Genesis of Lugarno Football Club
The origins of the Lugarno Football Club can be traced back to 1962 when the club’s Fourfathers – Bill McAfee, Ken Derrett, Harry Brown and Cyril Henness, after drawing up a Grand Plan embarked on a mission to infiltrate the game of soccer as it was then known, into Lugarno and neighbouring regions.
Getting the locals to embrace the round ball game was going to be a challenge from the start. This is because the year 1962 was part of a golden era that would see the St George Rugby League Club go on to achieve a world record successive premiership triumphs by the same club in the one sport.
But the challenge from the Rugby League code did not thwart the Grand Plan of the Fourfathers. In 1962 a game of football played with a round ball, using feet instead of hands, was for many locals a new and mysterious experience. The strategy of the Grand Plan was to spread the word, generate curiosity; and most importantly of all, generate enthusiasm amongst the locals.
Towards the end of 1962 the Fourfathers organised a formal meeting for all interested residents at the Progress Association Hall in Lime Kiln Road, Lugarno to launch the round ball game. The meeting resolved to name the Club, Lugarno-Peakhurst Soccer Club, and elected Bill McAfee as its inaugural President.
1963-The Inaugural Season
The Club registered 4 teams in 1963 and shared the home grounds between Scarborough Park and Taylors Reserve, Lugarno. No premierships were won in the inaugural season but two were secured the following season in 1964, when the 9B’s became the Club’s first premiership winning side followed by the 8C’s.
The Club’s first Premiership winning team in 1964, the mighty 9B’s
Through the Decades
During 1965 the home grounds were at Riverwood Park and Taylors Reserve. An opportunity came up that year which was immediately seized to re-locate the Club’s full field games to Gannons Park, Peakhurst, on field number 1 for the 1966 season. The Lugarno-Peakhurst Soccer Club thus became the first resident Soccer Club at Gannons Park. The club’s complete relocation to Gannons Park was completed in 1975 when a mini-field was installed allowing the Club to leave historic Taylor Reserve.
In 1973 the Club dropped the Peakhurst name and was renamed the Lugarno Soccer Club.
The Club’s first strip comprised of a turquoise blue jersey, white shorts and blue and white hoop socks. In July 1970, a decision was made to adopt tangerine socks. Tangerine was a standout colour, being readily recognisable by team members when their eyes were on the ball.
In early April 1975 when the St George Soccer Association rejected the Club’s submission to introduce light blue playing shirts, the Club decided to purchase tangerine shirts to match the tangerine shorts for all 22 teams registered to play that season. This marked the birth of the famous tangerine shirts of Lugarno. Some slight modifications were made in 1990 to the playing jersey for season 1991 which saw the re-introduction of elements of blue which helped to put the Club back in contact with its origins.
The current playing jersey is predominantly tangerine in colour with prominent white and royal blue sections at the front, orange back and a combination of white, royal blue and tangerine on the sleeves. The shorts are white and socks tangerine. The alternative playing strip features a predominantly white jersey with elements on black on the sides, white shorts and tangerine socks.
In 2010 it was resolved to change the Club’s name from the Lugarno Soccer Club to the Lugarno Football Club effective from season 2011.
The first Club meeting was held in 1963 and initially conducted fortnightly until the 1977 season when monthly meetings were introduced.
Since 1964 the Club has held picnic and presentation days honouring its players, team officials and Club volunteers.
The Club also emphasised coaching having appointed Bill McAfee as its first Club Coach in 1963. Development of coaching and techniques remain a priority area to this day and the Club continues to work very closely with the St George Football Association coaching staff to strengthen grassroots coaching. It also conducts school football clinics with the Association.
The Club also produces a newsletter which since 1993 has been called “Around the Grounds”. Its origins date back to season 1964.
Gala Days have also been organised throughout the history of the Club with the initial one being held in 1964. In the modern era the Lugarno Football Club annually stages the under 8’s Gala Day which involves dozens of teams drawn from the St George as well as neighbouring Associations. The Club also introduced an inter Club Gala Day featuring Lugarno under 6 teams in 2012.
In a historical first for the Club, the Executive Committee resolved to accept jersey sponsorship from Grandviews Bowling Club during season 2013. Another historical first was achieved when the Club secured its first sleeve sponsor in 2014 following Lugarno Deli Café’s decision to financially support and commit to the Club.
The Club also embarked on an ambitious project in early 2014 of upgrading the dressing sheds as well as the canteen area following its successful funding application under the NSW Community Building Partnership program. The Club received support and backing from local member Mark Coure pictured below with members of the Executive Committee.
