Club History

Knox City FC –

THE BEGINNING

The Knox City Soccer Club has its roots in the foundation of the Bayswater Soccer Club in 1951 by members of the Temple Society living in Bayswater and Boronia. The Temple Society, an independent Christian religious society, was founded in Germany in 1861. Within a decade the Society were organising the migration of members to the Holy Land, then part of the Ottoman Empire.

At the outbreak of the second world war German Templers living in Palestine, by then a British mandate, were interned of which some 500 were transported to Australia for internment for the duration of the war. At the end of the war the Mandatory Government advised Templers interned in Palestine that they would be required to leave the country and that the Templers abroad would not be allowed to return to Palestine.

In 1947 those Templers sent to Australia for internment were released and almost all were permitted to remain in Australia. The majority settled in four areas: Bayswater/Boronia and Bentleigh/Moorabbin in Victoria, Meadowbank in NSW and Tanunda in South Australia.
The Society has a strong community ethos and the members built church halls, community centres and later in the 1970’s accommodation for the aged. The Australian Templers maintained close links with society members in Germany and those who did remain in Palestine.

KNOX CITY SOCCER CLUB HISTORICAL TIME LINE

1951 Bayswater Soccer Club formed by Temple Society members.
Club colours pale blue shirts and white shorts.
1953 Elizabeth Street ground opens.
1954 Club enters Amateur Soccer Federation of Australia.
Finish Runners Up in Division 4 Reserves.
1962 Club joins Victorian Soccer Federation competition.
1967/68 Club changes name to Bayswater United Soccer Club.
Club colours blue shirts and white shorts.
1971 Club moves to H.V. Reserve in Ferntree Gully.
1972 Metropolitan League Division 4 Runners Up.
1974 Metropolitan League Division 3 Runners Up.
1977 Club changes name to Knox City Soccer Club.
Metropolitan League Division 3 Champions.
1979 Club moves to Egan Lee Reserve in Knoxfield.
1983 Metropolitan League Cup winners. Promoted to State League.
1991 State League Division1 Runners Up. Promoted to Vic. Prem. Lea.
2000 State League Division2 South East Runners Up.
2001 State League Division2 South East Champions.
2003

2009

State League Division1 Runners Up. Promoted to Vic. Prem. Lea.

Club changed its name to Knox City Football Club on 24 November 2009.

Victorian Soccer Federation Honours [Seniors]

1976197819841992

2001

2003

Metro League Division 2 B&F Alan JacksonMetro League Division 2 B&F John BedfordWeinstein Medal [Junior player of the year] David HealyState League Division 1 Leading Scorer Peter Lutgens

State League Division 2 S/E B&F Andy Greenwood

State League Division 1 RunnerUp Scorer Nick Veljovic

 

THE 50’S

In 1951 the Bayswater/Boronia Temple Society community formed a soccer club and commenced work on the building of a soccer ground on their property in Elizabeth Street Bays-water. Soccer was a community social activity and the Club was in no hurry to join an official competition. While early records indicate that some friendly matches were played in 1952, it was not until 19 July 1953 that the Elizabeth Street ground was officially opened with two games between Temple Society members from Bayswater/Boronia playing Society members from the Bentleigh/Moorabbin area. Unfortunately bad weather marred the opening celebrations but did not prevent a flood of goals. Bentleigh/Moorabbin won the main match 6-4 while in the reserves game Bayswater/Boronia ran out winners 3-1. Return matches were played some six weeks later with Bayswater/Boronia seniors going down 4-3 with the reserves victorious again this time 5-2.

The first game against outside opposition was held on 19 September 1953 against Box Hill but unfortunately no result was recorded.

Elizabeth Street ground opens

19 July 1953 — Elizabeth Street ground opens

The soccer team held a meeting on 13 November 1953 where it was decided to enter a team in the Victorian Amateur Soccer Federation of Australia (VASFA competition) in the coming season under the name of the Bayswater Soccer Club. The team was admitted to the 4th Division Reserves league and on 3 April 1954 played their first official competition match away to St Kilda losing 2-1. The first home match was scheduled for 10 April against Nunawading but they failed to turn up for the game which was rescheduled and played in June with Bayswater SC winning comfortably 12-0. The first home league game was played on 17 April with Bayswater defeating University 8-0.

