Fraser Park FC’s History
The “Clube Portugues de Sydney” as it was originally known, was born in 1961 in Paddington, in the heart of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. It was here that a small number of Portuguese migrants began to plan the future of the club, which later became Fraser Park F.C.
The early Fraser Park teams consisted of young Portuguese migrants, some of which had been football professionals back in Portugal, before migrating to Australia in search of a better life. Some of these included professional players like Jose Bento, Valdemaro and Vivaldo Pouco. Others soon followed and names like Aderito (Andy) Marcos, Jose Domingos, Antonio Rendeiro and Silvio Mesquita (both founding club members), Vitorino Rosa would later become Fraser Park football legends.
The first official title won by the “Clube Portugues de Sydney” was the All Age Gala Day organised by Soccer NSW, which was held in 1961. This trophy sits proudly at Fraser Park’s Football clubhouse.
In the late 1960’s Fraser Park, whose club house was still located at Oxford Street, some 200 metres from Paddington Town Hall, changed its name to “Investro”.
It was during this era in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s that the next generation of players and future club legends were born. Names such as Jose Avelino, his brother “Big” Ed, Mestre Chico, Luis Coelho, Faneca, Beckenbauer, Fonseca, Manuel and Jose Mestre, Johnny and Manuel Coelho and the coach of all coaches, Fernando Abinha. It was this group who would pave the way for future generations of football players at Fraser Park.
It was also during this period of expansion and exploration, that Fraser Park FC, then known as the Rosebery Portuguese Club of Sydney enjoyed its greatest success.
Fraser Park successfully applied for entry to the Division 7 of the NSW Soccer Federation in 1982, playing its home games at Turruwal Park, Rosebery. Under the astute management of Luis Coelho, who had started his career as a player at Fraser Park, when it was known as “Investro” back in the old days at Paddington in the late 1960’s.
Fraser Park won a total of 4 championships (1982-1983, 1988-1989) in the 1980’s and finished in the top 3 on another 4 occasions. It was also during this period, arguably the best striker in the club’s history came to the fore. A young aboriginal kid known only as “Cecil” tormented defences for years and delighted the Fraser Park faithful who travelled all over the Sydney metropolitan area, to support their team at away matches. In one memorable match at Rosebery one Saturday afternoon, Cecil managed to score 7 of the team’s 8 goals during a Federation Division 4 game, which left the hunderds of supporters at the tiny ground gasping with delight.
Another club legend who spent less time as a player at Fraser Park, but left his footprint forever was the mercurial Gerry Gomez. Gerry played as a teenager for Fraser Park when the club played its matches at Queens Park, in the Sydney suburb of Waverley in the 1970’s. It was here that a scout from the old Sydney City (Hakoah) club took Gerry to greater heights, and within 2 years Gerry was winning NSL championships with Sydney City, and representing Australia at junior then senior level.
More recently, other Socceroos have worn the Fraser Park colours, including Clint Bolton and Ante Juric.
Fraser Park won promotion to the NSW Division 1 in 2000, and subsequently to the NSW Super League where it plays currently.
However, it was during the golden era of the 1980’s that Fraser Park built championship teams through the “master” coach known as Jacinto, who had migrated to Australia from the Azores in the early 1980’s. Jacinto had played as a professional in the Portuguese Division 2, and brought with him a unique style which was based on two key fundamentals. These being, players who were able to play a high level of intensity for 90 minutes and also able to adapt to playing in multiple positions. During these years, it could be said that Fraser Park would simply run their opponents into the ground. Games would often be decided during the second half, as opponents were simply unable to compete with Jacinto’s physically superior Fraser Park team.
In 2007 Fraser Park Football Club entered an exciting new era, with the Football Board of Directors implementing a plan to rejuvenate “community” football by increasing the focus on Association football. The aim being to bring back members of the Social Community Club, and invite the broader inner-west community to be part of Fraser Park. Fraser Park increased the number of teams playing in the Canterbury District to almost 20. Teams now represent the club from the under 6 mixed boys and girls right through to the senior teams in the Men’s and Women’s All Age and Over 35 competitions.
In 2008 Fraser Park’s All Age Division 1 team achieved the honour of making it all the way to the Final of the State Cup (Bill Cullinan Cup). No mean feat considering this is a competition open to hundreds of teams from over 30 Associations across all of NSW.
Season 2009 will see Fraser Park continue its focus on the development of our elite juniors, who will play in the NSW Division 1 Youth League, and will be serious candidates for promotion to the NSW Super Youth League.
It is this group of players, who will carry the expectations of the entire Fraser Park football community, in the years to come by going on to represent Fraser Park in the first grade competition.
Fraser Park has once again entered a team in the Women’s Division 1 competition, and we hope these ladies will emulate the success of the 2000 team, who were CDFSA Champions.