Another major initiative was the introduction of training jerseys and bags for all registered players for season 2017.
Season 2018 saw the introduction of short sponsorship’s and branded club gear.
Another major initiative was the launch of the Player development program ‘Football Focus’ in October 2018 after months of planning and discussion with key stakeholders. The program covers the age groups unders 8’s to under 11’s and comprises of dedicated coaches and resources.
A 10 week skills development program called ‘Pathways’ was launched in August 2019 offering players the opportunity to fine tune their skills during the off-season.
Local State Member Mark Coure (far left) with members of the Lugarno Football Club’s 2014 Executive Committee photo taken during the Club’s Registration Support Day at Gannons Park
The renovated Lugarno Football Club canteen and dressing sheds with new club signage prominently displayed
Today’s Lugarno Football Club
The Lugarno Football Club is one of the most prominent and respected clubs in the St George Football Association. In the most recent football season the club fielded some 45 teams (22 competition and 23 non-competition teams) and had close to 600 registered players and 110 team officials covering the age groups from the under 6’s to the over 45’s. The Club fields teams across both genders.
Lugarno Football Club enjoys a broad geographical reach and appeal with players originating from more than 70 suburbs across the Sydney region.
In 2012 the Club celebrated its 50th anniversary at a formal dinner/dance function attended by players, Club team officials, life members, guests from the St George Football Association as well as state and federal members of parliament.
Members of the Lugarno Football Club’s 2012 Executive Committee
at the formal 50th Anniversary Dinner Dance Function
At the 2012 AGM members approved a completely revamped Club Constitution that helped modernise and improve the Club’s governance structure. A mission statement was also adopted in 2014 outlining the objectives and guiding principles of the club. The mission statement states that the Lugarno Football Club’s objective is:
To become the Football Club of choice for members of the local and surrounding communities by providing them with the opportunity to play competitive football and develop their football skills in a friendly, safe and fun filled environment.
The Lugarno Football Club has won a total of 117 premierships across all age groups and genders, including the historic Premier League title which was won in 2011. The 14 girls A team achieved another club milestone on Saturday 6 September 2014 by winning the 100th premiership title for Lugarno FC. Another memorable club achievement was winning four out of four grand finals during season 2016 which gave the club an unprecedented 100 per cent grand final success rate. In 2017 the 16B side became the first team to win a premiership at Kogarah Jubilee Oval.
At all levels of club activity from grass roots to the Executive Committee level, the spirit of volunteerism is alive and evident as the Club is run by a dedicated group of volunteers drawn from both the Lugarno locality as well as neighbouring suburbs.
The Lugarno Football Club’s Premier League winning squad of 2011
The 14GA side display the 100th Lugarno FC premiership title
What Makes Lugarno Football Club Unique?
Players, coaches and managers, club officials and supporters were invited to submit comments stating what makes the Club unique. The best responses are consolidated below portraying how the Club is perceived by its members.
- Lugarno FC caters for the needs of all who seek to play the great game we call football. The Club does not recruit or accept players exclusively based on football ability, it is not an elitist club. Any player or club official that abides by the Club’s values of playing competitive football with a spirit of fairness will always have a place and role within the ranks of Lugarno FC.
- Lugarno FC has abundance of community spirit and a family feel about it. The experience of being associated with the Club is wonderful and positive from the process of signing up to team allocation, training and representing the Club both on and off the field.
- The Club officials are helpful, friendly and very supportive which helps foster an ideal environment for young kids to learn to play the game in a fun filled and supportive environment.
- What makes Lugarno FC unique is its approach to team sports. The commitment displayed by coaches and managers, parents and supporters helps to teach the players to conduct themselves properly and show respect at all times to one another and members of other teams. This approach also assists to improve the self-esteem of young players helping them to grow in confidence by playing the game within a supportive and harmonious peer group environment.
- For parents, coaches and managers, players, spectators and supporters, all of whom are volunteers, Lugarno FC epitomises all that is good about community based football.
A Poem by a Past President – Ron Benjamin
It was in 1962
And known to only few
When four men had a dream
To start a soccer team
They called a local meeting
And ordered extra seating
‘Cause the word had spread around
That numbers would abound
It was voted one and all
In that now demolished hall
Yes, .. the people from the scrub
Had formed a Soccer Club
Whilst many years have gone
The tradition carries on
And the future’s looking bright
For the orange, blue and white
But let us not forget
Harry Brown and Ken Derrett
Cyril Henness and Bill McAfee
The four that made it … Be!