Canberra FC

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Canberra
Canberra FC.png
Full name Canberra Football Club
Nickname(s) HOPE, Croatia, Deakin
Founded 1958
Ground Deakin Stadium
Ground Capacity 1,500
League NPL ACT
2013 1st
Website Club home page

Canberra Football Club is a semi-professional soccer club based in Canberra, Australia. The club competes in the ACT competitions including the National Premier Leagues Capital Football.

The club was founded in 1958 as Canberra Croatia by local Croatian Australians, later taking the names HOPE, Croatia Deakin, Canberra Metro and Canberra Deakin, before becoming Canberra FC.

The club has competed in the top level ACT league every year since 1960, and also had a successful stint in NSW State League from 1988-1994.

History[edit]

The local Croatian community in Canberra established the Croatia Soccer Club in 1958. Croatia Soccer Club entered the ACT Soccer Federation Second Division in 1959 and was promoted to the first division immediately the following year.

The end of 1960 saw ACT teams directed by the Executive to change national names to neutral names. Soccer Club HOPE was registered, but great thought had been put into the name by the passionate Croatian community and in order to keep ties with their heritage, the name was an acronym for the Croatian Liberation Movement.

It did not take Croatia (HOPE) long to become a force in the ACT competition and in 1962 won its first Premiership. That year Croatia completed an extraordinary and unprecedented demolition of all of its opponents by also winning the Top Four competition, the Federation Cup and the Robertson Cup. The Club defended their premiership in great style in 1963 and in 1966 celebrated the return of the name Croatia (Deakin) by recording their third premiership in five years.

On November 11 1969 the Croatia Deakin Soccer Club premises were officially opened-the first of its kind in Canberra. The Amoco Cup and the Federation Cup in 1972 were followed by another premiership in 1973. The label of Cup kings was confirmed in 1974 with another Federation Cup victory. In 1975 Croatia Deakin gained a historic 3-1 victory over Sydney Croatia in the Inaugural Final of the Croatian Australian Tournament held in Sydney. Both the Ampol Cup and Federation Cup were added in 1978 and to finish of the decade another Premiership and Ampol Cup in 1979 symbolized 20 years of domination of Soccer in Canberra.

The first Trophy in the Eighties was the 1984 Federation Cup and when the early part of the decade did not provide the customary regular silverware for Deakin, there was no cause for alarm as the second part of the decade certainly more than made up for it. The Cup kings tag returned to Deakin in 1985 by winning both the Jim Fraser Memorial Shield and the Federation Cup. 1986 saw the beginning of an unprecedented three premierships in a row for the Years 1986, 1987 and 1988. All the more remarkable was that Croatia was undefeated in the premiership in those three years, something that to this date has not been repeated. 1986 also saw the Federation cup remain at Deakin, while in 1987 we added the Ampol Cup Top Four to our collection. 1988 saw a historic end to an era by winning not only the premiership, but also adding the Ampol Cup Top Four and the ACT Illawarra Challenge.

It was an end of an era, as for the next few years Deakin would compete in the NSW State League as Canberra Croatia after taking over the Canberra City Griffins.

The club has also developed many of the recognisable faces we see today in Australian football including Ned Zelic, Ivan Zelic, Brad Maloney, Ante Juric, Ante Milicic and Nikolai Topor-Stanley.

Colours and badge[edit]

The club colours are red and white reflecting the club's Croatian heritage. The badge depicts the flagpole of Parliament House, a symbol of Canberra, over red and white check reflecting the Coat of arms of Croatia.

Notable former players[edit]

Honours[edit]

  • NSW State League Grand Final Runner-Up: 1989, 1990, 1991
  • NSW State League Regular Season Runner-Up: 1989, 1990
  • NSW State League Finalists: 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
  • NSW Challenge Cup Champions: 1989, 1990
  • ACT First Division / Premier League League Champions: 1962, 1963, 1966, 1969, 1973, 1979, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015
  • ACT First Division / Premier League Premiers (Grand-Final winners): 1962, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1987, 1988, 1995, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • ACT Federation Cup Champions: 1962, 1964, 1972, 1974, 1978, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1995, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • ACT Club Championship: 1977, 1979, 1980, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1995, 2002, 2004, 2005
  • Ampol Cup Champions: 1963, 1972, 1973, 1987, 1988
  • Robertson Cup Champions: 1962
  • National Youth League Champions: 2004
  • Australian-Croatian Soccer Tournament Champions: 1975, 1986, 1992, 1994, 2001, 2005
  • Argentina Cup: 1983, 1984

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]