Melbourne Knights FC

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Melbourne Knights
This is a logo for Melbourne Knights FC.png
Full name Melbourne Knights Football Club
Nickname(s) Knights, Croatia
Founded 1953
Ground Knights Stadium
Ground Capacity 15,000
Chairman Ange Cimera
Manager Andrew Marth
League NPL Victoria
2014 2nd

Melbourne Knights FC is an Australian semi-professional soccer club based in the suburb of Sunshine North, Melbourne, Victoria. The club currently competes in the National Premier Leagues Victoria. It is one of the most successful soccer clubs in Australia, being a two-time championship and four-time premiership winner in the now defunct National Soccer League (NSL). The club is based in the western suburbs of Melbourne and draws much of its support from the Croatian Australian community. The club's identification with its Croatian roots remains strong to this day. It is a regular participant in the Australian-Croatian Soccer Tournament, and its accomplishments can be likened to that of Canada's Toronto Croatia

Melbourne Knights plays matches at Knights Stadium, a 15,000 seat venue in which the club has owned and operated since 1989. As well as fielding a senior men's side, the Knight's field a women's team as well as junior teams of all year levels.

History[edit]

Melbourne Knights FC was founded in 1953 as SC Croatia by a small group of Croatian immigrants in Melbourne's western suburbs. The club played its first match on 10 April 1953. The Knights became a member of the Victorian Soccer Federation in 1954, which saw the club join and compete in a league competition for the first time that same year in the newly created Victorian Provisional League. The club quickly moved up the state divisions and by the mid-1960s had become one of the strongest clubs in Victoria. In 1984 after a number of years of lobbying the Knights finally joined Australia's elite football competition, the National Soccer League. By the 1990s the club had become the premier football club in Australia as it made the NSL Grand Final 5 out of 6 seasons, winning it twice in 1994/95 and 1995/96. Following the disbanding of the NSL in 2004 the Knights dropped back down to the Victorian Premier League, making the Grand Final in 2008.

Supporters[edit]

The Melbourne Knights has a large and loyal following, it is one of the best supported clubs in Australia outside the A-League. The Knights supporter base is made up mostly of people from the local Croatian community of Melbourne and Geelong, with the core of the support being from the club's heartland of Melbourne's western suburbs. This supporter base is made up of both Croatian and Australian-born Croats. The club also has a following amongst the Croatian community across the nation, this support was particularly garnered during the club's 21 seasons in the NSL where the club became a symbol of pride for the Croatian community in Australia.

The unofficial supporter group of the Melbourne Knights is the MCF (Melbourne Croatia Fans). They are the most active and vocal group in the VPL, always having a presence at matches be it at home or away. Also prominent are the supporters on Quarry Hill. In the NSL years the supporter group was the Knights Army, they were one of the leading supporter groups in the competition. They disbanded once the Melbourne Knights left the NSL.

Home ground[edit]

The club's current home ground is the Knights Stadium in the suburb of North Sunshine, which has been the club's home since 1989. It has a capacity of 15,000. More information on the Knights Stadium page.

Prior to 1989 the club had a number of venues it used as its home ground. The most significant ones were:

Non-football roles of the club[edit]

Social[edit]

The club has and continues to play an important social role for the Croatian community. Post World War II migration to Australia changed the demographic make up of the country, Croatians along with other continental European migrants entered a society that was at the time quite hostile to these new arrivals. In the wake of this migration many football clubs were formed by these new arrivals based around their respective ethnic communities. The Melbourne Knights became a focal point for the Croatian community in the state of Victoria, as it was just as much a social club as a football club. It provided Croatians with a place to gather where they could feel comfortable and safe in their new home, a place where they could mingle with their own people and speak their mother tongue. The club allowed for the preservation and celebration of Croatian identity, tradition, culture and language, as well as promoting it to non Croatians. Through the club Croats could hold their head up high with pride. The club continues to be an important institution for the Croatian community, helping keep it alive, as Croatian culture and tradition is passed onto the next generation. The Melbourne Knights still remains the largest meeting place for Victoria’s Croatian community.

