WaiBOP Football Federation is governed by a Board of Directors, with three positions being elected by the Federation’s Members, while another four positions are appointed by an independent selection committee. The Board positions are for three year terms.

Depending upon the skill sets required, co-opted positions can also be introduced for two year terms.

The current WaiBOP Football Board of Directors are:


Mark is employed by Tetra Pak (New Zealand) Limited in a role which has multiple cross functional requirements, including Sales and Marketing, Manufacturing, Logistics and Technical Services. He has a tertiary qualification from the Waikato University in Management. He utilises his skills to collaborate across multiple sector and industry groups and has the commercial acumen to secure value-added agreements and strengthen the relationships these agreements create. 

Mark has been involved in football for most of his life either as a player, coach (both at junior and senior level) or as a club administrator. Mark played Northern League football for Hamilton Wanderers and represented Waikato at age group level. During his 26 years at Hamilton Wanderers he was a member of the Management Committee for 10 years and Club President for 3 years thus understands the challenge’s clubs face on a day-to-day basis.


Cheri-Lee is of Ngati Toa, Ngati Koata, Kai Tahu, Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Tama descent. Raised in several rural towns in the North Island, Cheri-Lee now calls Hamilton her home. She's a Senior Legal Advisor with Waikato-Tainui in their Governance and Legal team, and provides legal support across the entire iwi. 

Cheri-Lee has a strong desire to contribute to the community. She brings strong leadership, governance and technical skills to the board. She believes the role of a board member with the Federation is as a kaitiaki (a guardian) and understands the importance of protecting the values of football in New Zealand. Having played football in High School and University, Cheri-Lee has naturally become involved again through her children's participation in the sport. 


Merv works as a GM Marketing with international sealants company Soudal of Belgium. Prior to this Merv has a background in agency marketing (over the last two decades) dealing with a huge assortment of commercial and government clients throughout New Zealand. 

Merv has a long association with the game within the WaiBOP Federation. He has played football for over 30 years, has coached Federation Representative team's and currently coaches the Melville United Federation Premiership side. 

Merv has been on the WaiBOP board for 11 years and was also Board Chair of the ASB premiership franchise team – WaiBOP United. Merv provides input on marketing, communications and football in general.​​​​​​​


Kia ora koutou,

Ko Hikurangi te maunga,
Ko Waiapu te Awa,
Ko Horouta te waka,
Ko Ngati Porou te iwi.

Ko Claudelands Rovers te rōpū whutupaoro.

Ko Leon Johnson toku ingoa.

Leon reckons he has been an average footballer for the majority of his life, having played his entire senior career at Claudelands Rovers. He's a proud father of two amazing girls, Addison-Mclean and Quinn. Both are keen footballers and, according to their dad, have surpassed him in terms of skills and talent already!

"Helping to make football in the region as rewarding for them (and the generations to come) as it has been for me is something I am keen to be a part of," says Leon. "I bring a strong understanding of the commercial world and a wide range of business experience honed from over 20 years in the commercial property sector where I have dealt with government agencies to corporates, charities and churches to mums and dads.

"I'm looking forward to adding value to the governance team and putting my shoulder to the wheel when required."


Leianne Nordstrom is a Senior Physiotherapist with APM Workcare servicing the wider Waikato region. She has post-graduate qualifications in education, with a passion for sport, health and community service. Over the years, this has seen her actively involved as a Player, Coach, Physio and supporter across many codes and with sports teams, both locally and overseas. She is married and the proud mother of four, with her twin boys reigniting her love for football in more recent years.  

Sport has always played a positive part in Leianne’s whanau and she is very aware of the positive opportunities and it can bring to individuals, families and communities. 

Enhancing the collective, removing barriers to play and bringing people forward together is something she strongly values. Diversity of thought and experience is something she draws on daily with her whanau background, which includes South American, Pakeha and Maori culture and values. 

Leianne brings years of experience and service within a variety of commercial, charitable and community organisations, to drive and support success within the local football community. In health, planning for progress and having clear outcomes to pursue are an everyday thing Leianne intends to carry over in her work on the WaiBOP board.

“Whakaaro tahi, kokiri tahi” – Thinking together, moving forward together.

ROB JOHNSON (ELECTED)                                  

Rob has dedicated his life to football, showcasing his skills at various levels throughout the years. Rob is supported by his wonderful wife, Kelly, and they are proud parents to three amazing children: Leighton, Logan, and Brooklyn. Their unwavering support and love fuel his enduring passion for the sport, allowing him to continue contributing to the sporting community.

Rob will bring valuable expertise to the WaiBOP Football Federation Board. With a robust background in strategic planning and community engagement, Rob has overseen multifaceted operations, led successful acquisitions, and implemented strategic initiatives that have driven growth and efficiency.

Currently serving as President of Northern United Sports Club, Rob has demonstrated a deep commitment to grassroots sports, understanding its dynamics and the critical role of community engagement. His involvement in playing, coaching, managing teams, and serving on the club committee has provided him with valuable insights into grassroots sports and community dynamics.

A unique aspect of Rob's candidacy is his intention to remain as President of Northern United Sports Club. He firmly believes that maintaining this grassroots connection will enhance his effectiveness in contributing to the board's strategic direction and decision-making processes.

Rob is particularly eager to leverage his experience to drive positive change and growth within the Federation.

DONNA MCCUTCHEON (ELECTED)                                  

Donna has 40 years experience in football, including playing at many different levels, coaching and managing kids teams, and various roles on club committees.

She worked for as Volunteer Co-Ordinator during the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023. She says: “Working for FIFA opened my eyes to just how popular women’s football is around the world and how professional it is on the world stage. I hope to help take the learnings from being a host country and put in place meaningful programmes that gain and retain players.”

This year her focus has been on growing participation in the women’s space, and she used her networks to not only recruit players for her own club, but for other teams in the area. In 2024, we have seen the introduction of a third Waikato Women’s division, showing that the efforts to grow women’s football at a grassroots level can work.

Outside of football, Donna and her husband run their own project management-focused business, requiring communication with many different stakeholders from lawyers to cleaners.

She is married with two kids who dabbled in football as youngsters and have come back to the sport as older kids and are really enjoying it.

Donna says: “Football is a sport I am extremely passionate about and I truly believe it has changed my life for the better. I have made life-long friends who still get together and kick a ball about either on weekends in local leagues or at one of the masters tournaments on offer around NZ.”

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