There is little doubt that a soccer ball was kicked about in Australia in a playful manner and small scale during the 1870ís by immigrants, but most people knew nothing about the game. The first known group to form a soccer social "club" was organised by a school teacher named W.J. Fletcher. It (the social club) was called the "Wanderers" and began operation on the 14th of August 1880 at Parramatta. Another soccer group was organised at Kings School and social games were arranged between these two groups. During the 1880ís the round code of football became very popular not only in Sydney but also in the coal mining areas of Newcastle and the Illawarra. However, travelling long distances by teams were very restricted until the railway links were made to the areas outside Sydney although there were some coach travelling from the Illawarra prior to the opening of the railway link to the Illawarra in 1888. Travelling to Sydney by ship could not be considered due to shipping times and absence from work.
In Sydney early major clubs were: Pymont, Arcadians, Caledonians, Ambrose, Canterbury, Granville, Parksgrove and Balmain. In the Newcastle district there were: Hamilton, Greta, Carrington, Burwood, Wallsend, West Wallsend, Adamstown and Minmi Rangers. The early South Coast clubs were: Balgownie, Corrimal, Woonona, North Illawarra (Bulli) and Helensburgh. Unfortunately there are very few records if any, of how the early clubs of the South Coast were formed or the dates of origin and most of their history have came from hand me down stories and old newspapers.
1873 Hawthorn FC (Melbourne) 1881 North Illawara Rovers 1883 Footscray Thistle (Melbourne) 1885? Minmi Rangers 1887 Wallsend SC (Newcastle) 1888 Paramatta Meadows 1889 Woonona FC 1890 Balgownie Rangers SC Helensburgh Rovers 1891 Corrimal Rangers SC 1894 Dapto SC 1895 Helensburgh Thistle SC 1936 Olympic (Adelaide) [became Hellas in 1962, then West Adelaide Hellas in 1977] 1938 Sydney City [founded as Hakoah Sydney] 1941 Metro SC (Claremont) 1945 Canterbury-Marrickville Berries (Sydney) 1946 Adelaide City Force SC 1948 Brunswick Juventus SC (Melbourne) Croatia SC (Melbourne) [became Melbourne Knight SC in 1953] 1949 NS Polonia (Sydney) 1950 Cracovia Club (West Perth) 1952 Polonia (Melbourne) 1953 Blacktown City Demons [founded as Toongabbie SC] North Ryde SC (Ryde City) 1954 APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC 1956 Paramatta Eagles SC (Sydney) 1958 Marconi Fairfield Stallions FC Sydney Sydney United SC [founded as South Sydney Croatia] Heidelberg United SC (Melbourne) [founded as Fitzroy Alexander United] 1959 South Melbourne Lakers SC 1967 Pine Rivers United SC (Strathpine) 1971 Balga SC (Perth) 1975 Saint Albans Saints SC 1977 Sydney Olympic FC [founded earlier as Pan Hellenic] Canberra City 1980 Wollongong City Wolves 1988 DOSA SC (Hobart) 1993 Brisbane Strikers FC Frankston Strikers SC (Melbourne) Leeming Strikers SC (Willetton) 1995 Perth Glory FC Canberra Cosmos 1997 Northern Spirit FC (Melbourne) 2003 Adelaide United FC NB: see also http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/Clubs/ClubIndex.html
With thanks to James Hothersall
Prepared and maintained by Hans Schöggl for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
Author: Hans Schöggl
Last updated: 23 Nov 2005
(C) Copyright Hans Schöggl and RSSSF 2005
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