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 Adamstown Rosebud FC Woonona FC 1890 Balgownie Rangers SC Helensburgh Rovers 1891 Corrimal Rangers SC 1894 Dapto SC 1895 Helensburgh Thistle SC 1927 Melbourne Hakoah [founded as Club Nautico Israelita (Melbourne); in the early 1980s merged with South Melbourne FC] 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 Women Club Foundation Dates 1920 Railway (Southern Cross) Rovers (Southern Cross) 1921 Jul 8 Brisbane City [aka South Brisbane Ladies FC; disbanded 1922] Jul 8 Brisbane Ladies FC [disbanded 1922] Jul Toowoomba Cities Jul Toowoomba Rovers Balgownie Boolaroo (Newcastle) Brisbane Celtics Cawdor Ladies Latrobe Ladies FC (Brisbane) Sydney Ladies Soccer Club Wallsend (Newcastle) West Wallsend (Newcastle) Woons 1926 Brisbane City Ladies Soccer Club [in Winter 1926 splitted into Brisbane Kangaroos and Brisbane Wallabies] Brisbane Kangaroos [split from Brisbane City Ladies SC] Brisbane Wallabies [split from Brisbane City Ladies SC] 1928 Abermain Bellbird Cessnock East Grets Kurri Kurri North End Pelaw Main Stanford Methyr Weston 1929 Kurri Kurri/Weston [disbanded 1930] Speers' Point Speers' Point/Teralba [disbanded 1930] Teralba 1931 Blue Birds (Lithgow) [founded Jun 3; disbanded 1932] Coledale Ladies Scarborough Ladies FC State Mine [aka Royal Coal Mine Ladies; disbanded 1932] Vale of Clwydd Rovers [disbanded 1932] Zig-Zag (Lithgow) [founded Jun 3; disbanded 1932] 1933 Bluebirds (Ipswich) Booval (Ipswich) Favorites (Ipswich) Northern United (Ipswich) Robins (Ipswich) 1936 Brewer's Arms (Broken Hill) Railway Town (Broken Hill) Southern Cross Wests (Broken Hill) 2008 Adelaide United FC Brisbane Roar FC Canberra United FC Melbourne Victiory FC Newcastle United Jets FC Perth Glory FC Sydney FC 2012 Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Source for foundation dates women clubs until 1936: Faller, H.: "Waltzing Down Under: soccer in Oceania before World War Two", 2018.
With thanks to James Hothersall
Prepared and maintained by Hans Schöggl for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
Author: Hans Schöggl
Last updated: 21 Oct 2021
(C) Copyright Hans Schöggl and RSSSF 2005/21
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