Preston Lions FC

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Preston Lions FC

Logo club preston 006.jpg

Full Name Preston Lions Football Club
Nickname(s) Lions, Macedonia, Lavovi, Reds
Founded 1947 (1959)
Ground B.T. Connor Reserve,
Reservoir, Victoria
Ground Capacity 8,000 Includes 1,000 seating approx
Owner Preston Lions Supporters Trust Est 2012
Chairman Zoran Trajcevski
Manager Josip Biskic
League Victorian State League N/W Div 2
2013 8th

The Preston Lions Football Club (formerly Preston Makedonia Soccer Club) is a soccer club from Preston, a northern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The club was formed in 1947 and currently plays in the Victorian State League Division Two, but did play in the Victorian Premier League up until 2009, of which they were champions of the 2002 and 2007 season.

Foundation[edit]

The club was founded in 1947 and was affiliated with the Victorian Soccer Federation (now Football Federation Victoria) in 1959. Based in the suburb of Preston, Victoria, the Macedonian Soccer Club was originally created as a focal point for the newly immigrated Macedonian community to gather and socialise, and to provide the then youth with the opportunity to learn and play the ‘world game’ that was so popular back in their homeland of Macedonia.

Transformation of the club and affiliation to VSF[edit]

In 1959 the club established itself from an amateur club to a semi-professional club, and a change of name to the Preston Makedonia Soccer Club with promotion to the Victorian Division Two (South Competition). Preston Makedonia moved forward in leaps and bounds to become champions of the Victorian Metropolitan League Division One in 1966, and as a result, was promoted to the state’s top competition, the Victorian State League in 1967.

The club first experienced championship success at the state’s top level in 1975 and again in 1980. As Victorian champions, Preston competed in a play-off against other state champions and in 1981 they were promoted to the then National Soccer League (NSL) competition.

During this significant period of growth the need for much larger facilities became apparent and the club consequently moved from its home base of T.A. Cochrane Reserve in Collier Street, Preston, to its current home ground at B.T. Connor Reserve in nearby Reservoir. The Preston Macedonian Social Club was also established around the same time and is located directly opposite the ground.

National Soccer League[edit]

Preston continued to compete successfully in the NSL for the next 13 years, achieving their best finish in 1987 as runner-up in the Southern Division Championship. In 1992 Preston took out the prestigious Dockerty Cup in a thrilling penalty shootout against arch rivals South Melbourne. However financial difficulties led to poor performances and in 1993 Preston played their last match in the NSL.

Victorian Premier League[edit]

Relegated to the Victorian Premier League, Preston were once again crowned Victorian champions in 1994. Around this time, Soccer Australia forced VPL clubs to abolish any ethnicity associated with their club names. Preston Makedonia Soccer Club was renamed the Preston Lions Soccer Club. The club has since adopted the title of the Preston Lions Football Club, following the lead set by the sports’ governing body and keeping in line with how the game is known in the UK and countries where people don't speak English–as “football”. Preston would once again become Victorian Premier League champions in both 2002 and 2007, adding to its already impressive collection of trophies.

In season 2009 Preston Lions in the club's 50 year anniversary finished the season in 12th Place and were relegated for the first time since they entered the Victorian Premier League in 1994, after they were relegated from the NSL in 1993 to the Victorian State League Division 1.

About the Club[edit]

Today the club has over 240 players with teams in senior men's, senior women's and juniors, with a further 50 people involved in coaching, training and approximately 10 committee members who are responsible for the management and administration of the club at the strategic and operational level.[citation needed]

The club's women's team competes in the highest competition in the state, the Women's Premier League (WPL).[citation needed]

Former Players[edit]

Over the years, the Preston Lions FC have produced many champion players who have represented their countries at youth and senior level such as Warren Spink, George Campbell for Scotland, Graham Heys for England, Robbie Dunn, Phil Traianedes, George Jolevski, Andrew Zinni, Oscar Crino, Peter Ollerton, Gary Cole, John Markovski, Kris Trajanovski, Goran Lozanovski, John Sapazovski, who captained the Victorian State Team on their tour to China in 2005, and Sasa Ognenovski was crowned Asian player of the year in 2010.[citation needed]

