Sydney FC Prague

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The Sydney Football Club Prague, commonly known as Sydney Prague or just Prague, was a former association football club formed in 1957 by predominantly Czech Australians, which participated in the NSW State League from its foundation in 1957 until its amalgamation with Yugal at the beginning of the 1973 season.

Sydney Prague were one of the most successful sides of the late 50s and early 60s, consistently finishing high in leagues and cups. Prague were one of the first club sides to bring fast, attacking European style play to Australia, due to the influx of European ex-international players to the club in the late 1950s.

History[edit]

Prague was the home of many Australian and ex-European representative footballers throughout the 60s and early 70s. Prague was instrumental in the strengthening of Australian football throughout its time, and had strong player and coaching links with the Australia national football (soccer) team.

Legacy[edit]

Prague were the first Australian side to fully sponsor a tour by an overseas club.,[1] in 1964 guaranteeing Swiss champions FC Basel a sum of £1785 in an attempt to persuade Basel's then Czech coach, Georges Sobotka to accept a position at Prague. Although Sobotka went on to coach the Switzerland national football side, the tour was a success, turning over more than £5000 and paving the way for future overseas tours of Australia. The game ended in a 2-2 draw.

In 1965, Chelsea F.C. manager and former Scotland international, Tommy Docherty was offered a guest stint with Prague in a friendly against VFB Stuttgart after taking the '64-'65 League cup with Chelsea. Docherty, still a registered player at the time, accepted and was granted permission by Chelsea. Docherty was to return to Sydney in the early 80's, as coach of Sydney Olympic and South Melbourne.

The fixture was deemed a great success, with over 6000 people cramming E.S Marks field for a high quality encounter, Stuttgart taking the tie 3-1. In an interesting turn of events, Stuttgart's coach at the time, Rudi Gutendorf returned to Australia four years later and took up a position coaching the national side during Australia's qualification bid for the 1978 World Cup.

Achievements[edit]

  • NSW State League
  • Regular Season Premiers (4): (1959, 1960, 1961, 1963)
  • Champions (1): (1959)
  • Runners up (1): (1960)
  • AMPOL Cup
  • Winners (6): (1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1969)
  • Federation Cup
  • Runners up (1): (1958)

Former players[edit]

Former managers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Terry Smith (February 1964). "Swiss club to tour" (PDF). Sydney Morning Herald.