NSL Where Are They Now? – Marconi Stallions

Marconi started off as a youth team in 1958 before moving through the ranks to the NSW 1st Division in 1970. They would only have to wait a few seasons before tasting success, winning back to back championships in 1972 and 73. Then in 1977, everything changed and they became one of the inaugural teams in the 1977 NSL.

Their first year in the national competition was a reasonably successful one; finish runners up to Eastern Suburbs on goal difference (which was only 3). That season Jim Rooney won player of the year and Rale Rasic received the honour of coach of the year. In 1978 they would finish 4th with West Adelaide being crowned the Premiers.

Marconi would only have to wait one more year to put their first NSL trophy into their cabinet. In 1979 Marconi Fairfield finished 1st ahead of Heidelberg United by 4 points. The club would also sweep the awards for that year with Ivo Prskalo winning player of the year, Eddie Krncevic was crowned U21s player of the year, Les Scheinflug won coach of the year and Mark Jankovic won the golden boot with 18 goals.

Their first championship would be the first of 4, a feat that only South Melbourne and Sydney City would manage to match. Also interesting to note is that Marconi is one of only 2 clubs to have played every season in the NSL, the other being South Melbourne.

It wouldn’t be long until a second national trophy would be added to their collection, as Marconi won the NSL cup in 1980, defeating Heidelberg United 3-0 at home in a replay after the first game ended 0-0 after extra time. There were no penalties.

Marconi would then go on to feature in 3 consecutive grand finals in 1988, 1989 and 1989-90. The club went back to back in 88 and 89, however were denied the three-peat in the 89-90 season. However they did also finish back to back premiers in 1989 and 1889-90.

Going in order, in 1988 Marconi Fairfield defeated Sydney Croatia 3-2 on penalties after finishing 2-2 at the end of the game. Marconi managed to win the finals after finishing 4th. That year Frank Farina was joint player of the year, as well as winning the golden boot with 16 goals.

In 1989 Marconi finished 1st by 6 points over St-George Budapest. They would then go on to defeat St-George 1-0 in the finals before defeating Sydney Olympic 1-0 in the grand final. Zlatko Nastevski was crowned player of the year and also scoring the golden boot with 20 goals whilst Bertie Mariani was awarded coach of the year.

In the 1989-90 season, Marconi would again finish top of the table, beating South Melbourne by 2 points. However this time int he grand final, Sydney Olympic would have their revenge winning 2-0 to be crowned champions. Paul Okon was named the U21s player of the year whilst Bertie Mariani once again received the honour of best coach.

Marconi would only have to wait a few seasons to add another championship, this time in 1992-93. The team finished 2nd to South Melbourne by 5 points. In the grand final they would best Adelaide City 1-0. Steve Corica was named the U21s player of the year. (Notice how many notable players/coaches won awards whilst at Marconi)?

The club would win one final trophy in the NSL era in the 1995-96 season, where they finished premiers over Melbourne Knights and Sydney Olympic by 1 point. However they would go on to lose to Melbourne in the grand final 2-1 (Andy Harper scored their goal).

After the fall of the NSL and subsequent start of the A-League, Marconi entered the NSW Premier League for the 2004-05 season. For the first several years the club faced average results, with their best finish being 2nd in 2009.

Their first piece of post NSL silverware came in 2012, winning the championship in the NSW Premier League after finishing 2nd on the table. In the grand final, Marconi defeated Bonnyrigg who had run away with the league winning by 15 points. The score was 2-0 after 2 goals in the 2nd half.

After the 2015 season, Marconi was relegated from the NSW NPL down to the NPL 2 division after their worst season in history. For the first time since 1970, they had fallen from 1st division football. They earned only 7 points, had a mass player exodus and ended the season with 10 defeats in a row.

However, all was not lost for the club, as after only 2 seasons in NPL 2, they won the club championship by a convincing margin to gain promotion back to NPL 1 and as of the 2018 season they will be playing top flight state football again.

The alumni of Marconi is extensive, producing many Socceroos and many 1st grade players both here and overseas. For a full list check the wiki here. I feel it would be unfair to only name a few of their greats when there could be a full article just on the Marconi players.

Image credit: FNSW

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