Honours[edit]

2007 Victorian Premier League Grand Final

National[edit]

  • National Soccer League Runner-Up: 1987
  • National Soccer League (Southern Division) Runner-Up: 1985
  • National Soccer League Third Place: 1983
  • National Soccer League Cup Runner-Up: 1985, 1990/91
  • National Soccer League Finalists: 1985, 1989

State[edit]

  • Victorian Premier League Champions: 1980, 1994, 2002, 2007
  • Victorian Premier League Minor Premiers: 1994, 2003, 2007
  • Victorian Premier League Runners Up: 1978
  • Victorian Premier League Finalists: 1994, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008
  • Victorian Division One Champions: 1966, 1975
  • Victorian Division One Runner-Up: 1964, 1965, 1996
  • Victorian Division Two Champions: 1961, 1973
  • Dockerty Cup Winners: 1992
  • Dockerty Cup Runner-Up: 1985, 1986
  • Victoria Cup: 1980
  • Federation Cup Winners: 1973, 1975, 1996
  • Federation Cup Runner-Up: 1963

Individual awards[edit]

Victorian Premier League Gold Medal - VPL Player of the Year

  • 2001–Chris Emsovski
  • 2003–Chris Emsovski
  • 2005–Anthony Magnacca

Bill Fleming Medal - Media voted VPL Player of the Year

  • 1994–Adrian Pender
  • 2006–Anthony Magnacca
  • 2007–Tony Sterjovski

Victorian Premier League Coach of the Year

  • 2007–Goran Lozanovski

Victorian Premier League Top Goalscorer

  • 1979–Gary Ward

Victorian Premier League Goalkeeper of the Year

  • 1999–Lou Acevski

Victorian Premier League Under 21 Player of the Year

  • 2005–Serkan Oksuz

Jimmy Rooney Medal - VPL Grand Final Man of the Match

  • 1994–Chris Sterjovski
  • 2002–John Spazaovski
  • 2007–Zoran Petrevski

Weinstein Medal Junior Player of the Year

Representative Football[edit]

Australian Representatives - Senior Level

  • Doug Brown
  • Billy Celeski
  • Gary Cole
  • Oscar Crino
  • Robbie Dunn
  • David Jones
  • John Little
  • George Jolevski
  • Goran Lozanovski
  • John Markovski
  • Zarko Odzakov
  • Sasa Ognenovski
  • Peter Ollerton
  • Con Opasinis
  • George Slifkas
  • Warren Spink
  • Phil Traianedes
  • Kris Trajanovski
  • Andrew Zinni

National Representatives - Youth Team

  • John Little (AUS)
  • Warren Spink (AUS)
  • John Markovski (AUS)
  • Naum Sekulovski (AUS)
  • Kris Trajanovski (AUS)
  • Goran Lozanovski (AUS)
  • Vasco Trpcevski (AUS)
  • Bill Tijuelo (AUS)
  • Daniel Miller (AUS)
  • George Campbell (SCO)
  • Graham Heys (ENG)
  • Robert Spasevski (AUS)

Victorian State Representatives - Senior Level

  • George Campbell
  • John Sapazovski
  • Anthony Magnacca
  • Pece Siveski
  • Serkan Oksuz
  • Jonathan Munoz
  • Steve Jackson

Current squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Australia GK Nikola J Kostadinoski
2 Australia DF Zelko Popovic
19 Australia DF Marko Lazarevic
14 Australia DF Roberto Bazzano
12 Australia DF Michael Santoro
7 Australia DF Les Anastasiou
8 Australia MF Robert Najdovski
9 Australia MF Filip Dimovski
11 Australia MF Tony Sterjovski
3 Australia MF Andrew Branov
No. Position Player
15 Australia MF Robert Dolevski
18 Australia MF Igorce Kolevski
23 Australia MF Nikola Naumovski
25 Australia MF Voislav Gjorgovski
28 Australia MF Danny Barakat
29 Australia FW Fikret Husanovic
32 Australia FW David Jozinovic

Notable former coaches[edit]

Records[edit]

Note: These statistics include Victorian Premier League matches and finals played for Preston Lions between 1991 and 2005.

External links[edit]