The Lilywhites: Auckland's Second Club
Formed in 1934, Eastern Suburbs are one of the most successful clubs in New Zealand but are regularly outshone by their cross-town rivals Auckland City.
The Lilywhites, as they are known, joined the New Zealand Premiership last season and finished a respectable 5th. The New Zealand league system includes four regional divisions with lower leagues as well as a standalone Premiership with no relegation, much like Australia's A-League. Eastern Suburbs, despite having entered the Premiership, still maintain a Reserves side in the regional Northern Premier League as well as an Under-20 side in the Youth Premier League.
Formed in 1934, Eastern Suburbs have won five Chatham Cups, which is the country's premier cup title despite not being open to Premiership clubs. The club has also won the Northern Premier League on 3 occasions, including their last season in 2015/16, and won the second ever national championship back in 1971.
Despite their success, the Lilywhites have often been outshone by cross-town rivals Auckland City, who can lay claim to being the most successful NZ club of the past decade. The Navy Blues were formed in 2004 for the inaugural season of the New Zealand Premiership and have gone onto win six titles, as well as a record nine Oceania Champions League trophies. Under the management of Spaniard Ramon Tribulietx, they look set to defend their most recent Premiership title in 2017/18.
Eastern Suburbs are an interesting side, with plenty of history in New Zealand football but virtually none in the country's standalone top flight. The Lilywhites have some talented players though, and a fifth placed finish in their first season in the Premiership is a great start to life in the top flight.