Adelaide City FC

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"Adelaide City" redirects here. For the City of Adelaide, see City of Adelaide (disambiguation).
Adelaide City
Adelaide City Logo
Full name Adelaide City Football Club
Nickname(s) The Zebras
Founded 1946
Ground Adelaide City Park
Ground Capacity 5,000
Chairman Dino D'Ottavi
Manager Damian Mori
League NPL South Australia
2015 NPL South Australia, 4th
Website Club home page
Current season

Adelaide City Football Club is an Australian football (soccer) club based in Adelaide, South Australia. They are also known as The Zebras and the Black and Whites. The club, which competed in the National Soccer League for 27 seasons and is one of Australia's most decorated sides, has won three national championships and 17 South Australian championships. Since it withdrew from the NSL just before the league's final season began in 2003, Adelaide City has competed in the National Premier Leagues South Australia.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

The club was founded at Bailetti sports store on Hindley Street, Adelaide and primarily followed by people of Italian heritage.[1] The club was originally called "Juventus" after the Italian club from 1946 until being renamed Adelaide Juventus in 1966.

It was only a short seven year wait for the club to enjoy its first real success when the first of many league championships arrived in 1953. This was followed by another five titles before the end of the 1950s including an unprecedented four in-a-row between 1956 and 1959. Between 1953 and 1959, the club won 106 of 127 games and six of seven championships it contested.[2] An additional three South Australian championships were won in the 1960s and three more titles were won in the 1970s up until 1976. The club's original home was Kensington Oval, Adelaide, then known as Olympic Sports Field.

Entering the National Soccer League[edit]

In 1977, the club renamed itself Adelaide City and became a founding club of the inaugural NSL competition. They were captained by Frank Lister, who went on to win the Golden Boot award for that year and was later inducted into the South Australian Soccer Hall of Fame in 2004. The club's inaugural NSL coach was Edmund Kreft. Roger Romanowicz, Ron Fraser, Fred Yung, Zoran Matić, Lister, John Perin, David Leane, Sergio Melta, Brian Northcote, John Nyskohus and Gary Marocchi started for the Black and Whites in their first ever national league clash, a 0-0 draw against the Brisbane Lions at Olympic Sports Field, watched by 6,320 people. City finished fourth in the first ever NSL season, six points behind eventual champion Sydney City. The club, one of the main proponents of the NSL concept, recorded the league's highest average attendance in its first season (7,400 people). [3] One of the club's other highlights from the first NSL season was a 10-3 win over Victorian club Mooroolbark. The game remains the only time an Australian club side has scored 10 goals in a national league match.[4]

The second NSL season was less successful for City. They finished 10th in a 14-team competition and drew a crucial game at the end of the season that allowed their biggest rivals West Adelaide to claim the title. That final round match, played at Hindmarsh Stadium, attracted a crowd of 16,251.

The club reached the final of the NSL Cup in 1978 but lost to the Lions in Brisbane. The following year, City won its first national level silverware, defeating St George Budapest 3-1 in front of 9,554 fans at Olympic Sports Field.[5]

In 1979, City also faced a New York Cosmos side featuring Dutch star Johan Neeskens and German legend Franz Beckenbauer in a friendly at Olympic Sports Field, which attracted a crowd of more than 28,000.[6]

City remained a mid-table side for the following few seasons. In 1984, the NSL was expanded and split into Northern and Southern conferences. City played in the Southern Conference, alongside clubs from Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

First national championship[edit]

In 1986, City reached the finals series for the first time after finishing third in the southern conference. In a qualifying final, City travelled to Melbourne and beat second-placed Footscray JUST 3-2. They backed up that win by returning to Melbourne and defeating Southern Conference champion Brunswick Juventus 2-0 in the semi-finals. The Southern final pit City against Footscray JUST again and the club won its third straight finals clash away from home, 2-1.

City then faced Northern Conference champion, Sydney Olympic, at Hindmarsh Stadium in the first leg of the NSL grand final. Despite losing 1-0 in front of 12,232 home fans, City travelled to Sydney the following week and defeated the Greek community-backed Olympic 3-1 at Parramatta Stadium to be crowned Australian champions for the first time. The club's first championship captain Bugsy Nyskohus also became the first player to play 300 NSL games.[7]

The NSL returned to a single conference, 14-team competition the following season and City disappointed, backing up its championship season with a 10th-place finish. It would not be until the 1989-90 season, when the NSL switched to summertime, that the Adelaide club returned to the finals series. However, they were eliminated at the first hurdle at home by Sydney Olympic.