Political[edit]

Over the years the Melbourne Knights played an important political role, with the club being a symbol of Croatian nationalism. Victoria's Croatian community was made up of people who had fled from the communist regime of Yugoslavia. So the Melbourne Knights, then under the name of Croatia, served as a political statement of the desire of the Croatian people for an independent Croatia. Using the club the community was able to promote and bring awareness to the Croatian plight and independence movement. This role continued into the 90s, after Croatian independence in 1991, with the outbreak of war in Croatia and Bosnia. Melbourne Knights served as a symbol of pride for the community in this dark period, galvanizing the community’s support for the club. Through the club the community was able to show its solidarity with the homeland. Since then with Croatia being independent and stable this political role no longer exists in the same manner.

Youth and Junior development[edit]

The Melbourne Knights is a club famous for its youth and junior development, it has one of the best set ups in Australia. Many great players have gone through the youth set up at the Knights, the most notable being Socceroo captain Mark Viduka. A highlight of this strong set-up came in the NSL years where the Melbourne Knights were a dominant force in the National Youth League, being champions 3 times. The club was also runner-up on two other occasions. The Knights have continued this winning tradition at the youth level in the VPL, with the club winning the double as it took out the Under 18 and Under 20 Victorian championships in 2007

Currently the club is home to over 250 players ranging in sides from the Under 8 to Under 18 level in the Victorian Milo leagues, as well as an Under 20 youth team which serves as the reserves side and plays in the Victorian Premier League Reserves competition.

The club has played a particularly important role with the youth of the Croatian community in both Melbourne and Geelong, giving them a pathway in the sport. The result of this can be seen in the many great footballers of Croatian heritage that have played for the Knights at the senior level over the past six decades.

The success of the club's youth development can be seen in the number of Knights players that have gone onto play in some of the best football leagues around the world and play international football; 38 Knights players have played for Australia at senior level and 3 for Croatia. As well as countless others who played for Australia at Under 17, Under 20 and Under 23 levels. An example of the impact the club has had at this level was the 1996 Atlanta Olympic side (under 23) which contained a staggering 5 Knights players; Mark Viduka, Danny Tiatto, Joe Spiteri, Frank Jurić and Steve Horvat. You also had Vinko Buljibašić and Joe Bačak who were part of the qualifying campaign, while Adrian Červinski, Damien Vojtek and Ante Jurić were part of pre-qualifying friendlies.

The Knights are well known for giving young emerging talent opportunities in their senior squad. Players like; Marak Talajic debut at 16, Eddie Krncevic at 16, Josip Šimunić at 17, Steve Horvat at 17, Mark Viduka at 18, Mark Silić at 18, Billy Vojtek at 18 and more recently with Mate Dugandžić at 16. As such players that have gone through the club's junior ranks have always made up a large part the Knights squad, such as in the 1990s when the club dominated the NSL.

Rivalries[edit]

Footscray JUST[edit]

The Melbourne Knights have had many rivalries over the years. The biggest and most heated rivalry was with Footscray JUST. JUST was a Yugoslav backed club so the hate between the clubs ran deep. JUST had links to the Yugoslav communist regime, a regime that many of the Knights supporter had escaped persecution from. These were as much political battles as they were football matches. This rivalry began in 1960 when the clubs first met (Melbourne Knights as Preston Croat) in the Victorian State League. The club's first win against JUST came in 1965 with a 2-1 victory in the Dockerty Cup semi-final. Their first victory against JUST in the Victorian State League also came in 1965 with a 2-1 win away at Olympic Park in Round 16. After the 1972 expulsion the club would not take on JUST for over a decade. The club's last victory against JUST in the Victorian State League came in round 17 of 1972, with a 2-0 at Olympic Park in front of 4,500 fans. Billy Vojtek scored a double.

The rivalry was resumed in 1984 with the Melbourne Knights entering the NSL. In round 25 of 1984 Melbourne Knights defeated JUST 3-1, the first victory against JUST since 1972. 1989 saw what was the greatest victory the Melbourne Knights had against JUST. The two sides that finished at the bottom of the league ladder would be relegated. JUST went into the final round third last only a point ahead of the bottom two, JUST could not afford a loss. The highly anticipated match at Middle Park was played in front of 5,000 mostly Melbourne Knights fans. The Melbourne Knights in a dominant display defeated JUST 2-0, with goals coming from Joe Caleta and Zeljko Adzić. The result saw JUST drop down into the bottom two, relegating the club to the Victorian State League. It was the very last time the two sides ever met on the field and soon after JUST would fold.

