GEORGE CROSS FOOTBALL CLUB
1947 – 1957
Whenever there was a gathering of Maltese migrants in
PROMINENT PLAYERS 1947-1957.
Baldasere Calleja, Guy Zammit, George Gatt, Reno Mizzi, Frank Zammit, Joe Doggett, Charles Camilleri, Joe Borg, Walter Buttigieg, Joe Gauci, Stan Stacey, Frank D’Amato, Eddie Zammit, Joe Debono, Danny Catania, Paul Zammit, Mose Cachia, Del Mannering, Vince Muscat.
The 1949 third division championship winning team
1958 – 1967
GEORGE CROSS A POWERHOUSE
1958 saw our club back in top flight and there was great determination by the club's administration to ensure the team remains with the best teams in this state by keeping all the players who won the previous years championship. The club recruited several good players to add depth to the squad. That season the first division became known as the State League and George Cross was proud to be one of the 12 foundation members of this new competition. The club did well to survive, but had some nervous moments before securing their State League status. The worst moment in 1958 came in the 12-0 loss to Hakoah. Enough said! The year ended on a high for the club, when the George Cross sponsored
pointment with George Cross coming second for the 6th time in 8 season. The team was branded' ALWAYS THE BRIDES-
1959 TREBLE WINNERS. MAID, NEVER THE BRIDE’. 1966 and 1967 were very poor seasons for the club with the team slipping down the ladder and fighting to avoid relegation. It was only late season rallies that saw the Georgies hang on to their State League position. In 1967 George Cross moved to a new home ground in
PROMINENT PLAYERS 1958-1967.
Tony Vella, Lolly Vella, Edddie Sacco, Vince Muscat, Eddie Azzopardi, Steve Yuncovich, Alfred Abela, Joe Falzon, Hugh McVean, Bill Copeland, Pat McKenna, Paul Nelson, Norm Hobson, Don Hodgson, Alfred Falzon, Louis Sacco, Horst Zelienski, Archie Campbell, Marshall Gibb, Tony Cassar, Tom McPherson, John Brown, David Goldie, John McDaid, Bobby Adams, Hans Petersen, Bobby Mayle, Barry Horsfall, Willie Armour, Neil Morson, Tom Robertson, Bill McIvor, John Sanchez.
SEARCHING FOR A HOME
After the short stint at
PROMINENT PLAYERS 1968-1976.
BILLY WILKINSON, KEN WAGSTAFF, ROBERT CULLEN, KEVIN WALKER, DEREK BARRON, JOHN WEBB, NORM NAITLAND, DEREK RICKS, KEN REED, PAUL MURPHY, TOM FOX, JOHN GARDINER, KEVIN KELLY, JOE CUNNINGHAM, DARIO EPIFANO, FRANK McARDLE, JOHN SANCHEZ, JIM PAPARAS, PHILIP CUTAJAR, JOHN WEBB.
THE FOURTH DECADE
1977 – 1986
AMALGAMATION, A HOME,
AND FINALLY A CHAMPIONSHIP.
This decade began with a bang for the Georgie faithful after years of waiting for that elusive championship. Even though he had left the club, the legacy of Ken Wagstaff remained. His appointed successor Billy Wilkinson continued building on what was achieved in 1976. The 1977 season saw the departure of Mooroolbark, J.U.S.T.,
4th place, 1 point behind the leader. It was back down the lower rungs the following season, as the Georgies trailed every other team for most of the campaign. The never say die attitude saw the team slowly but surely haul back the gap to eventual-
THE FIRST SUNSHINE GEORGE CROSS TEAM IN 1983. ly overtake Heidelberg and avoid relegation by 2 points. It was a Harry Houdini escape act the way the Cross survived that season and one that had supporters biting their finger nails down to the skin. Under the guidance of wily coach John Gardiner, the Georgies played to their strength and were always competitive. At times it wasn’t pretty football, but getting points is what the game is all about. Whilst the senior team struggled in most seasons in the National League, the Youth side was doing the club proud by winning the Southern Division championship in 1986 and 1987. The club was constantly producing top talent that few clubs in
PROMINENT PLAYERS 1977-1986.
STEVE RICHARDSON, JEFF FAULKNER, NOEL MITTEN, SHAUN PARTON SEASON KEOGH, JOHN MARKOVSKI, TYRONE JAMES, CHRIS TAYLOR, DON McLAREN, JOHN CAMPELJ, OSSIE LATIF, ANDREW MARTH, CARL GILDER, GED BANNON, DAVID RIGBY, ROGER BAIN, PAUL TRIMBOLI, JOHN WADDELL, GARY CLARKE, GARY HASLER,CHRIS KETSAKIDIS, FRANK TALIA, PAT MORLEY, PAUL LEWIS, LES CARTER, LORENZ KINDTNER, KEVIN MUSCAT.
