Moreland Zebras FC
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|Full name||Moreland Zebras Football Club|
|Ground||CB Smith Reserve|
|Manager||Fausto De Amicis|
|League||NPL Victoria 2|
Moreland Zebras FC was founded in 1997, playing in the famous Black & White strip, a tradition that still continues. After a series of mergers firstly in 1997 between several clubs based in the Italian community of Melbourne, Box Hill Inter and Bulleen Lions.
In 2007, after the break-up of the Bulleen Zebras, the club moved to Epping Stadium in the City of Whittlesea and the club was renamed to the Whittlesea Zebras FC. The 2007 season saw the team finish the Victorian Premier League as runners-up. After beating Green Gully 2–1 through goals from Hamlet Armenian and Steve Martin, and Preston Lions 2–1 at the next step of the finals series through another goal each from Armenian and Martin, the Zebras met Preston once more in the grand final at Bob Jane Stadium, Albert Park. In front of 4,500 people, Whittlesea went down 3–1 as Makedonia's Zoran Petrevski ran riot.
In 2009, manager Ivan Jolic was dismissed after Round 5 with the club going on to appoint Ange Postecoglou. The high-profile manager was unable to halt the early season slump and the club were relegated from the Victorian Premier League.
In 2011, the club was crowned Victorian State League Division 1 champions. After being crowned champions, club members decided at the annual general meeting that the future of the club would prosper back where it all began, in the City of Moreland. The club's name was then changed to Moreland Zebras FC and played out of DeChene Reserve in Coburg.
In 2015, the club's seniors moved into the state-of-the-art facilities at CB Smith Reserve, while the juniors continued to be based out of DeChene Reserve. The Zebras finished in second place in the NPL 1 West division in 2015, qualifying them to a playoff match against Melbourne Victory's NPL team. Despite scoring early, the Zebras lost the game 2–1 and so remained in the NPL1 division for 2016, now named NPL2.
After the departure of senior head coach Danny Gnjidic at the end of the 2016 NPL2 West season, in which Moreland finished in 5th place, the Zebras appointed former player Fausto De Amicis as the new manager of the first team. Moreland finished in 2nd place in 2017, five points off promoted Northcote City. In the promotion playoff, the Zebras lost 1-0 to Dandenong City.
For the 2018 season, Juventus signed former A-League players Jake Barker-Daish, Rashid Mahazi and Jakob Williams. The Zebras held second position of the table for extended periods of the 2018 season, but with just one win from their last six games, Moreland were overtaken by both St Albans and North Geelong Warriors in the table, leaving them in 4th place at the end of the 2018 season.
In the 2019 season, Zebras qualified for the final stages of the FFA Cup, beating Victorian top division side Altona Magic in the qualifying rounds. In the Round of 32, Moreland beat fellow Victorian NPL2 qualifiers Bulleen Lions. In the Round of 16, Zebras beat NPL Queensland side Magpies Crusaders 4-0 in front of over 1,300 at CB Smith Reserve and became the first ever third-tier side to qualify for the FFA Cup quarter-finals.
Moreland Zebras currently plays its home games at CB Smith Reserve Stadium, Jukes Road in Fawkner and its junior division occupy De Chene Reserve, in Coburg. The senior Zebras play home games at CB Smith Reserve Stadium. It has a capacity of 2,000.
- "2007 Victorian Premier League (Foxtel Cup) – Season Results". OzFootball. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- "NEWS: COACHING ANNOUNCEMENT". Moreland Zebras Football Club. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- "FC Bulleen Lions vs Moreland Zebras, FFA Cup, Round of 32, 24th Jul 2019". FFA Cup. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
- "Moreland Zebras vs Magpies Crusaders, FFA Cup, Round of 16, 21st Aug 2019". FFA Cup. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
- Lynch, Joey. "NPL2 side Moreland Zebras gatecrash FFA Cup quarter-finals with 4-0 win over Magpies Crusaders FC | Daily Football Show". Retrieved 21 August 2019.