury Football Association circulated clubs in the Christchurch Area to prepare the “Team Canterbury” entry (including the formation of a limited liability company) for the Soccer New Zealand Summer National League.
Written confirmation was sought from clubs after verbal support had been given.
The initial members of this endeavour were Bill Cowen, Technical; Jeff Dermott, Halswell; Alan Smythe, Rangers; Brian Davies, CFA; Sue Griffin, CFA President; and myself as the then Secretary/Treasurer of the CFA.
Jeff Dermot and Bill Cowen were the driving force behind this venture being the dream of these men for Canterbury Soccer as a whole and not one individual Club.
During this period Sue Griffin and myself attended many meetings with Bill McGowan the then CEO of SNZ, who were with their Board not in favour of such a move away from the club situation, which was in fact bankrupting many clubs in both the North and South Islands.
With the special licence procedures set up by New Zealand Soccer and with Woolston having the entry to National League, Canterbury-Woolston was formed.
Unfortunately due to economic pressure Woolston floundered, but an amalgamation with Christchurch Technical (Bill Cowen’s influence) Christchurch City was formed. At last New Zealand Soccer saw the light and meetings were called which in the end created Canterbury United. This entity has been in force since 2001 as the benchmark for all National League entries, and which has now evolved as Franchise entities, to being for the best amateur players we have, not only in Canterbury but in its environs, along with the formation of the Academy with excellent coaching staff, is what Canterbury United is all about.