While no record of the result remains, or how the scorer may have integrated the different scoring systems, this game demonstrates the willingness of the Society members to integrate with the local community just a few years after the same community had interned them.
At the 50th Anniversary Dinner on 13 October 2001, founding member Heinz Vollmer recalled the opposition in the first year of competition was generally weak. The team won 13 of 16 league games, scoring 80 goals and conceding only 18. The team finished runners up in the league.
During the period 1954 to 1961 the Club played in the Victorian Amateur Soccer Federation of Australia (VASFA) competition. The leagues were reorganised on a regular basis and the Club generally finished in a respectable mid table position.

1954 – The First Season of competition
VASFA 4th Division Reserves
3 Apr     St Kilda     Away Lost 1 – 2
10 Apr     Nunawading    Home Postponed
17 Apr     University    Home Won 8 – 0
24 Apr     ICI    Away Won 5 – 1
Apr/May    Werribee    Home Won 2 – 0
Apr/May    Maribynong    Home Won 11 – 0
Apr/May    Heidelberg    Away Won 6 – 2
15 May     Ringwood Wilhemina     Home Won 4 – 0
22 May    St Albans     Away Lost 2 – 6
5 Jun     St Kilda    Away Won 5 – 1
12 Jun    St Albans    Home Drew 3 – 3
13 Jun    Nunawading    Home Won 12 – 0
26 Jun    Fairfield [Dockerty Cup]    Away Won 1 – 0
3 Jul     University    Away Walkover
10 Jul    Werribee    Away Won 8 – 3
17 Jul    Polonia [Dockerty Cup]    Home Lost 1 – 9

From the early days junior players were to be an integral part of the Club. In April 1954, as the seniors were beginning their first season of league competition, the Club called for junior players over the age of ten to attend the Elizabeth Street ground for soccer training under the guidance of Wilhelm Sawatzky and Bruno Venus. Over the years the number of junior players has risen and fallen but has never been greater than the last two seasons where around 300 juniors have been involved in structured training and weekend games.During the first decade the commun-ity ethos of the Club was very much in evidence. On 27 August 1955 theTemple Society newsletter records a friendly game being played against the Bayswater Boys Club. Back then Bayswater was still a rural community with only a fraction of the population of today’s thriving suburb. One can imagine the Bayswater Boys Club comprising of children living on market garden properties or from the small estates surrounding the station and shopping area. In the first half of the game soccer was played and in the second half aussie rules.

In 1959 the Club entered their second team in the Lilydale District Amateur Soccer Football Association (LDASFA) competition. The team finished 4th in the league and won through to the final of the “Bill Morris Cup” where they beat Ferntree Gully 4–1. President of the LDASFA presented the cup to W. Weber while the Lilydale Brass Band ensured an appropriate sense of occasion.

August 1962 – Club Stalwarts
August 1962 – Club Stalwarts

 

THE 60’S

As the Club entered its second decade there was internal debate about non Temple Society members being involved in the running of the Club. Soccer club President, Heinz Vollmer, felt the need to raise the issue in the Temple Society newsletter and respond to the criticism being voiced. In July 1961 he wrote that he and the “few soccer club committee members…. were happy for help from any direction. Without help of these outsiders the Club would certainly fold.”

Despite the ongoing debate the links with the Society remained strong. In March 1962 the Club accepted an offer from the Boronia Ladies Group of the Temple Society to finance a new set of blue and white shirts from Germany. 1962 also saw the instal-lation of floodlights at the Elizabeth Street ground and this led to a rush of new players wanting to play with the Club. The Society newsletter of July 1962 says the players came from “Germany, Box Hill SC and JUST SC.” The following year, 1963, the Temple Society provided new dressing rooms at the ground.

Robby Robertson, a young goal-keeper at the club in the early 1960’s, recalls the only way to remove the mud off yourself after a game was to use the cold outside water tap. Robby often travelled home in his muddy kit.

In 1962 Bayswater SC joined the breakaway Victorian Soccer Fed-eration competition. In their first three seasons they played in the 1st Division South where their main rivals were Croatia, Makedonia and Austria. By 1971 the Club had slipped down the league to the 4th division.

