Hakoah Sydney City East FC
|Full name||Hakoah Sydney City East Football Club|
|Ground||Hensley Athletic Field|
|League||NPL NSW 1|
|Website||Club home page|
Hakoah Sydney City East Football Club is an Australian semi-professional soccer club based in Sydney, New South Wales. The club was formed in 1939 as Sydney Hakoah by members of Sydney's Jewish community. They played between 1977 and 1986 in the National Soccer League as Eastern Suburbs (1977–1979) and Sydney City (1979–1987). One of the most successful sides in New South Wales and interstate competitions in the 1960s and early 1970s coached by the now retired Bob Szatmari, Hakoah were also one of the main instigators for the establishment of a national league. The club currently competes in the National Premier Leagues NSW, with games played from Hensley Athletic Field.
A foundation member of the NSL, Sydney City were also its most dominant side in the competition's first decade, winning four titles, including three in a row from 1980–1982, and finishing below third only once. However, despite this level of success, crowds were perennially low, and even though they were one of the sides retained for 1987, after the NSL scrapped the split conference system at the end of 1986, Sydney City withdrew from the NSL one round into the 1987 season.
In January 1939 a small group of Jewish Immigrants, who had been kicking a ball at Rushcutters Bay each Sunday, met to discuss the formation of a soccer club. 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 Hakoah.
Admitted to the newly created first division of the New South Wales Soccer Federation following the breakaway of a number of clubs from the FIFA associated Soccer Association in 1956/57. Made the first appointment in Australia of a full-time coach and secretary/manager, the former England international Jack Gibbons who was previously coach of the Israeli national team.
In 1977 Hakoah underwent a name changed to Eastern Suburbs Hakoah. Winner of first National League known as the National Soccer League and made the 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.
Name changed to Sydney City in 1978 and the home ground moved from Wentworth Park to ES Marks Field in a successful year for the club. Eddie Thomson became coach in 1979 and together with manager Andrew Lederer led the Club through its final years as Australia's most successful and best club.
The team included future International Jimmy Cant, Jim Patikas, striker Ken Boden and Australia's most successful goal scorer John Kosmina for the 1980 season and went on to win the 1981, 1982 and 1983 NSL seasons with Australian International striker David Mitchell joining the star-studded club. In 1987 Sydney City withdrew mid-season as the most successful club in League history.
NSW State League Return
Since 1988 to Today, Sydney City have competed in the NSW State League North Conference in the NSW State Leagues. Recently, they have moved up through the New South Wales football ranks and have been promoted rapidly. In 2014 Hakoah were in NSW's 3rd division (State League 1) and won the Premiership and Grand Final Championship trophies which culminated in winning the Club Championship crown and gaining promotion to the (national premier leagues NSW2), eventually almost replicating that season in 2015, once again winning promotion, this time into the top tier in NSW. In 2012 they also won the double as State League Division Two Premiers and Grand Final Champions under the Hakoah FC banner playing out of Hensley Athletic Field. They are currently in National Premier Leagues NSW for the 2016 season.
Notable former players
- Ray Baartz
- David Keddie
- Murray Barnes
- Kenny Boden
- Ernie Campbell
- Jim Patikas
- Todd Clarke
- Trevor Edwards
- Gerry Gomez
- Bill Hume
- Doug Holden
- John Kosmina
- Jimmy Mackay
- Kevin Mullen
- Eddie Thomson
- Johnny Watkiss
- Ruben Bakowski
- Rafi Levi
- Jerry Haldi
- Joe Watson
- Agenor Muniz
- Danny Walsh
- James Wong
- Robert Fekete
- Peter Fuzes
- David Mitchell
- Steve O'Connor
- Frank Farina
- OFC Cup Winners Cup 1987
- NSL Champions 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982
- NSL Minor Premiers 1984 (Northern Division), 1985 (Northern Division)
- Australia Cup winners 1965, 1968
- NSL Cup Winners 1986
- Australian Club of the Decade (2) 1970's, 1980's
- New South Wales Premiers 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 2012
- New South Wales Federation Champions 1961, 1962, 1966, 1968, 2012
- New South Wales Federation Cup Winners 1959, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1971
- Ampol Cup Winners 1957, 1968, 1973,
- NSW State League Division Two Champions 2012
- NSW State League Division One Champions 2013
- NSW Super League Premiers & Champions 2014
- NSW Club Championship winners 2014
- NSW Club Championship winners 2015