Words: CUFC Media
Saturday 18 December 2021
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Central United FC club stalwart Mate Tolj is the club’s new president following this week’s election at the AGM.
Tolj was one of the club’s early members joining in 1967 and has held every official position on the club’s committee at some point during the past 55 years.
He was previously president from 1986-88, a golden period in the club’s history, overseeing two league championship victories and three promotions as the club stormed from the Northern League Third Division to gain Premier League status in successive seasons.
A former referee and recipient of an Auckland Football Federation Long Service Medal in 2010, Tolj was elected as a Life Member of Central United FC in 1999.
His 55 years of membership is the longest continuous stint of any club member.
“I am very proud and honoured to become Central’s president once again and to continue the great work Ivan Vuksich has done over the past 28 seasons,” said Tolj.
“Ivan’s commitment to the club over that period has been immense and the great success we have enjoyed in that time is testament to his hard work, leadership and passion for the club.”
“I am grateful that Ivan is remaining on the committee and will continue to assist and support us next season and beyond.”
Vuksich who was last week re-elected as Auckland City FC Chairman for an 18th year was looking forward to retiring from his presidency of Central United FC.
“Twenty-eight years is a long time for anyone in one role and sadly I’m not getting any younger.
"I’ve been looking to take a step back from Central United FC for the past few seasons now and I’m grateful that Mate has put his hand up.
"I know he will do a great job and it goes without saying that I will support him in every way possible.”
“Mate, like myself, considers Kiwitea Street to be his second home. Central United FC runs through his blood and I couldn’t think of a better person to take on this role now.”
“The football landscape in New Zealand has evolved significantly over the past few decades and will continue to do so over the next few years.
"The strong partnership that exists between Central United FC and Auckland City FC is critical to ensuring we are best placed to cope with all these new challenges as they arise,” said Vuksich.
The club’s AGM was also memorable for the election of six new Honorary Life Members in recognition of the distinguished service they have rendered the club over many years.
Colin Cook, George Franich, Mitch Herceg, Michael Marinovich, Paul Posa & Nardo Yugovich were all conferred Honrary Life Member status in a well-deserved accolade.
They join the following list of 19 other recipients to have previously been awarded this prestigious club honour.
2022 Central United FC Executive:
President – Mate Tolj
Secretary - Ivy Vela
Treasurer – Craig Edwards
Central United FC - Honorary Life Members
Marijan Nola (1981)
Steve Pervan (1981)*
Davor Antunovic (1981)
Paul Marinovich (1986)
Rade Vuksich QSM (1989)*
Dick Mrkusich (1999)*
Mate Tolj (1999)
Jure Franich (1999)
Nick Didovich (1999)
Ivo Trbuhovich (2007)
Tony Vlatkovich (2011)
Ivy Vela (2011)
Ivan Vuksich (2011)
Nick Posa (2011)
Ivan Druskovich (2011)
Ivan Rudez (2011)
Frank Vujnovich (2011)
Gary Dunsford (2011)
Miro Erceg (2012)
Colin Cook (2021)
George Franich (2021)
Mitch Herceg (2021)
Michael Marinovich (2021)
Paul Posa (2021)
Nardo Yugovich (2021)
Saturday 1 October 2022, Wellington Olympic, 3pm, Endeavour Park, Wellington