1962 Our debut season in the VSF
1962 Our debut season in the VSF
Bayswater SC 1st Division South. Back LtoR: W A Robertson (President), M Preston,
L Stubbs, P Weidenhart, J Ashard, H Eller, H Vollmer (Secretary), D White (Coach)
Middle LtoR: H Weid, G Plumb, U Hoefer
Front LtoR: J Gibbs, G Imberger, S Messner

As the Club’s second decade drew to a close the links with the Temple Society had weakened considerably. In 1967/68 the club changed its name to the Bayswater United Soccer Club reflecting its wider links to the community.

Details of the club’s activities were no longer a regular feature of the Temple Society newsletter and by 1971 the club had moved from the Temple Society ground in Elizabeth Street to the HV Jones Reserve in Ferntree Gully. The links were not completely severed as Heinz Vollmer and others remained heavily involved in the running of the club for a few more years.

1970 Bayswater United
1970 Bayswater United
Back LtoR: Stan Wardle (coach), Tony Mann, Rudi Oostig, Dick Gerrish,
Eric Bell, Billy Monkman, Bill Masterson Front LtoR: Matt Vanderlaak,
Bernie Jensen (Capt), Bernie Easton, Brian Wardle, Arthur Bennett

 

THE 70’S

The 1970’s saw the Club commence their steady climb up the VSF divisions. In 1972 Cor Teeuw in only his second year of coaching led the club to promotion when they finished runners up to Eltham in the Metropolitan League Division 4. Cor coached the senior team for three seasons and was to return to the Club in 1980 as assistant coach for two years. After a number of years at Ringwood City he returned again to Knox City and in 1996 was elected President, a position he holds today.

In 1974 the team achieved promotion for the second time in three seasons finishing runners up in Division 3. However, after only two seasons in Division 2 Bayswater United SC finished second last and returned to Div 3.

In retrospect 1977 was a very signi-ficant year in the history of the Club and the events of that year were to shape the Club up until the present. The second name change in a decade saw the Club drop the name Bays-water to become Knox City Soccer Club. Breaking with tradition was not an easy decision for many members but those with foresight saw the impor-tance of being named after the new and growing City of Knox. During the year the Council came onside, with Councillor Bruce Fasham particularly supportive of the migrant (world) game, and plans for a new soccer complex at Egan Lee Reserve began to take shape.

1973 Bayswater United Senior Team
1973 Bayswater United Senior Team
Back LtoR : Heinz Vollmer, Derek Shackleford, Dave Jones,
Bernie Eastern, Matt Vanderlaak, Dick Gerrish, Cor Teeuw
Front LtoR : Barney Jensen, Eric Bell, Colin Waller,
Rob Dunning, Ken Rhodes, Mark Webster

On the park the senior team won their first championship, after 24 years of competition, and secured promotion back to division 2 after only one season in Division 3.

1977 was the only year since the change of name to Knox City that the Club have played outside the top divisions of the VSF competition. Since winning the 3rd Division in 1977 Knox City have played in the Premier League (formally called State League) for four seasons, the 1st Division for 11 seasons and the 2nd Division for 9 seasons

.The Egan Lee ground was officially opened on 3 April 1979 with City of Knox mayor Marie Wallace symbolically kicking off the game against Eltham. According to eye witnesses her shoe flew further than the ball!

To this day the playing surface at Egan Lee remains one of the best in Victoria thanks to the attention it has had over the years from club volunteers and council employees. It is also why Knox City teams are known for their football skill rather than the kick and rush style often favoured by teams with inferior playing surfaces.

