Retro Corner: Novocastrian Notes


With the games coming thick and fast since the turn of the year, there simply hasn’t been a lot of time for jaunts down memory lane.

But Sunday’s upcoming clash with the Jets got us to thinking about crossing swords with the Hunter Valley side back in the days of the National Soccer League.

They were known as Newcastle United at that time, of course and perhaps our most memorable showdown with them was in the Major Semi-Final of the 2001-02 season when Mich d’Avray’s men prevailed 4-3 on aggregate after two incredibly dramatic home and away legs.

Fast forward two years to February 2004 when today’s featured matchday programme rolled off the press and Glory were again flying high, five points clear at the top of the ladder and already well assured of a finals berth with three games of the regular season still to play.

Jade North, who would later become a Newcastle player, was discussing his excitement at the prospect of representing Australia at the Athens Olympics later that year on page six of the programme, d’Avray was stressing the importance of NSL players being considered for the Socceroos in his column, Brad Hassell was offering an in-depth review of the Dixie Chicks’ latest album and Harvey Fresh were spruiking two new flavoured milks (chocolate and cappuccino).

The respective squads also make for fascinating reading, with a host of club legends lining up in purple, including Jason Petkovic, Scott Miller, Damian Mori, Jamie Harnwell and Bobby Despotovski, plus  the man who was destined to score the club’s legendary ‘golden goal’ winner in the Grand Final some seven weeks later in Nik Mrdja.

And the visitors also had plenty of players of note within their ranks, such as Mitchell Prentice and Josh Mitchell who would both subsequently join Glory, Nigel Boogaard who is set to skipper Newcastle at nib Stadium on Sunday and Jason Cowburn whose younger brother Nick could also line up for the Jets this weekend.

A goal in each half from Damian Mori and Adrian Caceres ultimately secured a regulation win for the hosts, but we’d love to get your personal memories of this game, this season and of our history with Newcastle in general, both in the NSL and Hyundai A-League eras.

So join the conversation via Facebook HERE or Twitter HERE.