THE FIFTH DACADE
1987 – 1996
BACK TO VICTORIAN FOOTBALL
The start to the 1987 N.S.L. season was nothing short of disastrous with the team getting only 2 points in the first 11 games of the season. Anchored in last place, the Georgies looked doomed until a hat-trick by Paul Trimboli gave the S.G.C. their first win of the season over South Melbourne Hellas. The fight to avoid last place was against
THE 1989 NATIONAL YOUTH TEAM CHAMPIONS
The bottom bottom dropped out for the Cross in the second half of the season following the sacking of
PROMINENT PLAYERS 1987-1996.
ROBERT FERLA, JOHN KANESOULIS, STEVE WARDLE, ANTHONY CASSAR, CHRIS DAGLARAS, CRAIG LEWIS, JOE DEBONO, SPENCER FIELD, JAMIE MELROSE, BILLY MAKRIS, JOHN MARKOVSKI, MICHAEL UTTING, STEVE MANGOS, AGIM SHERIFOVSKI, PETER COCKER, BRIAN ROBERTS, LUCIANO FABRIZIO, DAMIEN MORI, DAVID CLARKSON, CRAIG FOSTER.
THE SIXTH DECADE
1997 – 2006
CHAPLIN RESERVE BOUGHT
Big things were expected for the 50th anniversary season, but unfortunately the team assembled in 1997 was mediocre at best. The club made their biggest signing ever when Sunshine George Cross bought Chaplin Reserve from the State Government. Club officials made it official by signing the deal at the club's 50th Anniversary Dinner Ball held at the Lakeside Banquet & Convention Centre on Saturday June 28 1997. Two coaching changes during the season did not help with Vassallo being replaced by Robert Ferla and not long after he was replaced by Gus McLeod. The best win in 1997 was a 6-0 drubbing of
PROMINENT PLAYERS 1997-2006.
EDUARDO SOARES, JUAN NILO, COLIN AZZOPARDI, COLIN JOHN, DUSKO DELIC, BRETT GILMOUR, VASKO TRPCEVSKI, ANOTHONY MAGNACCA, PETER SPITERI, MANNY MUSCAT, TONY NECESKI, TRENT WATERSON, GEORGE GEORGADIS, ILIJA DRAGICEVIC, JANI SURIC, MARK RECCHIA, MAHJOUB TAOULI, ALFONSO OPAZO, SASO MARKOVSKI, ROBERT KRAJACIC, BRANDON VASSALLO, ARTHUR TSIRTSAKIS.
THE SEVENTH DECADE
2007 - 2011
SALE OF GROUND
The 2007 season was the club's 60th anniversary season and plans to make this a memorable year quickly disappeared with the team struggling throughout the campaign. The F.F.V. informed clubs, four teams would be relegated at the end of that season and the Georgies occupied third last place in the 16 team competition at the end of 26 rounds of football. The committee wasted no time in appointing Andy O’Dell coach for the 2008 season. The English coach introduced a number of English players into the team that resulted in Sunshine George Cross winning the championship by 3 points from Dandenong Thunder. The return to the V.P.L. in 2009 saw a very competitive team that accumulated 32 points to finish in 8th place. The defence was very sound conceding only 18 goals, but the attack was equally poor scoring a measly 18 goals. Off the field President Charles Borg called it a day with Darren Farrugia taking over the role as President. The 2010 season began brightly enough with the team sitting just outside the top 4 half way through the season. Things began to sour when players began to leave the club that culminated with coach Andy O’Dell also quitting his post after the huge 6-0 loss to Altona Magic. Sunshine George Cross slipped from 5th to last place, following 9 successive defeats. Former assistant coach Theo Constantinou was given the task of motivating the players in the remaining games, but just failed, with the team finishing in last place. It was close with the relegation issue was not being settled until the final day when the Georgies lost 4-0 to South Melbourne and Bentleigh Greens upset the league leaders
2010 SUNSHINE GEORGE CROSS V.P.L. TEAM
TO BE CONTINUED AS THE YEARS ROLL ON.
LONG LIVE SUNSHINE GEORGE CROSS FOOTBALL CLUB!
Compiled by club historian Victor Brincat