1977 Bayswater United SC Seniors
1977 Bayswater United SC Seniors
Back LtoR: Lou Flood, Alan Jackson, Mark Wilcox, Frank Butt, Clive Milne,
Leo DeMan, George Eadie, John Bedford, Alex Strahan
Front LtoR: Dave Davies, Colin Waller, John Howarth, Peter Flynn,
Steve Atkins, Mark Wester, Derek Shackleford

Bayswater United SC Reserves 1977
Bayswater United SC Reserves 1977
Back LtoR: Alan Jackson, Mickey Blanchard, Rob Bell, Keith Farrer,
Rob Dunning, Matt Vanderlaak, Nigel Brathwaite
Front LtoR: Unknown, Rob Birchall, Henk Kremer, Graham Fedor,
Barney Jensen, John Luyten, Phil Dunning

 

THE 80’S

This decade is the most successful in the Club’s playing history with the senior team spending eight seasons in the VSF Victorian 1st division and two seasons, 1984 & 1985 in the State League, now know as the VSF Premier League. In 1983 the team finished in 4th place in the 1St Division but by virtue of winning the Metropolitan Cup were promoted to the State League. In 1984 the team finished 10th (our highest ever finish in the top flight) but were relegated the following year. The Club remained in the 1st Division for the next six seasons before again winning promotion at the end of the 1991 season.

The short stay of two seasons in the top flight, 1984 & 1985, repeated in the 1990’s, found the Club wanting in terms of financial backing. One of the strengths of the Club is the multicultural make up of the members and players, reflecting the citizens of Knox, however this has proved to be a drawback in one respect. Other teams in the top flight either have the backing of an ethnic community who are happy to subsidise their club as it is seen as an expression of their previous national identity, or they have a social club with gaming machines, or both. Knox has never been able to compete with the financial backing of these clubs.

1984 Glasgow Rangers visit Knox
1984 Glasgow Rangers visit Knox

The successful season on the park in 1983, as the seniors pushed for promotion, saw the Club fall into debt. It was to be nearly twenty years until the balance sheet returned to the black. The debt peaked at almost $40,000 in 1992/3 and was to seriously threaten the existence of the Club. As we enter 2002 the Club is finally debt free but the problem of raising sufficient funds to support a competitive team at the highest levels remains a challenge for the committee.

Coupled with the teams elevation to State league in the mid 1980’s was contact with the international soccer visitors to Australia. Glasgow Rangers toured Australia in 1984 and while in Victoria used the Egan Lee Reserve for training. It has to be admitted that more members of the public turned out to see Rangers train than normally turn up to watch Knox City play. Their brief stay at Knox was a great success and all enjoyed the social functions hosted by the Club. Professional players today live on strict diets often referred to as “pasta and water” but in the mid eighties BBQ’s and a visit to the bar were then acceptable.

1986 Gordon Banks visit Knox
1986 Gordon Banks visit Knox

 

Juniors

Since April 1954 when the first training session for junior players was conducted by Wilhelm Sawatzky and Bruno Venus, junior players and their development has been an integral part of the Club. The steady growth in junior players led to the formation of a junior committee in the 1970’s. In 2001 the Club had 300 boys and girls playing soccer at all ages from under 7 to under 18.

Over the years hundreds of parents and Club members have been involv-ed in running the junior programme and a good number of juniors have progressed into the senior teams and beyond. Anecdotal stories about junior successes abound but pinning down historical data like results, dates and photos has proved difficult.

In 1969 three juniors were selected to play for Victoria. David Davis Un-der 12, Jeffrey Gerrish Under 14 and Matt Vanderlaak Under 16. It is not known if they were the first players from Bayswater chosen to represent the State but they were certainly not the last.

David Healy came through the junior ranks at Knox and went on to play for Australia at junior level before a long career at South Melbourne in the National league. David was selected to play for the Victorian Under 13 squad in 1981 together with team mate Alister Dunkinson. In the same year David Roddis was selected for the Victorian Under 16 team. This was the forth year running David had been selected for Victoria. In 1985 Frank Talia played in goal for the under 13’s, he subsequently went on to play professionally for Blackburn Rovers in England.

Under 12’s — 1965
Under 12’s — 1965
Back Row LtoR: M Blood, ?, L Degager, L Cambray, P Smits,
R Plumb, Mick Cambray (Coach)
Front Row LtoR: G Lewis, D Shackleford, P Wood, M Vanderlaak, J Gerrish, A Crompton

In 1981 the youth team were undefeated in winning the league championship. In commenting on the season coach Phil Dunning said “On reflection I would also like to say that if the ability, endeavour, and talent displayed by the youth teams is any indication of Knox City’s future, then we certainly have a great deal to look forward to.” Many of the team went on to play senior football for the Club during the successful 1980’s & 1990’s, and provided the foundation of the team which won the Veterans League Championship in 2000 and 2001.