Head-to-head All-Time

  • Games: 32
  • Knights wins: 12
  • JUST wins: 12
  • Draws: 10

South Melbourne[edit]

Since the relegation of Footscray JUST from the NSL, the fiercest rivalry for the Melbourne Knights has been against South Melbourne. It has also been the longest running rivalry for both clubs, with the Knights having played South Melbourne more times than any other club. The first time the two sides met was in 1960 in the Victorian Division 1 North. The first victory the club had over South Melbourne came in 1962 (as Preston Croat) in the group stage of the pre-season Ampol Cup with the Knights winning 1-0. While the first time the Knights defeated South Melbourne in the Victorian State League was in 1965, a 3-2 win at Olympic Park.

In the NSL the two sides would have an intense rivalry, which was heightened by the success both sides had in the league. This was clearly seen in the incredible 10 occasions the two clubs met each other in the NSL finals. The first win against South in the NSL came in round 9 of 1985, 2-0. The club would go onto to play many epic matches, the two most famous coming in the 90s. The first came in the 1990/91 Grand Final, which South Melbourne won on penalties. The other being the 1994/95 Major Semi-Final where the Knights won 3-2, with Mark Viduka scoring a spectacular hat-trick. That win booked a spot in the Grand Final for the club. The match is regarded as one of the greatest matches in the history of Australian club football. For the most part these matches have been tightly fought contests, but the biggest win the Knights had against South came in 2000/01 season when Knights defeated South 4-0. This rivalry which has gone on for over 50 years continues today in the Victorian Premier League. In 2005 the Melbourne Knights defeated South Melbourne for the first time ever at South's home ground of Bob Jane Stadium, something the Melbourne Knights were never able to achieve in the NSL.

Head-to-Head total NSL games

  • Games: 54
  • South wins:25
  • Knights wins: 13
  • Draws: 16
  • South goals: 88
  • Knights goals: 58

NSL Finals games only

  • Games: 10
  • Knights wins: 5
  • South wins: 4
  • Draws: 1

Head-to-Head State League/VPL

  • Games: 47
  • Knights wins: 13
  • South wins: 23
  • Draws: 11

Head-to-Head All-Time

  • Games: 101
  • Knights wins: 26
  • South wins: 48
  • Draws: 27

Perth Glory[edit]

Perth Glory was one of the first of the new non ethnic clubs to be introduced by Soccer Australia’s president David Hill. It was all a part of the plan to broaden the supporter base of the NSL and to restructure the league. The arrival of these clubs immediately created a rivalry between the ethnic and non ethnic clubs of the NSL. The most heated of these was the rivalry between the Melbourne Knights and Perth Glory. The rivalry really kicked off in the last match of the 1996/97 regular season. Perth was in 6th spot, holding onto the last finals spot. Perth traveling to the Melbourne Croatia Sports Centre only needed a point to ensure a finals berth. While the Knights in 7th spot, 2 points behind Perth needed nothing less than a win to get the final spot. The match was played in front of 10,000 people. Perth took an early lead. But the Knights came back with an inspired performance by Tommy Pondeljak, scoring a double. The Melbourne Knights won 3-1.

The rivalry was taken to new levels in the 2000/01 season when the two sides met once more, this time in the Finals. The first leg was played at the Melbourne Croatia Sports Centre. In front of just 7,000 fans the two sides played out a 0-0. It was a match where Perth player Bobby Despotovski made a 3 fingered Serbian salute to Knights fans. After the match he and others in the Perth squad were attacked by Knights fans as the Perth players boarded the team bus. It made headlines across Australia. In the second leg in Perth in front of 30,000 fans, the odds were stacked against the Knights. But the side put in a phenomenal performance being up 2-0 by the 30th minute mark. Perth came back to level it at 2-2, but it was too late the Knights took out the tie on the away goals rule. The two sides have not played each other since the end of the NSL in 2004.

Other[edit]

Other important rivalries have been with fellow Melbourne sides Preston Lions, Green Gully, Heidelberg United and Sunshine George Cross, both at state and national level. Matches against Preston in particular have traditionally attracted large crowds, while the rivalry with Green Gully was at its most fiercest in the early 80s when the 2 sides dominated the State League. The rivalry with Sunshine George Cross has seen George Cross become the most played team for the Melbourne Knights after South Melbourne, with the first clash between the 2 sides occurring back in 1960.

