Professional football started in Perth over 20 years ago, and next weekend, Perth Glory Football Club will be celebrating the achievements of past stalwarts during the ‘People’s Game’ round against the Central Coast Mariners.
Professional football started in Perth over 20 years ago, and next weekend, Perth Glory Football Club will be celebrating the achievements of past stalwarts during the ‘People-s Game- round against the Central Coast Mariners.
The first professional side to come out of Perth were called the Perth Kangaroo-s. Originally created by the Soccer Association of WA, the side was without a coach or players and without an owner or real funding, but with a loyal supporter base ready to see what Western Australia could offer, Perth was a buzz of excitement.
In a press conference on July 29, 1993, at Soccer Headquarters (as it was previously known), the Sport and Recreation Minister, Doug Shane, announced that the necessary approvals had been obtained for the Perth side to play in the Singapore National Premier League after again being snubbed by the National Soccer league (N.S.L).
The S-league was chosen as fellow countrymen, the Darwin Cubs, were also competing in the league and the potential for South-East Asian growth was seen as the ‘next step- for Western Australian Business.
It was hoped that by having a Western Australian team competing in the S-League, the state could be advertised to a wider South-East Asian competition. The league-s point of difference was that clubs from different nations would compete for a common championship, and this was what attracted the Soccer Association of Western Australia, and the local government at the time.
“With a population of 400 million, South East Asia is economically the fastest growing economy in the world” stated Mr Shane at the original conference back in -94.
“We believe that it is essential that Western Australia be involved in that area and soccer has helped us take the first steps in that direction.” Shane concluded.
After a public call for players, coaches, admin staff and advertisements for applications calling for major sporting and business venture, a new company was created. Global Football Australia, a consortium consisting of Joe Claudio (Chairman), Frank Schaper (Managing Director), Trevor Crewe (Director), Jim Davis (Director) and Tom MacKay (Director), was created in sole aim of controlling the Kangaroos.
Not long after, the inaugural list of 29 players was announced alongside Gary Marocchi (Coach) in December of -93 ready to play in the 1994 S-League season.
The original squad of 29 included;
From the then ‘Perth Italia-: Tommy MARAS, Vince MARASSA, Steven WILEY, Craig NAVEN, Gareth NAVEN, Marc WINGELL, Dale WINGELL, Scott MILLER, Frank BATE, Paul STRUDWICK.
From the then ‘Spearwood Dalmatinac-: Jason PETKOVIC, Alex CUMMINGS.
From the then ‘Stirling Macedonia-: Andy WRIGHT, Wayne THORPE, Paul McVITTIE, IAN CORNTHWAITE.
From ‘Floreat Athena-: Brian SWEENEY, Sean LYNCH, Taki NICOLAIDIS, Slobodan DESPETOVSKI.
From Rockingham City: Stevie BOURNE, Paul WADDINGHAM, Dean WALLACE.
From Kingsway Olympic: Gary LEES.
From the then ‘Fremantle Benfica-: Jimmy PROVAN
Keep in touch with Perth Glory News On-line for further updates and a special feature in our nationally award nominated, match-day publication, ‘Glory Days’ to hear the story from here