Golden era[edit]

City enjoyed its finest years during the 1990s. The club finished third in the 1990-91 season, four points behind Melbourne Croatia. In the finals, they faced South Melbourne Hellas away from home, losing 4-2 in Melbourne. City, which had a double chance due to its top three finish, rebounded and beat Marconi Fairfield 1-0 at home thanks to a 93rd minute Joe Mullen goal. However, in the preliminary final, South Melbourne's Paul Trimboli scored the only goal to break City hearts. South went on to win the grand final on penalties against arch-rivals Melbourne Croatia. City's season was recognised with individual awards to its star defender, Milan Ivanović, who was named NSL Player of the Year after arriving from Yugoslav giants Red Star Belgrade, and Coach of the Year Zoran Matić.

The following season saw City win its second championship. While the club finished fourth after the home-and-away rounds, its reputation as a finals specialist continued to become stronger. A Carl Veart goal gave the Zebras a 1-0 win over Wollongong City at Hindmarsh. Veart then scored twice away from home, including an extra time winner, against Sydney Olympic. Goals from Veart, his fourth of the finals campaign, and rising star Ross Aloisi gave City a 2-0 win over South Melbourne at Olympic Park. A 0-0 draw in the grand final against Melbourne Croatia went City's favour, as they won on penalties to claim their second NSL title. Croatia had lost two grand finals in two years on penalties to rival clubs.

Adelaide City narrowly failed to go back-to-back in the 1992-93 season, losing the grand final 1-0 to Marconi after finishing third on the ladder. City had defeated their biggest rivals West Adelaide and South Melbourne to reach the decider.

The following season, the Zebras reclaimed their national title. Despite finishing fifth on the table, City was able to reach the grand final by downing powerhouses Sydney United, Marconi and South Melbourne. Its biggest finals performers included a young Damian Mori, who went on to become one of Australia's greatest ever goalscorers, Brad Hassell and Tony Vidmar. City faced the Melbourne Knights in the grand final at Melbourne's Olympic Park. Mori scored the only goal of the game, giving City their third championship against his former club, which had now lost three grand finals in four seasons.

The Croatian-backed Knights exacted revenge on City the following season, edging them out by one point to top the table after the regular season. City then beat Knights over two legs in the semi-finals to secure a home grand final. Knights beat their rivals South Melbourne to qualify for the grand final. The patch pit that season's two top goalscorers against one another, the Knights' Mark Viduka having scored 18 goals and City's Damian Mori 17. In front of more than 16,000 fans, the Knights defeated Adelaide City for the first time in South Australia to claim their first national title. Despite the loss, Matić was again named Coach of the Year.

City made the finals in each of the following six seasons but failed to reach another grand final. Its run of 11 consecutive finals series stands as a national record.[8] Damian Mori won the first of his three top goalscorer awards for City in 1996, with 31 goals for the season. His goalscoring efforts also saw him named Player of the Year.

Final NSL years[edit]

The club rebranded itself as the Adelaide Force going into the 2000-01 season, in an effort to promote themselves beyond Adelaide's Italian community, from where they had drawn their traditional support. City missed the finals in their first season as the Force and finished second-last the following year, their worst ever NSL season.

Going into the 2002-03 season, which was to be their last in the NSL, City recruited Italian striker Claudio Pelosi who had previously spent a two-year stint at the club. Pelosi's goals helped City return to the finals series. The NSL changed its finals format to a round-robin competition played over 10 matches between the top six. Minor round premiers, Olympic Sharks were given a six-point advantage and despite City's valiant finals efforts, they finished two points shy of the Sharks and a berth in the grand final.

City's final NSL match saw them beat Northern Spirit 6-0 in front of 3,833 home fans at Hindmarsh Stadium.

On 31 August 2003, after 26 seasons in the NSL, Adelaide City announced its departure from the national league because of financial difficultues.[9] The club returned to only fielding sides in the South Australian state competition the following year.

Return to state competition[edit]

City competed in the South Australian competitions even while its senior side played in the NSL. However, after its departure from the national league, City's top side enjoyed a successful return to the state leagues. In 2005, the club won the Premier League grand final, despite finishing seven points shy of the North Eastern MetroStars during the regular season.

