Bankstown City FC
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|Full name||Bankstown City Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||Lions, Sydney Makedonia|
Sefton, New South Wales
|League||NSW Premier League|
Bankstown City FC is an Australian soccer club from the Sydney suburb of Sefton in New South Wales, Australia. They compete in the National Premier Leagues NSW 2, playing their home games at Jensen Oval.
In the 1940's and 1950's the original Bankstown club played at Bankstown Oval and then in the 1960s and 1970s, they played out of a ground at Stacey Street and Gartmore Ave, Bankstown, then known as Bankstown Soccer Centre and now Ruse Park (Bankstown Football Centre) used by Bankstown Bulls Rugby League Club. Bankstown Soccer Club was always known as an underdog, and played against the big clubs of the day such as St. George Budapest, and Canterbury-Marickville Berries. Bankstown's most famous player from these early days was Bobby Madden who represented Australia against China in 1953. He also represented New South Wales in cricket. He died in 2008. Another well known person from a somewhat later era was Doug Turnbull, brother of a previous Central Coast Mariners FC Chairman Peter Turnbull. The Doug Turnbull Cup is played for annually between the two clubs.
In 1975, Yagoona Macedonia competed in their first domestic season and their first recorded game by the Bankstown Soccer Federation was against Padstow. As the years passed, so did the players and new faces began to emerge in the ever-growing Macedonian Sydney-based club.
By 1988, the original Bankstown club had become insolvent and there was no elite team in the local area for several years. A consortium of local businessman merged three amateur clubs: Yagoona, Caltex, and Mladost, and purchased Maccabi Hakoah's license to participate in the New South Wales Division 2, formulating the Bankstown City Sydney Macedonia Soccer Club. Bankstown once again had a team in the NSW State League. The new club had strong support from the local Bankstown Macedonian community, and named itself "Sydney Macedonia". Sydney Macedonia finished 3rd in 1988.
In 1989, the club was Champion of Division 2, losing only 3 games all season and received promotion to New South Wales Division 1. They finished 6th in their first year in Division 1.
In 1992, Sydney Macedonia played its first game in the top tier of NSW Football since the early 1970s. The following year, the club finished 2nd, however they went on to win the grand final, scoring a goal in the final minute against perennial rival Blacktown City, and were Premiers of 1993. This was the first ever time that Bankstown had its team as champions of the NSW State League.
1994 was the most successful season in the club's history. The team lost only 1 game in the season, winning 16 games in total. They scored 52 goals and conceded 9, and went on to win the grand final and finished as back to back (1993 & 1994) Champions. The silverware did not stop there - Sydney Macedonia went on to play Sydney Olympic in the 1994 Waratah Cup Final at Marconi Stadium. Sydney Macedonia defeated Sydney Olympic, an NSL team, 2-1 at a sold out Marconi Stadium. The club had ensured the treble: Premiers, Back to Back Champions, Cup Winners. This still is the most successful accomplishment for football in Bankstown. After the 1994 season, the club reverted to its current name: Bankstown City [Lions] FC.
In 2001, Bankstown City won the NSW Winter Super League and were promoted to the NSW Premier League. The club's members financed an upgrade to their home ground at Jensen Oval, which saw the installation of TV Standard lighting and covered seating in the notorious "World's Greatest Grandstand".
In 2004, Bankstown City finished in the top four earning participation in the finals series. They went on to win the NSWPL Grand Final against Belconnen in front of 7500 fans at Marconi Stadium - bring back the Championship to Bankstown for the first time in 10 years.
In 2005 local junior, former Socceroo and current player Sasho Petrovski re-joined Bankstown when the NSL was disbanded. Bankstown City started the season strongly, and finished the season in first place on the ladder despite losing Petrovski, and Chad Gibson to the A-League midway through the season. Peter Tsekenis took on the role of Player/Coach, and Bankstown City were for the second time in a decade back-to-back Champions, defeating Bonnyrigg White Eagles 3-1 in the Grand Final in front of 8000 fans at Parramatta Stadium.
The 2007 season the first grade finished in second position on the ladder. In the finals, Bankstown City were defeated by Blacktown City in the grand final to the tune of 3:1. While the youth finished in 3rd spot of the club championship, their highest achievement since coming into the competition.
In 2008, Bankstown City defeated Sydney Olympic in the Final of the Waratah Cup for the second time.
They were relegated to the National Premier Leagues NSW Level 2 in 2011.
2013 promises to be a historic season for Bankstown City, as the club enters a Women's team in the Women's State League for the very first time. Samantha Muscat is the inaugural Bankstown City female club captain.
Notable former players
A list of notable players that have played for Bankstown City Lions Football Club:
- Mende Ralevski
- Zlatko Joseski 1993–present
- Shane Webb 2007-09
- Brett Studman 2007-09
- James Monie 2007-09
- Robbie Mileski 2005-2010
- Freddy Graham 1997-2001
- Tallan Martin 2007, 2009-
- Chad Gibson 2004-05
- Saso Petrovski 1993-1996
- Andre Gumprecht 2008
- Bilal Najjarin 2011
- NSW Premier League/NSW 1st Division Champions: 1993, 1994, 2003/2004, 2004/2005
- NSW Premier League/NSW 1st Division Minor Premiers: 1994
- FNSW Waratah Cup Winners: 1994, 2008
- NSW Super League/NSW 2nd Division Champions: 1989
- NSW Super League/NSW 2nd Division Minor Premiers: 2001