In the NSL the club had significant rivalries with Sydney Olympic, Marconi Fairfield and particularly Adelaide City. The Melbourne Knights and Adelaide City were the two dominant football powers in the early to mid 90s, they met each other 3 times in the NSL Grand Final. The club also has friendly rivalries with fellow Croatian backed clubs Sydney United and the St Albans Saints.

In the 2007 VPL season a new rivalry was born with the Serbian backed Springvale White Eagles. The two clubs had never met each other before hand. In their first meeting the Knights won 1-0 at home, with a last minute free kick from Anthony Pelikan. It was the first time that the Knights had ever played a Serbian side in a league match in its long history. The second match ended in a 5-2 thrashing of the White Eagles. This rivalry resumed in the 2011 VPL season, with a 1-1 draw away and a 5-0 win at home for the Knights.

Honours[edit]

Honours No. Years
National Soccer League
NSL Australian Champions 2 1994/95, 1995/96
NSL Runner-Up 3 1990/91, 1991/92, 1993/94
NSL Minor Premiers 4 1990/91, 1991/92, 1993/94, 1994/95
NSL Regular Season Runner-Up 1 1995/96
NSL Finalists (Playoffs) 12 1984, 1985, 1989, 1989/90, 1990/91, 1991/92, 1993/94, 1994/95, 1995/96, 1996/97, 2000/01, 2001/02
NSL Cup Winners 1 1994/95
NSL Cup Runner-Up 1 1984
National Youth League Champions 3 1989/90, 1996/97, 2000/01
National Youth League Runner-Up 2 1994/95, 2001/02
National Youth League (Southern Division) Champions 5 1989/90, 1994/95, 1996/97, 2000/01, 2001/02
State
Victorian Champions 3 1968, 1978, 1979
Victorian Runner-Up 5 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 2008
VPL Regular Season Runner-Up 3 2007, 2008, 2013
VPL Finalists (Playoffs) 3 2007, 2008, 2013
Victorian State League Cup (Top 4 Series) Winners 6 1971, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983
Victorian State League Cup (Top 4 Series) Runner-Up 1 1982
Victorian State League Top 4 Finalists 11 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
Dockerty Cup Winners 9 1968, 1969, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1988^, 1990, 1996
Dockerty Cup Runner-Up 5 1965, 1977, 1982, 1995, 2011
Ampol Cup/Buffalo Cup (Pre-Season Cup) Winners 8 1968, 1971, 1972, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1986, 1987
Ampol Cup/Buffalo Cup (Pre-Season Cup) Runner-Up 3 1969, 1984, 1985
Victorian Division One Champions 4 1959, 1961 (Preston Croat), 1962, 1964
Victorian Division Two Runner-Up 1 1958
Victorian Metropolitan/Provisional League Runner-Up 3 1954, 1955, 1957
Other
Ansett Challenge Shield Winners 2 1986, 1987
Armstrong Cup Winners 2 1966, 1977
Inter City Cup Winners 1 1971
Inter City Cup Runner-Up 2 1968, 1972
Tynan Eyre Cup Winners 1 2001
Tynan Eyre Cup Runner-Up 3 1998, 1999, 2000
LG Cup Bronze Medalist (Hosted in Vietnam) 1 2001
Australian-Croatian Soccer Tournament Champions 5 1993, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

^Melbourne Knights stripped of the title for fielding an un-registered player

NSL Grand Finals[edit]

Year Champion Runner up Score Goal Scorer MK Lineup Venue Crowd
1990/1991 South Melbourne Melbourne Croatia 1-1 (5-4 on penalties) MK: Andrew Marth 25 min

SM: Joe Palatsides 88 min

David Miller, Theo Selemidis, Mark Talajic, Alan Edward Davidson, George Hannah, Andrew Marth, Josip Biskic, Branko Milosevic (Mark Silic 105’), Joe Caleta (Paul Donnelly 110’), Ivan Kelic, Francis Awaritefe Olympic Park 23,318
1991/1992 Adelaide City Melbourne Croatia 0-0 (4-2 on penalties) David Miller, Theo Selemidis, Mark Talajic, Alan Edward Davidson, George Hannah, Andrew Marth, Josip Biskic (Mark Silic 106’), Paul Donnelly (Vlado Vanis 70’), Ivan Kelic, Francis Awaritefe, Damian Mori Olympic Park 15,463
1993/1994 Adelaide City Melbourne Croatia 1-0 AC: Damian Mori 68 min David Miller, Vlado Vanis (Oliver Pondeljak 75’), Steve Horvat, Vinko Buljubasic (Mark Silic 18’), David Cervinski, Fausto De Amicis, Andrew Marth, Josip Biskic, Zoran Trajcevski, Adrian Cervinski, Mark Viduka Olympic Park 13,970
1994/1995 Melbourne Croatia Adelaide City 2-0 MK: Andrew Marth 36 min, Joe Spiteri 41 min Frank Juric, Steve Horvat, Vinko Buljubasic, David Cervinski, Fausto De Amicis, Andrew Marth, Mark Silic, Kresimir Marusic (Damir Grganovic 87'), Joe Spiteri, Oliver Pondeljak (Ante Kovacevic 64'), Mark Viduka Hindmarsh Stadium 15,573
1995/1996 Melbourne Croatia Marconi Stallions 2-1 MK: Andrew Marth 58 min, Adrian Cervinski 74 min

MS: Andrew Harper 78 min

Vilson Knezevic, Josip Simunic, Ante Kovacevic (Vinko Buljubasic 46'), Zoran Markovski, David Cervinski, Fausto De Amicis, Andrew Marth, Lubo Lapsansky, Tom Pondeljak (Joe Bacak 75'), John Markovski (Dragi Nastevski 81'), Adrian Cervinski Olympic Park 14,258

NSL record[edit]

Regular season matches

Played Wins Draws Losses GF GA Points
551 242 121 188 848 736 847

Finals (Playoffs) Matches

Played Wins Draws Losses GF GA Points
30 10 5 15 34 45 35

Overall

Played Wins Draws Losses GF GA Points
581 252 126 203 882 781 882

All-time national league table[edit]

Melbourne Knights is ranked 5th out of 46 clubs that have competed in the national competition (NSL and A-League):

Played Wins Draws Losses Points Pts per match %Win
South Melbourne 792 381 178 233 1321 1.67 48.11%
Marconi Fairfield 788 362 180 246 1266 1.61 45.94%
Sydney Olympic 770 326 190 253 1168 1.517 42.34%
Adelaide City 770 324 193 253 1165 1.513 42.08%
Melbourne Knights 581 252 126 203 882 1.518 43.37%
Sydney United 577 242 142 193 868 1.50 41.94%

All-time record 1954–2013[edit]

