Marconi Stallions FC
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|Full name||Marconi Stallions Football Club|
Bossley Park, Sydney
New South Wales, Australia
|Head Coach||Tony Candy|
|League||National Premier Leagues NSW 2|
|Website||Club home page|
The Marconi Stallions Football Club is an Australian semi-professional (formerly professional until 2004) football club based in Fairfield, Sydney, New South Wales. The club won the National Soccer League title a record four times, along with South Melbourne and Sydney City SC. The club is one of only two clubs to have competed in every season of the NSL.
Over the years, the club has been known as Club Marconi, Marconi-Fairfield and Marconi Stallions.
Club Marconi was founded as a bocce club in 1956 by 106 members of the Italian community in the Western Suburbs of Sydney. It is named after the Italian inventor and electrical engineer Guglielmo Marconi, whose wireless company sent the first direct radio message from Great Britain to Australia. The football (soccer) club first appeared in 1958 as a youth team, and the first senior side competed in the 1961 NSW amateur championship that it won by 8 points.
The club gradually moved up the ranks in the NSW soccer system, eventually gaining promotion to the NSW 1st Division in 1970. By this point the club had come of age, and the aura of being feared was well on its way to being cemented. Marconi became back-to-back champions of the NSW 1st Division in 1972 and 1973, and continued to challenge for honours up until 1976. The next year, 1977, changed Australian soccer and Australian sport forever. Together with 13 other clubs Marconi formed the basis of the first ever truly National Sports League in Australia, the National Soccer League (NSL).
National Soccer League (1977–2004)
Marconi quickly became a force to be reckoned with in the NSL. In the first season in 1977, Marconi, finished second on goal difference to Eastern Suburbs (Sydney City). It did not take long for the club to taste success at national level. In 1979, Marconi were crowned Australian champions. The club continued that success by adding the NSL Cup to the trophy cabinet in 1980.
What is generally described as the club's "golden era" started in the late 1980s, when some of the finest players in Australia made their way to what was then known as "the Palace". The club would make three consecutive Grand Final appearances in 1988, 1989 and 1989–90, winning the 1988 and 1989 Grand Finals, but were denied a historic "three-peat" when they lost the 1989–90 decider. Marconi were also minor premiers in 1989 and 1989–90, and did not have to wait long to clinch another NSL Championship, winning the 1992–93 Grand Final.
In 1995–96 under Socceroos legend, Manfred Schaefer, Marconi clinched another Minor Premiership, finishing one point ahead of Melbourne Knights and Sydney Olympic. In the finals series, Marconi made it to yet another Grand Final, this time going down 2–1 to Melbourne Knights at Olympic Park in Melbourne.
Marconi made the finals for the next five years in a row, before experiencing two poor seasons. In 2003–04, the final NSL season, Marconi again made the Finals, but the 1995–96 minor premiership ended up being the final trophy win during the club's time in the NSL.
NSW Premier League/National Premier Leagues NSW 1 (2004–2015)
After the 2003–04 NSL season the competition was ceased. Marconi entered the NSW Premier League for the 2004–05 season. Between 2004 and 2011 in the NSW Premier League the club had mixed results, with their best season in 2009 when they finished second.
In 2012 the club rebounded and the Marconi Stallions were the Champions of the NSW Premier League. After a third placed league finish, Marconi beat Sydney Olympic 2–0 in the Qualifying Final, then lost to Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC 2–0 in the Major Semi-Final. In the Preliminary Final they faced Blacktown City Demons who led 2–1 at half time, but Marconi scored 3 unanswered goals in the second half to win 4–2. In the Grand Final, they came up against the minor premiers and favourites Bonnyrigg at their ground. Bonnyrigg had won the league by 15 points and had already beaten Marconi in the finals series, but Marconi won the Championship with two second half goals to win 2–0.
In late 2013 the Marconi Stallions were accepted into the newly-formed National Premier Leagues NSW. The NPL NSW replaced the previous NSW Premier League. In their first season in the NPL NSW, Marconi finished in 8th place in the 12-team division.
Marconi was relegated to the NPL NSW 2 on 16 August 2015, after enduring the worst season in its history. The Stallions earned just seven points all season and, after a mass player exodus, ended the season with ten consecutive defeats.
National Premier Leagues NSW 2 (2016–Current)
The Stallions began their rebuilding campaign in October, 2015, with the aim of getting straight back in the top NSW division. They signed former A-League players Sean Rooney, Mirjan Pavlović and Marko Ješić. Marconi qualified for the 2016 FFA Cup, defeating Bankstown Berries 2–0 in the final qualifying round. Marconi drew Victorian side Hume City FC in the Round of 32, with the match to be played in Melbourne at John Ilhan Memorial Reserve. Marconi sacked head coach Jeff Suzor in mid-July 2016. Marconi were defeated by Hume City in the Round of 32. The away side took the lead through Pavlovic in the first half of extra time, but Hume managed a 117th-minute equaliser and then won the clash on penalties.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Marconi vs Olympic has always been one of the biggest rivalries in Australian football, constantly involved in big and important matches multiplied by the fact that both clubs were backed by large migrant populations of Italians (Marconi) and Greeks (Olympic).
Marconi has a rivalry with Sydney United due to closeness of the two clubs. Sydney United is located in Edensor Park and play out of King Tomislav Club which is only 1 km south of Club Marconi. The Croatian club have been rivals of the Stallions since 1971 when Marconi were promoted to the State League.
The Stallions and the Tigers have a friendly rivalry. These two clubs are the two Italian backed clubs in New South Wales. The two clubs compete every season in the Italian Derby.
- NSL Champions – 1979, 1988, 1989, 1992–93
- NSL Minor Premiers – 1989, 1989–90, 1995–96
- NSL Cup Winners – 1980
- NSW 1st Division Champions – 1972, 1973, 2012
- National Youth League Champions: – 1988, 1995–96
- Brad Maloney won the Johnny Warren Medal while playing for Marconi in the 1998–99 NSL season.
- 1962–1963 NSW Federation Amateurs
- 1964–1969 NSW Second Division
- 1970–1976 NSW First Division
- 1977–2004 National Soccer League
- 2004–2015 NSWPL/ NPL NSW 1
- 2016–present NPL NSW 2
- Alic, Dijana (July 3, 2013). "Shifting Grounds: Identity Politics and Sydney's Ethnic Clubs" (PDF). Retrieved November 30, 2015.
- "History of Marconi". www.ozfootball.net. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
- "Marconi Stallions – PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men's 1". www.nswpl.com.au. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
- "NSW Premier League 2012 Index". www.socceraust.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
- "NSW Premier League 2012 – Fixtures/Results". www.socceraust.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
- "Fixtures/Results – PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men's 1". www.nswpl.com.au. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
- Stavroulakis, Mark. "NSW spots confirmed for Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32". Westfield FFA Cup. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- "Sydney FC to meet Wollongong Wolves in FFA Cup Round of 32". The World Game. SBS. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
- Club official website
- Deepika Ratnaraj and Sahar Shirazi (2012). "Club Marconi Fairfield". Dictionary of Sydney. Dictionary of Sydney Trust. Retrieved 9 October 2015.[CC-By-SA]. Origins of Italian social club which founded soccer club.