Since time immemorial, boys have kicked a ball around, but it wasn’t until the 9th November 1961, that the Nepean District Soccer Football Association was formed to provide an umbrella organisation for the numerous local soccer clubs in the area. Competition between teams commenced in 1962 and the number of clubs affiliated with the Association grew steadily. Despite several boundary changes, which resulted in the loss of a number of teams to adjoining areas, the Association continues to grow.
The formation of the Association however, came about as the result of one vote! At a soccer federation meeting in Granville in 1961, it was decided that a separate Association should be formed for the Nepean region. Stan Harris and Don Tinnion who had formed the St. Marys Band Club Soccer in 1960 gave the new Association enthusiastic support.
Until the formation of the Nepean Association, the St. Marys Band Club had to travel to Granville, Auburn and Blacktown for its away matches. The Penrith City Council had granted the team permission to use Victoria Park for its home matches, though the goal posts had to be transported by truck to the Park on the day and removed afterwards! Later the Club moved to Halls Paddock, Caddens Road for its home matches, but the field was very hard and dry and needed lots of watering prior to a match, to be playable. Later the Club moved to Water Street Werrington for its home games. This year the Club celebrates 40 years of soccer in St. Marys a proud achievement indeed.
Another of the soccer teams which affiliated was the Penrith Soccer Club. Originally the South Penrith Soccer Club, its genesis was in, of all places the daily commuter trains to and from the city. As with many of the sporting clubs in Penrith, it was the work and determination of a few dedicated people which saw this club get off the ground. Len Gendle and Ernie Johanssen felt that the community needed a soccer club to promote sportmanship in the area. Initially, the train became their “office” as plans were drawn up for a draft constitution and the paperwork needed for the formation of a club was dealt with. 1969 saw the club field two junior and two senior teams in the competition.
Over the years the Club grew and its changing functions saw accompanying name changes to reflect this. Eventually, the soccer arm of the Club broke away and re-formed in 1977, once again taking on the original name. Since then the Club has gone from strength to strength.
Women’s soccer too is played in Penrith, with the newly formed Nepean Women’s Super League playing in first division competition. This is indeed a sport for all.
Harris, Mavis, The Start of the St. Mary’s Band Club Soccer Club, 1960.
Nepean District Historical Society, Nepean District Soccer Football Association.
Penrith City Council, