Rangers win the inaugural Championship

The 2018 season saw a new format introduced in Taranaki and a new league. Following a similar system to the English Football Leagues, the Smiths Sports Shoes Taranaki Championship division was created to shadow the premiership. This initiation by Central Football was a big success and allowed teams to utilise their player numbers more effectively. The Treehouse New Plymouth Rangers shuffled their pack and rustled up a bunch of masters players to take the field in the new league. Whether it was the abundance of experience, or the fact that many of the team could still play higher, the outcome was an undefeated league season and the title. Led superbly by Shanan Duffull the team combined for 58 goals and only conceded 9 all season. They were 16 points clear of second place Kaponga and the only blemish was a draw away to Kaponga. Nick Betteridge was the leading scorer with 9 but the goals were mostly shared around the team. It will be hard to back that up in 2019 but with the introduction of a non-youth policy this team will be one to watch.

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