In 1991 the Under 13 Super League team won both the league and the cup. Six of the players were selected for the Victorian Squad: Kris Bell, Jamie Cartro, Robert Del Pappa, Stefan Rudski, Anthony Roussos and Daniel Allsopp. Daniel subsequently went to the Institute of Sport and is currently playing professionally with Notts County in the English 2nd Division joining them from Manchester City.

The last two years have been some of the most successful in the Club’s history. Nearly 300 juniors play for Knox City and they have won a number of championships and representative honours.

In 2000 the Under 11A, Under 13, Under 16 Super League and Under 18 teams won their respective leagues. In 2001 the Under 14 Development side and Under 18A team won their league championships.

In 2002 the Club will be one of only five clubs in Victoria to have 3 or more teams in the junior Super Leagues.

In season 2001 four players were selected for the state squads. Krystal McCluskey was selected for the State Under 14 girls team while Leigh Broxham, Ramsey Nasser and Stefan Benedos won selection for the State Under 14 squads.

In 2001 the Under 12A and Under 13 Super League sides travelled to Bega for the first time to participate in the Joh Amunsden Memorial Tournament, an Under 13’s tournament that attracts club teams from Tasmania & Canberra as well as representative sides from Coffs Harbour, South Coast, Wagga Wagga, Griffith and Albury Wodonga. Our Under 13SL side was successful in winning the tournament by defeating Belnorth (a 5 times winner) 6-1 in the Grand Final.

 

All Nations

An integral part of the Club since 1983 is the summer competition the “All Nations Cup.” This competition is played during November and December and brings together teams comprising of players representing their country, or their parents country of origin. The format is based on the World Cup with round robin games being played to determine the eight teams to qualify for the knockout phase of the competition.

In the first year of the competition England overcame Yugoslavia 2–0 in the semi final and went on to beat Holland 1–0 in the final before a huge crowd. Holland accounted for Hungary 2–1 in their semi final. Medibank sponsored the Cup and prizes and SBS soccer identity Les Murray flew down from Sydney to present the trophies.

1983 England Team & Supporters
1983 England Team & Supporters
Back LtoR: Nigel Fedor, Peter Blasby, Terry Hawke, ___, ___, ___, John Cullan, ___, ___,
John Myak, Joe Docherty, Paul Cooke, ___, Jimmy Williams, Bill Murray
Front LtoR: Kevin Adams, ___, Greg House, Eric Lesbirel, Bill Brindle (with Cup), ___ Brooksy, Steve Morres, Peter Morgan (Mascot)

The competition was such a success that the VSF took it over in 1984 holding the final at Olympic Park. However following crowd trouble in the final rounds the VSF never hosted the competition again. It returned to Egan Lee Reserve in 1985 and apart from a two year break in 1988/89 has been held every year.

The most successful teams have been Macedonia, the current champions, and England with five wins each. While Scotland have appeared in four finals their solitary success was in 1991. During the 1980’s the Club ran a parallel Junior World Cup competition at the same time, but this was discontinued many years ago.

1983 Runners Up Holland
1983 Runners Up Holland
Back LtoR: Nick Van Egmond (Snr), Ricky Jansen, Jack Van Baar, ___, ___,
John Luyten, Mark Bakker, Gerry Bakker
Middle LtoR: Peter Den Ridder, John Nyholt, Nick Van Egmond (Jnr), Michael Stoffels, Guy Bakker
Front LtoR: Robbie Lange, H Meyer

1983 The Volunteers who made it happen
1983 The Volunteers
Standing LtoR: Tony Kennedy, Dave Dunks, Henk Kremer, Lou Van Peperstraten, Henk Kremer (Snr), ___, Charlie Sultana, ___, Ronny Turcinovic, Ashley Martin, Nigel Fedor, ___, Bill Stoffels, Mark Sultana, John Miska, Gunther Prislan
Sitting LtoR: Joanne Van Peperstraten, Peter Morgan, Josie Stoffels, Lynette Prislan, Heidi Prislan, ___, Mrs Sultana, Joy Dunks