In The Beginning – SSC Yugal

 

First up in this series we covered Sydney Prague. Now we will look at the other club that would later merge with Prague to become Yugal-Prague.

In a park in Liverpool a group of Yugoslav immigrants would regularly get together to kick a football around. Martin (Marin) Batistic was one of these men and he thought up the idea of the group starting a club. Martin along with Ivan Pudarich put in an incredible amount of time getting the club up and running.

The club was officially established as Dalmatinac in 1956 with both Martin and Ivan organizers for the club as well as putting on the boots to take the field for the club. Ivan would go on to become president of the club. Sadly Martin tragically died in 1959 and never got to see the club in full flight.

Dalmatinac would begin life competing in the Grandville Districts juniors competition for the 1957 season. Their first year was a successful one taking out the Robinson Cup.

In 1958 the club were granted entry into the NSW Federation of Soccer Clubs. They would win their way up to the NSW State league second division where they would have moderate success for the next couple of years.

It was now 1960 and Mick Alagich was elected Secretary and Dr. Lintner elected President. With these new changes on the board brought some big changes for the whole club. The board decided to change the name of the club to Yugal in an aim to represent the entire Yugoslav community in Sydney. This wasn’t the only big change as the club was able to secure Concord Oval as their home base. It was also time for Yugal to bring in some much better quality on the pitch. Three top class players were brought over from Yugoslavia. One of these players was Boris Krstulovich who would play the role of captain and coach. The other two imports were Sam Ivanisevich an inside forward and Tony Nincevich who played centre-forward. Other auditions were Kurt Spiegel and Frank Aranyi who both came from Hakoah. Johnny Mucillo came over from Auburn and Brian Robinson heading over from Manly.

Frank Haffey (Left) of St George and Joe Alagich (Right) of Yugal

The most notable signing would come in 1961, This was none other than Tihomir ‘Tiko’ Jelisavcich. joining Yugalfrom Partizan a club in Yugoslavia. Tiko arrived in Australia in time to take the field for Yugal in their vital clash with Balgownie. The match ended in favor of Yugal, this result was enough to earn them promotion the NSW state league division one.

April 7, 1962 was the date for the clubs first division Debut against APIA Leichhardt in front of a crowd of 2,400 at Lambert Park. The match finished in favor of the home side APIA who won 5-1.

The teams first win would come at Macarthur Park (now known as Garside Park) against St George Budapest. A crowd of 2,676 seen Yugal record their first win in the first Division. The score finished 4-3 with  Jelisavcich scoring a hat trick in the win. The side would make it all the way to the semi finals this season season.

In 1962 Australia’s first ever national club tournament took place and Yugal was one of four clubs from Sydney that took part. The others being APIA Leichhardt, St George Budapest and Sydney Hakoah. Yugal were crowd winners after defeating St George Budapest in the final. The final was held at Wentworth Park on December 9th. A Crowd of 11,014 were on hand to witness the match in which Jelisavcich scored four, Eric Schwartz got two with Tony Nincevich and Slavko Pacanin grabbing one each. The Australia Cup competition would only last seven years with it being abolished after the 1968 tournament.

Yugal had numerous fierce rivals such as Sydney Croatia and Avala White Eagles which was fuelled by the tensions between Yugoslavia, Serbia and Croatia at that time. Another of their rivals was the former club Venezia-Givlia.

SSC Yugal would compete in the NSW first Division until its merger with Sydney Prague FC in 1973. The merged club would continue to compete in NSW football playing until the club dissolved in 1992.

 

Honours

NSW State league 1st division Grand Final winners- 1970

NSW State League 2nd Division champions- 1961

NSW Ampol Cup winners- 1963

Ampol cup runners-up- 1965

Australia Cup winners-1962

First Division semi-finalists- 1962, 1965 and 1971

Ampol Cup semi-finalists- 1962, 1966 and 1971

Federation Cup semi-finalists- 1965, 1966, 1967, 1971 and 1972

 

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