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Hakoah - Sydney City Soccer Milestones




1939-1953  -  In January 1939 a small group of Jewish emigres, who had been kicking a ball at Rushcutters Bay each Sunday, met to discuss the formation of a soccer team. That meeting resulted in the birth of Sydney Hakoah Football Club. It was not until 1954 that Hakoah started to make its presence felt and was admitted to the Southern League, the State's division, together with Sydney Austral of Dutch origin and Prague which comprised mainly Czech migrants. The team played in distinctive blue and white striped shirts with Magen David badge which was to become famous as the colours and emblem of Australia's greatest club.

1954/55 -  Signing of former English first division professional Bill Walsh, centre half of Sunderland, and Australia's internationals Clem Higgins and Bill Murphy.

Achievements: Second in the League and Grand Final participant.

1956/57  -  Admitted to the newly-created first division of the New South Wales Soccer Federation following the breakaway ny a number of clubs from the FIFA associated Soccer Association.

Made the first appointment in Australia of a full-time coah and secretary/manager, the former England international Jack Gibbons who was previously coach of Israel's international soccer team.

Achievements: Won the Kennard Cup.

Signed ex-Hungarian first division striker Jules Forgacs and former Crystal Palace forward Frank Hearn.

Achievements: Ampol Cup Finalist

1958/1959 - Signing of former Austria first division players Kurt Speigel, Willi Wesely and Peter Hrncir.

Achievements: Fourth in League and Winner of Federation Cup Final.

1960 - Fourth in League - a poor season despite the addition of brilliant Australian International Ray "Whoopy" Neal.

1961 - Star of the "Golden Years" following the Club's move to Wentworth Park and importation of Israeli internationals Raffi Levy and Gerry Chaldi plus six Austrian first division players, including the illustrious Karl Jaros. Over 96,000 fans watched the team's league games.

Achievements: Finalist in Ampol cup, Winner Federation Cup and Winner of League Grand Final with a 4-1 score line in front of 18,432 spectators.

1962 - Achievements: Second in League, Ampol Cup quarter-finalist and Grand Final Winner beating Budapest-St George 4-2 (including a hat-trick by the prolific Herbert Ninaus) in front of 26,770 spectators.

1963 - Signed Israel's player of the year "Danny Boy" Shmulevich and former English first division player Matt Woods from Blackburn Rovers. Signed former English great Len Quested and 20 goals scored by Ninaus in 21 matches. 

Achievements:  Won the Federation Cup deafeating South Coust United 2-1 in the final with the first goal scored by Bernie Gold. Local Juniors Peter Fuzes and Robert Fekete selected in New South Wales under 18 squad.

1964 - Newly signed stars included Welsh International Trevor Edwards and Leo Baumgartner, arguably the best Austrian player ever seen in Sydney Soccer.

Achievement: Federation Cup quarter-finalist.

1965 - Played visiting Israeli team Hapoel Tel Aviv, winning 7-1. The Club's coach Tiko Jelisavcic was chosen as Australian coach of the first ever Australian World cup Team. The team included such illustrious names as former England International winger Doug Holden and Alan Marnoch.

Achievement: Ampol Cup Semi-finalist, won Federation cup 3-1 against Pan Hellenic and Australia Cup 2-1 against Apia.

1966 -  Winner of the League Grand Final, Ampol Cup finalist, Federation Cup semi finalist and Australia Cup finalist, all matches being played versus Apia. Winner Federation Cup championship shield. Greater emphasis on local players including international Ray Baartz. Peter Fuzes chosen for New South Wales state team.

1968 - The year of Hakoah's greatest achievements, under new coach Doug Holden,  winner of:

  1. League premiership
  2. League grand final beating Pan Hellenic in front of 22,000 fans
  3. Australia Cup (virtually the National Championship) beating Melbourne Hakoah over two legs 3-0 and 3-1.
  4. Ampol Cup beating Melbourne Croatia 3-2.                   

1969 - Third in league and Ampol Cup finalist.

1970 - League premier and Ampol Cup Finalist

1971 - Manager Tibor Kalman who changed the style of play by importing 5 Brazilians including the brilliant Agenor Muniz and Hilton Silva and signing the great Aussie Striker John Watkiss. Former President Karl Rodny appointed Manager New South Wales Soccer team.

Achievement: Won League premiership and New South Wales state cups. Nominated best Club team in Australia, beat the Queensland State team 6-0 in Brisbane.

1972 - A disappointing season. The team started with former Celtic and Leeds International Bobbie Collins as coach and finished with a new coach in Wolverhamptons goalie David MacLaren who later became manager of the Social Club.

Fourth in League.

1973 - League premier and grand finalist Ampol Cup Winner.

1974 - League premier and grand finalist Ampol Cup Winner.

1975 - The year was marked by the untimely death at the age of 46 of Manager Tibor Kalman who had lead the team to 4 premiership wins in 5 seasons.

Fifth in League.

1976 - Players who were to form the nucleus of the club's final years included such stalwarts as Murray Barnes, Todd Clarke, Agenor Muniz, Steve O'Connor, Alex Robertson, Terry Smith, Hilton Silva and Joe Watson.

Gerry Chaldi became the team's coach.

Third in League, Winner of Ampol Cup.

1977 - Name changed to Eastern Suburbs Hakoah. Winner of first National League known as the Philips Soccer League (PSL).

Major addition to playing staff in former Aberdeen star Eddie Thomson later to become the Club's coach and coach of Australia's national team.

1978 - Name changed to Sydney City, home ground moved to ES Marks Field. Winner of PSL championship. The Club's coach Gerry Chaldi named "Coach of the Year".

1979 - Ampol Cup winner, Philips top four champion.

Eddie Thomson becomes coach and together with manager Andrew Lederer leads Club through its final years as Australia's most successful and best club team.

1980 - Winner of National Soccer League (NSL), Grand Final runner-up.

The team includes future International Jimmy Patikas, striker Ken Boden and Australia's most successful goal scorer John Kosmina.

1981 - PSL champion for the third time in a row and top four champion for the third time in four years.

1982 - Signing of Australian International striker David Mitchell.

Winner of NSL for 3rd year in a row - by a record 9 points.

1983- Runner-up in League to St George-Budapest.

1984 - League split into two parts with the Sydney City winning premiership of the "Australian Conference".

Grand Finalist losing to Sydney Olympic by 2-1 after extra time.

1985 - League again renamed as Northern & Southern Divisions. Winner of Northern Division. Signing of Frank Farina, later to make his name in Australia's national team and with European first division clubs in Belgium and Italy.

1986 - Fifth in the League and winner of Nanda Cup in the Club's last full season.

1987 - Sydney City plays its last match and withdraws from NSL on 30 March.

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