by Leon Raeburn
Founded in 2009, AC United was formed from a group of guys primarily from Arise Church who had a shared passion of Football and were looking to expand their indoor team to a full senior men’s team. The link with Tawa AFC was due to the affiliation of Jason Trimble, who along with the inaugural captain Ben Carroll were the masterminds behind the operation. The first season saw a mid-year promotion from Cap 16 to Cap 9, which continued through the years to Cap 5/Wellington 1 where ACU find themselves in 2021. Also, a notable mention to the numerous hard-fought derbies with club equals the Bears over the past 12 years which have provided so great spectacles, worthy of a Redwood main game.
Throughout the earlier years the team was heavily made up of members from Arise Church, but it was not a prerequisite, with the likes of Richard Guest and Chris Pankhurst joined the side and remain committed members of AC United. With growing interest from both members of Arise and Tawa Club growing, it was decided in 2014 to expand in to a second team, the present day ACFC. Not only have there been many players from the club that have earned at least a cap for AC, there are also those that have played in nearly every season, including centurions, Adam Johnson, Leon Raeburn and Joel Chisholm, with the latter holding a rather staggering record of 172 goals, 80 assists in 181 games for ACU.
In 2021 ACU experienced an exodus of players from last season, however this has been an opportunity to revitalise and rebuild the team with youthful squad made up of some Tawa Juniors of yesteryear who have returned to the club following their high school years. A rocky start to the season and some close results have tested the resolve of the squad but with improvements coming week on week, the 2-2 draw at the end of the first round with the Bears saved ACU from a potential relegation. With the reverse fixture scheduled for the final day of the season, the team will continue to build on what has been laid before them, and it will surely be another classic match.
ACU is proud to be part of such a great club like Tawa AFC, it really is A Community United!