Play In NZ

Fancy playing a season (or more) of football in New Zealand?

Here’s some information to help you decide.

Please note – this information is only a guide and decisions regarding working holidays or working in New Zealand are made by New Zealand Immigration – not Matamata Swifts AFC.

If you are interested in coming to New Zealand to play football, you can apply for a working holiday visa.  New Zealand has working holiday arrangements with many countries – check this link to see if your country is included:

If you are applying from the UK, you must be able to meet the eligibility criteria as follows. You must:

• Usually be permanently living in the United Kingdom – this means you can be temporarily visiting another country when you lodge your application.
• Have a British passport that‘s valid for at least three months after your planned departure from New Zealand.
• Be at least 18 and not more than 30 years old.
• Not bring children with you.
• Hold a return ticket, or sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket which can be checked when you arrive in NZ at Immigration.
• Have a minimum of NZ$350 per month of stay available funds to meet your living costs while you’re here.
• Meet the health and character requirements.
• Be coming to New Zealand to holiday, with work or study being secondary intentions for your visit .
• Not have been approved a visa or permit under a working holiday scheme before.

To check these criteria out in more depth and apply online – follow this link:

If you are older than 30 or have children, then you may be able to work in New Zealand through another scheme:

There are some occupations that New Zealand has indicated as being in demand. The lists on the immigration website show the immediate and long term skills shortages. If you – or your partner – work in an occupation on these lists and you meet the qualification or employment criteria – then you could stay longer than your working holiday visa term!

These occupations include common jobs such as:

• Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary school teachers
• Truck Drivers
• Mechanics
• Electricians
• Nurses, Midwives
• Physiotherapists

Play football for Matamata Swifts AFC

Football in New Zealand is played during both winter (April – September) and summer.

Winter football is the traditional period where the game is played in regional, district and local leagues. Regional football is played in three geographically based areas. They are; Northern Region Football League, covering the top half of the North Island, Central League, covering the lower half of the North Island, and Southern League, which caters for the whole of the South Island. These regional leagues represent the highest level of winter play.

Matamata Swifts 1st team plays in the Waikato Bay of Plenty Federation League Division 1, which sits within the Northern Region Football League section of the NZ footballing pyramid.

In addition, New Zealand’s version of the FA Cup, called the Chatham Cup, is played during the winter season.

The National competition is played during summer and comprises an 8 team league with end of season play-off’s. The winners of this competition go forward to represent New Zealand in the Oceania Qualifying Tournament for the World Club Championship.

About Matamata

Matamata is a small rural town with a population of 6,306 people nestled at the base of the scenic Kaimai Ranges in the upper half of New Zealand’s North Island. It is well known for its thoroughbred industry, dairy farming heritage and historic Firth Tower Museum.

The Kaimai Ranges make a stunning backdrop to the town and are considered to be the most outstanding natural feature in the district. They provide a range of opportunities for many recreational activities, including bush walking, hunting, 4×4 driving and mountain biking.

Centrally situated, Matamata offers a range of walking and tramping options, golf courses, and an extensive selection of cafés and accommodation options. The Waharoa airfield (just out of Matamata) is also world renowned as a gliding spot.

Matamata is well-placed between three major urban areas, all approximately 45 minutes drive away. Hamilton is one of New Zealand’s largest cities; Rotorua is the North Island’s major tourist mecca; and coastal Tauranga is the site of some of New Zealand’s best beaches (and is where a number of our current players and club members choose to live).

Since the launch of the Lord of the Rings movies and the subsequent opening of the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, Matamata has become a vibrant visitor destination, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world.

For more information visit: or