Adelaide City completed the treble in 2006 winning three trophies, the pre-season Errea Cup, the 2006 FFSA Super League (a rebranded SA Premier League) and the FFSA Adelaide United Cup. City met Raiders in the Errea Cup final in what was a rematch of the previous season's Grand Final. City breezed through winning 5–0. In the Super League, City fought off tough competition for the majority of the year and ended the season three games clear on top of the table with a healthy goal difference. City then went on to win the FFSA Adelaide United Cup with a comprehensive 4–1 victory over Adelaide Blue Eagles. Striker Jonathan Negus scored a hat-trick and won the John Kosmina Medal awarded to the best on ground.

Damian Mori, now coach of City, led the club to its third and fourth straight South Australian titles in the 2007 season and 2008 season. The club lost to MetroStars in the 2009 grand final, preventing them from claiming five championships in a row. However, they defeated Adelaide Blue Eagles to win the SA title again in 2010 -- their fifth in six seasons with Mori as coach. Blue Eagles exacted revenge the following year, defeating City on penalties in the grand final. City also lost the 2012 grand final to MetroStars.

In 2014, City won the Federation Cup defeating old NSL rivals West Adelaide 4–1 in the final at Hindmarsh Stadium.

On 12 August that year, Adelaide City played Western Sydney Wanderers in the round of 32 of the 2014 FFA Cup. The Wanderers team featured players such as Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Ante Čović and Tomi Jurić and were overwhelming favourites to progress. With 15 minutes left, and the scores tied at 0–0, City midfielder Thomas Love went on a solo run, beating several players and scored the winning goal for Adelaide City.[10] The victory was a massive result for the club who were the first semi-professional side to defeat an A-League side in what was the first ever season of the FFA Cup.[11] Adelaide managed to progress to the quarter-finals of the tournament, beating Brisbane Strikers 1–0 in the round of 16, not before being eliminated by Bentleigh Greens in a 2–1 extra-time loss.

City returned to the South Australian National Premier Leagues grand final in 2016 but, despite having topped the regular season table, lost to Campbelltown City and failed to claim its first South Australian championship since 2011.

Colours, badge and nicknames[edit]

Adelaide City was originally founded as Juventus in 1946. To this day, it retains the Juventus, or 'Juve' nickname. Its traditional playing strip harks back to the Italian club's black and white stripes. Because of this iconic design, City have also been known as the Black and Whites.

The club's initial attempt to don the famous black and white stripes of Italian club Juventus were thwarted when the South Australian Soccer Federation ruled that there could only be one black and white team per league and the black and white of Port Adelaide took precedence. Juventus thus first wore a navy blue strip with a white “J” before finally being permitted to wear black and white stripes from 1949.

During the club's 1990s National Soccer League golden era, it was also known for several seasons as the Zebras. The club's logo briefly bore the Zebras moniker before the club adopted the name 'Force' for its final four seasons in the NSL. Upon leaving the national competition, City ceased to be known as the Force and reverted to its traditional 'Juve' or 'black and whites' nicknames.

The club's current logo features a kangaroo and a zebra, paying homage to its Australian and Italian heritage, three stars representing each of its national championships, and its founding date of 1946.

Stadium[edit]

Adelaide City plays its home games at Adelaide City Park in Oakden, South Australia, a suburb 12km north-east of the Adelaide city centre.

During its National Soccer League days, City first played games at Olympic Sports Field in the inner-eastern suburb of Kensington, before playing at Hindmarsh Stadium – South Australia's purpose-built football stadium.

Supporters and rivalries[edit]

Adelaide City has traditionally drawn its support from the broader Italian community of Adelaide, South Australia. While based in the north-eastern suburbs, its lengthy history as a National Soccer League side means it has supporters based right across the city. For four seasons, it was Adelaide's only representative at national level.

The club's greatest rival is West Adelaide, a club traditionally backed by Adelaide's Greek community. The Italians and Greeks were among the largest migrant communities of South Australia and were strong supporters of their clubs, then called Juventus and Hellas respectively, when both entered the National Soccer League upon its foundation in 1977. West was the first Adelaide club to win a national title in 1978, before City claimed its three titles in the following two decades. Matches between Juventus and Hellas traditionally drew strong crowds, until the latter, then named Adelaide Sharks, withdrew from the NSL and ceased playing senior football at any level in 1999. In 2008, West Adelaide revived its senior football side and resumed playing in the South Australian league, reigniting a once-great derby. In 2014, the two sides faced off in the Federation Cup final, which City won 4-1.

