History of Football (Soccer) in Newcastle Australia

The sport of Football (Soccer) has had a rich and colourful history in the Hunter Valley and Newcastle region. The area has had a number of teams involved in National Competitions from 1978 through to the present day, being represented by the Newcastle Jets in the A-League.

Previous NSL clubs have included Newcastle KB United, Adamstown Rosebuds (as Newcastle Rosebud United) and the Newcastle Breakers. In 2000 Newcastle United were formed who survived the end of the NSL in 2004 and currently play in the A-League competition.

Pre NSL Events

In 1951 a group of immigrants from different backgrounds from the Gretna camp came together to form a football team.

"And so the Austral club were born. Originally accepted in to the north NSW second division, the club eventually rose to prominence. They won their first northern NSW first division grand final in 1966 and followed suit in 1969. Continuing to thrive throughout the seventies and eighties, Austral searched for higher-ranked company. In 1988 Newcastle Austral entered the NSW state league first division, reaching the semi finals at their first attempt!"cite news |url= http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/NSLclubs/NBHist.html|title=History of Newcastle Breakers |first=Andrew |last=Howe |publisher=OZFootball| |accessdate=2008-05-09 ]

Newcastle KB United

Football club infobox
clubname = Newcastle KB United

fullname = Newcastle KB United
nickname = KB
founded = 1977
dissolved = 1984
ground = International Sports Centre,
capacity =
chairman =
manager =
league = National Soccer League

The first Newcastle-based team to play in a national league was Newcastle KB United which was formed in 1978, one year after the inception of the National Soccer League (NSL).cite news |url= http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/NSLclubs/NBHist.html|title=History of Newcastle Breakers |first=Andrew |last=Howe |publisher=OZFootball| |accessdate=2008-05-09 ] KB United had a strong following in their initial seasons with a crowd of over 15,000 attending the first home game at the International Sports Centre on March 5 1978 with fans turning out to see a 4-1 loss to Hakoah Eastern Suburbscite news |url=http://www.hunterisc.com/dev_history.html |title=Hunter International Sports Centre Trust Newcastle Australia - History of the Stadium| |accessdate=2008-05-09 ] During the first seasons crowds were good including a record crowd of over 18,000 in 1979 with season averages around 10,000. English star Bobby Charlton and local prodigy Craig Johnston both played at least one game for KB United.

KB United were generally a mid to low table team although they did have some success in the national cup competition in 1984, travelling to Melbourne to defeat Melbourne Knights 1-0 to claim their only piece of silverware.cite news |url= http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/NSLclubs/NBHist.html|title=History of Newcastle Breakers |first=Andrew |last=Howe |publisher=OZFootball| |accessdate=2008-05-09 ]

Due to an unspectacular team performance and increasing financial turmoil KB United's NSL licence was taken over in April 1984 by Adamstown Rosebuds who renamed themselves Newcastle Rosebud United while they played in the NSL. The Rosebuds could not return to prominence in the National League and were subsequently relegated in 1986. cite news |url= http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/NSLclubs/NBHist.html|title=History of Newcastle Breakers |first=Andrew |last=Howe |publisher=OZFootball| |accessdate=2008-05-09 ]

League and Cup Placings

"Brackets indicate total number of teams in competition"

* † Newcastle United made the finals for the first time, After losing 4-3 against Perth Glory in the two legged Major Semi-Final, Newcastle were eliminated in the Preliminary Final by Sydney Olympic.
* ‡ Newcastle made the finals for the second year in succession. For this season a round robin contest between the top six was undertaken to see who would be Grand Finalists. Newcastle were placed sixth and last in this competition, although a washout game against Northern Spirit was never played as it did not affect the outcome of the top two.

[Thompson, T: "One Fantastic Goal", pages 299-302, ABC Books/Griffin Press Australia, 2006, ISBN 0 7333 1898 3]

Newcastle United Jets

Football club infobox
clubname = Newcastle United Jets FC
current = Newcastle United Jets FC season 2007-08

fullname = Newcastle United Jets Football Club
nickname = Jets
founded = 2000
ground = EnergyAustralia Stadium,
capacity = 26,000 - upgrading to 33,000
chairman = flagicon|Australia Con Constantine
manager = flagicon|Australia Gary van Egmond
league = A-League
season = 2007-08
position = Champions

Newcastle United was renamed as Newcastle United Jets when it joined the A-League in its inaugral 2005-06 season. The club was renamed to project a new image and to prevent confusion with the English Premier League club Newcastle United F.C.

The name "Jets" is a reference to RAAF Base Williamtown, located just 20 kilometres north of Newcastle. The club's logo depicts three F/A-18 Hornets, which the Royal Australian Air Force has based at Williamtown.

Following the demise of the NSL in 2003-04 the Jets underwent a major overhaul. With all player contracts null and void following the end of the NSL each club had to recruit from scratch. Newcastle assembled an impressive squad with players such as Jade North, Nick Carle and notably, former Socceroo star Ned Zelic who became the inaugrial captain. Englishman Richard Money was appointed coash with Gary van Egmond (former assistant to Ian Crook) his assistant. Rumour about the appointment of former England and Australia manager Terry Venables proved unfounded.cite news |url=http://www.theage.com.au/news/Soccer/No-Venables-for-ALeague/2004/11/27/1101495459374.html?from=storylhs |title=No Venables for A-League |first=Matthew |last=Hall |publisher=The Age |date=2004-11-28 |accessdate=2008-05-11 ]

After the first regular season the Jets finished in 4th place and lost a two legged playoff with eventual runners up Central Coast Mariners. Following this, coach Richard Money left the club and was replaced by former NSL coach Nick Theodorakopoulos. Ned Zelic left the club but was replaced with players like Joel Griffiths, Paul Okon and Colombian Milton Rodriguez. Due to a poor start to the season Theodorakopoulos was sacked and his assistant van Egmond took over. The club saw a vast improvement over the rest of the regular season and finished third. Upon defeating Sydney FC in the minor semi-final the Jets then went on to lose the preliminary final to Adelaide United on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

Season three saw Okon retire and Rodriguez, and Carle leave leaving the Jets with a depleted squad. Con Constantine brought in former European Golden Boot winner Mario Jardel but he was clearly well past his prime and did not last the season out. Nevertheless with a number of young players the Jets finished 2nd on goal difference after the regular season and were eventually crowned Champions after defeating now arch rivals Central Coast Mariners 1-0 in the Grand Final. A first for a Newcastle football team. In season 2008-09 the Jets will represent the A-League in the AFC Asian Champions League.

League Placings

Brackets indicate statistics including A-League finals.

Newcastle Jets along with Sydney FC are the only A-League clubs to qualify for every final series.


External links

* [http://www.newcastlejets.com.au Newcastle Jets - Official website]
* [http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/NSLclubs/NBHist.html History of Newcastle Breakers]
* [http://www.northernnswfootball.com.au Northern NSW Football: Official Site]

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