Season League Position P W D L GF GA Pts
1954 Provisional League RUNNER-UP 10 5 2 3 34 20 17
1955 Metropolitan League - South RUNNER-UP 13 10 0 3 52 20 30
1956 Metropolitan League - South 4th 14 6 3 5 31 25 21
1957 Metropolitan League - South RUNNER-UP 18 12 3 3 44 22 39
1958 Division 2 - North RUNNER-UP 18 15 1 2 74 17 46
1959 Division 1 - North CHAMPIONS 18 14 2 2 81 22 44
1960 Victorian State League (Preston Croat) 11th 22 5 2 15 30 65 17
1960 Division 1 - North (SC Croatia) 5th 18 9 3 6 34 27 30
1961 Division 1 – South (Preston Croat) CHAMPIONS 18 16 2 0 62 21 50
1961 Division 1 – North (SC Croatia) 3rd 18 13 1 4 63 22 40
1962 Victorian State League (Preston Croat) 10th 22 5 4 13 21 45 19
1962 Division 1 – North (SC Croatia) CHAMPIONS 22 19 1 2 67 11 58
1963 Victorian State League 11th 22 5 6 11 28 51 21
1964 Division 1 CHAMPIONS 22 18 3 1 75 18 57
1965 Victorian State League 6th 22 11 3 8 41 28 36
1966 Victorian State League 5th 22 10 3 9 39 27 33
1967 Victorian State League 3rd 22 11 5 6 41 25 38
1968 Victorian State League CHAMPIONS 22 15 3 4 42 19 48
1969 Victorian State League 4th 22 11 4 7 40 24 37
1970 Victorian State League 4th 22 10 7 5 36 20 37
1971 Victorian State League 3rd 22 11 5 6 33 21 38
1972 Victorian State League 7th 22 7 5 10 27 19 26
1973 Did not compete - - - - - - - -
1974 Division 1 9th 22 7 4 11 31 51 25
1975 Division 1 7th 22 8 5 9 25 28 29
1976 Division 1 3rd 22 11 8 3 32 17 41
1977 Victorian State League 7th 22 8 4 10 28 24 28
1978 Victorian State League CHAMPIONS 22 17 2 3 49 11 53
1979 Victorian State League CHAMPIONS 22 12 6 4 43 18 42
1980 Victorian State League RUNNER-UP 22 12 8 2 37 16 44
1981 Victorian State League RUNNER-UP 22 12 6 4 41 20 42
1982 Victorian State League RUNNER-UP 26 15 5 6 52 28 50
1983 Victorian State League RUNNER-UP 26 21 2 3 72 14 65
1984 National Soccer League – Southern Conference 3rd 31 14 7 10 43 38 49
1985 National Soccer League – Southern Conference 5th 23 9 6 8 30 23 33
1986 National Soccer League - Southern Conference 10th 22 6 6 10 25 33 24
1987 National Soccer League 9th 24 9 5 10 22 30 32
1988 National Soccer League 9th 26 9 6 11 28 33 33
1989 National Soccer League 4th 28 14 5 9 48 38 47
1989–1990 National Soccer League 3rd 29 15 7 7 51 30 52
1990–1991 National Soccer League RUNNER-UP 28 16 7 5 57 40 55
1991–1992 National Soccer League RUNNER-UP 28 15 7 6 45 26 52
1992–1993 National Soccer League 10th 26 10 4 12 38 39 34
1993–1994 National Soccer League RUNNER-UP 29 17 6 6 63 28 57
1994–1995 National Soccer League CHAMPIONS 28 18 4 6 62 30 58
1995–1996 National Soccer League CHAMPIONS 36 19 9 8 55 31 66
1996–1997 National Soccer League 6th 28 11 6 11 37 39 39
1997–1998 National Soccer League 7th 26 11 6 9 37 35 39
1998–1999 National Soccer League 12th 28 8 5 15 32 43 29
1999–2000 National Soccer League 12th 34 13 6 15 44 57 45
2000–2001 National Soccer League 4th 33 14 9 10 63 49 51
2001–2002 National Soccer League 6th 26 11 4 11 43 46 37
2002–2003 National Soccer League 9th 24 7 6 11 38 52 27
2003–2004 National Soccer League 12th 24 6 5 13 21 41 23
2005 Victorian Premier League 9th 26 8 9 9 29 34 33
2006 Victorian Premier League 11th 26 8 6 12 33 39 30
2007 Victorian Premier League 3rd 29 15 5 9 40 24 50
2008 Victorian Premier League RUNNER-UP 30 16 10 4 51 29 58
2009 Victorian Premier League 9th 22 7 6 9 26 25 27
2010 Victorian Premier League 9th 22 7 5 10 30 37 26
2011 Victorian Premier League 10th 24 8 7 9 39 33 31
2012 Victorian Premier League 8th 22 9 2 11 25 30 29
2013 Victorian Premier League 2nd 22 11 6 5 31 26 37
Total 62 seasons 1463 702 300 461 2591 1854 2404

Dynasties[edit]

In the Victorian Premier League for the 2 seasons spanning 2007 - 2008 the Melbourne Knights was the number one ranked side:

Position Club Points
1 Melbourne Knights 108
2 Altona Magic 102
3 Preston Lions 99
4 Green Gully 93
5 Heidelberg United 85

In the National Soccer League for the 10 seasons spanning 1989 - 1998 the Melbourne Knights was the number one ranked side:

Position Club Points
1 Melbourne Knights 499
2 Adelaide City 498
3 South Melbourne 495
4 Marconi Fairfield 491
5 Sydney United 442
6 Sydney Olympic 418

In the Victorian Soccer League for the 7 seasons spanning 1977 - 1983 the Melbourne Knights was the number one ranked side:

Position Club Points
1 Melbourne Knights 324
2 Green Gully 286
3 Brunswick Juventus 262
4 Sunshine George Cross 251

In the Victorian Soccer League for the 6 seasons spanning 1966 - 1971 the Melbourne Knights was the number one ranked side:

Position Club Points
1 Melbourne Knights 231
2 South Melbourne 225
3 Brunswick Juventus 224
4 Footscray JUST 221
5 Melbourne Hungaria 219

Team of the Century[edit]

In 2003 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Melbourne Knights, the club named its team of the century:

Substitutes:

Coach: Mijo Kis (1966–1970, 1972)

Other Nominees:

International players[edit]

The club has had and produced many players who have been Australian internationals (including 4 Socceroo captains), along with several Croatian internationals. These include:

Australia

Angola

Croatia

England

Ghana

Hong Kong

Ireland

Lebanon

New Zealand

Scotland

Solomon Islands

Uruguay

Wales

Yugoslavia

Individual awards[edit]

Johnny Warren Medal - NSL Player of the Year

Coach of the Year

NSL Top Goal Scorer

Sam Papasavas Award - Under 21 NSL Player of the Year

NSL Goalkeeper of the Year

Joe Marston Medal - NSL Grand Final Man of the Match

Victorian Premier League Gold Medal - VPL Player of the Year

Bill Fleming Medal - Media voted VPL Player of the Year

Victorian Premier League Coach of the Year

Jimmy Rooney Medal - VPL Grand Final Man of the Match

Victorian Premier League Under 21 Player of the Year

Weinstein Medal Junior Player of the Year

Top goal-scorers[edit]

Notable former coaches[edit]

Club records[edit]

  • Best Result in the NSL: W 8-1 v Wollongong Macedonia at Knights Stadium(h) 7.3.91
  • Worst Result in the NSL: L 0-6 v Adelaide City at Hindmarsh Stadium (a) 7.4.91
  • Best Result in State Competitions: W 29-1 V Brunswick Latvia at Corio Oval(h) 29.8.59
  • Best Regular season NSL Crowd (home): 11,415 v South Melbourne at Knights Stadium 5.3.00
  • Best Finals Series NSL Crowd: 23,318 vs South Melbourne (1990/91 Grand Final) at Olympic Park
  • Biggest Unbeaten Streak: 21 games - 20/08/1960 - 31/03/1962 (Preston Croat)
  • Biggest Winning Streak: 15 games - (SC Croatia) 31/03/1962 - 07/07/1962 & (Preston Croat) 27/08/1960 - 22/07/1961
  • Biggest Winning Streak in the NSL: 7 games - 23/10/1994 - 4/12/1994
  • Biggest Unbeaten Streak in the NSL: 12 games - 13/05/1984 - 26/08/1984
  • Biggest Losing Streak in the NSL: 4 games - 12/4/98 - 30/10/98 & 3/10/99 - 22/10/99
  • Biggest Streak Without a Win in the NSL: 8 games - 13/12/98 - 7/02/99 & 12/12/99 - 30/01/00
  • Biggest Unbeaten Streak in the VPL: 19 games - 17-02/2008 - 29/06/2008
  • Most Goals in a Season (as a club): 81 goals in 1959
  • Most Wins in a Season: 21 wins in 1983
  • Most Points in a Season: 66 points in 1995/96
  • Most Goals in a Match (NSL): Ivan Kelić 6 goals v Wollongong Macedonia at Knights Stadium(h) 7.3.91
  • Most Matches in the NSL: Josip Biskic 282 matches, Andrew Marth 269 matches
  • Most Matches All-Time: Josip Biskic 328 matches
  • Most Goals in the NSL: Ivan Kelić 78 goals, Adrian Cervinski 58 goals
  • Most Goals All-Time: Ivan Kelić 78 goals, Billy Vojtek 60+, Adrian Cervinski 58 goals, David Brogan 53 goals, Tommy Cumming 50 goals
  • Most Goals in a Season: 21 Mark Viduka 94/95, 21 David Brogan 1983
  • Best Games to Goal Ratio: 0.83 Mark Viduka 40 goals/48 games
  • Most Games Coached in the NSL: Mirko Bažić
  • Most Games Coached All-Time: Mijo Kis
  • Most Seasons at the Club: Josip Biskic 14, Billy Vojtek 13, Andrew Marth 13, Horst Rau 12, George Hannah 11, Mirko Kovacek 10

References[edit]

  • 1. Various work's of soccer historian Roy Hay [1]
  • 2. Statistics from OzFootball [2]
  • 3. The Melbourne Knights website [3]
  • 4. 'Ethnicity and Soccer in Australia' academic study [4]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Adelaide City
NSL Champions
1994/95-1995/96
Succeeded by
Brisbane Strikers
Preceded by
Melbourne Hungaria
VPL Champions
1968
Succeeded by
Footscray JUST
Preceded by
Sunshine George Cross FC
VPL Champions
1978-1979
Succeeded by
Preston Lions