Adelaide City's other great rivals include the Melbourne Knights. The two sides enjoyed their greatest eras in the 1990s and faced off in three grand finals in four seasons. City won two of those finals, both played in Melbourne, while the Croatian-backed Knights defeated Adelaide City for the first time in Adelaide to win the 1995 championship. The two sides have not played since 2003, when Adelaide City left the NSL. Knights now play in the National Premier Leagues Victoria.

During its time in the NSL, City enjoyed hard fought, healthy rivalries with the league's other traditionally big clubs, Greek-backed South Melbourne and Sydney Olympic, Italian-backed Marconi and Croatian-backed Sydney United.

Since returning to the South Australian competition, City's biggest rivals have included other Italian-backed and north-eastern suburbs clubs, Adelaide Blue Eagles, Campbelltown City and the MetroStars.

Players[edit]

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 Ryan Veitch
2 Australia DF Michael Acton
4 Australia DF Scott Nagel
5 Australia DF Matthew Halliday (Captain)
6 Australia MF Jordan Pudler
8 Australia DF Paul Blefari
9 Australia FW Anthony Costa
10 Australia MF Dylan Smith
11 Australia FW Nicholas Bucco
No. Position Player
12 Australia MF Carlo Armiento
13 Australia FW Daniel Filosi
15 Australia DF Anthoney Babb
17 Australia MF Mamadi Kamara
18 Australia FW Joseph Costa
19 Australia MF Jacob Butler-Bowdon
20 Australia GK Luke Ostbye
23 Australia MF Evan Kostopoulos

Honours[edit]

National[edit]

1986, 1991–1992, 1993–1994
1979, 1989, 1991–1992

International[edit]

1987

State[edit]

1953, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1970, 1972, 1974, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010
  • SA Federation Cup: 17
1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2014
1946, 1949, 1987, 1999
1978
  • South Australian Pre-Season / Summer Cup Competition Winners: 19
1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962 (SL), 1967, 1974, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1992 (March), 1992 (September), 1994, 1995, 2006, 2010

Individual[edit]

South Australian Best & Fairest and Player of the Year Awards
NSL Player of the Year Award – Johnny Warren Medal
NSL Grand Final Best Player – Joe Marston Medal
NSL Top Scorer Awards
  • 1977 Dixie Deans (Adelaide City) – 16
  • 1995/1996 Damian Mori (Adelaide City) – 31
  • 1997/1998 Damian Mori (Adelaide City) – 19
  • 1999/2000 Damian Mori (Adelaide City) – 22
NSL Under 21 Player of the Year
NSL Coach of the Year
  • 1990/1991 Zoran Matić (Adelaide City)
  • 1994/1995 Zoran Matić (Adelaide City)
  • 1995/1996 John Perin (Adelaide City)

Divisional history[edit]

[12]

