Newcastle Croatia

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Newcastle/Wickham Croatia
Newcastle Croatia 1.JPG
Full name Newcastle Croatia
Nickname(s) Croatia, Wickham Croatia
Founded 1984 (defunct 1994)
Ground Croatian Sports Club/Wickham Park,
Wickham,Newcastle
Ground Capacity 1 000
Chairman Tony Topic
Manager Richard Hartley
League NBN Northern NSW State Football League

The Newcastle Croatia Soccer Club is a now defunct Australian football (soccer) from Newcastle, New South Wales. The club was formed by the city's Croatian Australian community as Newcastle Croatia in 1984 and debuted that year in the 5th Division of the Newcastle League. The club was based in Wickham, New South Wales and would in following years change its name to Wickham Croatia.

1986, Minor Premiers of the 5th Division and were promoted to 4th Division

1987, Grand Finalists and Minor Premiers of 4th Division

1988, Grand Final Runners-Up and Minor Premiers of 3rd Division. Promoted to 2nd Division

It was a remarkably quick rise from the club, by 1991 the club had made it all the way to the premier competition, the NBN State Football League, only 7 years after its formation. The club immediately cemented itself as one of the top sides in the league, finishing an impressive 4th in its debut season.

The club had a few stellar seasons in the NBN State Football League where it came 3rd in seasons 1992 and 1993. In 1992 the club had a great run in the finals, with the club making the Grand Final against West Wallsend FC. Unfortunately Newcastle Croatia went down 2-1 at Austral Park in front of a crowd of 2,500 spectators. The club would again make the Grand Final in 1994, losing 2-1 to Highfields Azzurri.

However the club was disbanded following the 1994 season when it couldn't field a team in the NBN State Football League. The club had also been a regular participant in the Australian-Croatian Soccer Tournament.

The 1992 Newcastle Croatia Grand Final squad:

  • David Connor
  • Grant Brinkworth
  • John Tonkin
  • Craig A. Jones
  • Michael Boogaard
  • Reg Chilby (captain)
  • John Govan
  • Steve Bajzath
  • Karl Freeman
  • Steve Brown
  • Lorenzo Saetta

Substitutes:

  • Craig L. Jones
  • Doug Elphick
  • Chris Breasley
  • Jason Coombes
  • Michael Kmet

Richard Hartley (coach)

External links[edit]