Season League Cup
Division Pld W D L GF GA +/- Pts Position Finals
1946 SA Div 2 (P)
1947 SA Div 1 21 5 3 13 30 70 -40 13 8th (R)
1948 SA Div 2
1949 SA Div 2 21 18 1 2 77 22 +55 37 1st (P)
1950 SA Div 1 18 11 2 5 60 34 +26 24 2nd
1951 SA Div 1 18 7 6 5 57 48 +9 20 6th Federation Cup runner-up
1952 SA Div 1 18 12 5 1 45 17 +28 29 2nd
1953 SA Div 1 18 16 1 1 60 11 +49 33 Champion Federation Cup champion
1954 SA Div 1 18 15 1 2 76 23 +43 31 Champion Federation Cup runner-up
1955 SA Div 1 18 14 2 2 65 19 +46 30 2nd Federation Cup champion
1956 SA Div 1 18 18 0 0 94 10 +84 36 Champion
1957 SA Div 1 18 15 3 0 80 16 +64 33 Champion Federation Cup champion
1958 SA Div 1 18 16 2 0 70 16 +54 34 Champion Federation Cup champion
1959 SA Div 1 18 13 2 2 63 21 +42 29 Champion Federation Cup champion
1960 SA Div 1 22 12 6 4 55 32 +23 30 3rd
1961 SA Div 1 21 14 4 3 62 24 +38 32 2nd
1962 SA Div 1 18 11 1 6 52 26 +26 23 2nd
1963 SA Div 1 18 13 3 2 42 22 +20 29 Champion Federation Cup champion
1964 SA Div 1 18 11 5 2 38 16 +28 27 Champion
1965 SA Div 1 18 10 1 7 50 25 +25 21 3rd Federation Cup champion
1966 SA Div 1 18 13 2 3 49 21 +28 28 2nd
1967 SA Div 1 18 14 3 1 55 11 +44 31 Champion Federation Cup runner-up
1968 SA Div 1 18 10 4 4 36 15 +21 24 3rd Federation Cup runner-up
1969 SA Div 1 18 10 2 6 45 24 +21 22 3rd Federation Cup champion
1970 SA Div 1 18 14 2 2 61 20 +41 30 Champion Federation Cup champion
1971 SA Div 1 18 11 3 4 43 20 +43 25 2nd Federation Cup champion
1972 SA Div 1 18 13 5 0 37 13 +24 31 Champion Federation Cup champion
1973 SA Div 1 18 12 1 5 37 12 +25 25 2nd Federation Cup champion
1974 SA Div 1 18 13 2 3 36 11 +25 28 Champion
1975 SA Div 1 18 11 2 3 42 11 +31 28 2nd
1976 SA Div 1 18 11 5 2 39 10 +29 27 2nd Federation Cup champion
1977 NSL 26 12 7 7 50 31 +19 31 4th
1978 NSL 26 9 6 11 38 44 -6 24 10th NSL Cup runner-up
1979 NSL 26 13 6 7 43 27 +16 33 5th NSL Cup champion
1980 NSL 26 13 4 9 40 27 +13 30 5th
1981 NSL 30 13 6 11 46 42 +4 32 7th
1982 NSL 30 6 12 12 36 44 -6 24 13th
1983 NSL 30 10 6 14 37 38 -1 36 11th
1984 NSL 28 10 5 13 33 34 -1 25 7th
1985 NSL 22 6 6 10 29 35 -6 18 10th
1986 NSL 22 10 7 5 32 19 +13 27 3rd Champion
1987 NSL 24 6 10 8 29 23 +6 22 10th
1988 NSL 26 10 7 9 36 35 +1 27 6th
1989 NSL 26 10 8 8 29 24 +5 38 6th NSL Cup champion
1989–90 NSL 26 13 8 5 39 23 +16 34 4th Elimination final
1990–91 NSL 26 12 9 5 40 24 +16 33 3rd Preliminary final
1991–92 NSL 26 10 9 7 26 23 +3 29 5th Champion NSL Cup champion
1992–93 NSL 26 12 5 9 37 34 +3 41 3rd Runner-up
1993–94 NSL 26 11 8 7 48 27 +21 41 5th Champion
1994–95 NSL 24 16 1-3 4 41 20 +21 69 2nd Runner-up
1995–96 NSL 33 15 9 9 65 50 +15 54 5th Preliminary final
1996–97 NSL 26 11 10 5 32 22 +10 43 4th Elimination final
1997–98 NSL 26 13 4 9 45 39 +15 43 3rd Elimination final
1998–99 NSL 28 13 6 9 39 26 +13 45 6th Elimination final
1999–00 NSL 34 16 8 10 57 37 +20 56 4th Elimination final
2000–01 NSL 28 12 7 11 54 54 0 43 7th
2001–02 NSL 26 4 8 12 27 39 -12 20 12th
2002–03 NSL 24 11 4 9 40 34 +6 37 5th Third place

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "How soccer giant Adelaide City was born". The Advertiser. Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Adelaide City history". OzFootball. Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Adelaide City history". OzFootball. Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Adelaide City history". OzFootball. Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Adelaide City history". OzFootball. Retrieved March 20, 2017. 
  6. ^ "How soccer giant Adelaide City was born". The Advertiser. Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  7. ^ "How soccer giant Adelaide City was born". The Advertiser. Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  8. ^ History | Adelaide City Football Club
  9. ^ "A-League: Adelaide marks a decade United". abc.net.au. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Uni student Thomas Love sinks the Wanderers". theaustralian.com.au. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "FFA Cup: relive all the action in the round of 32 of Australia's knockout football competition". foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  12. ^ Adelaide City divisional history

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Brunswick Juventus
NSL Champions
1986
Succeeded by
APIA Leichhardt
Preceded by
South Melbourne
NSL Champions
1991/92
Succeeded by
Marconi Stallions
Preceded by
Marconi Stallions
NSL Champions
1993/94
Succeeded by
Melbourne Knights
FIFA Oceania Club Championship 1987 Winners
Australia
Adelaide City
First title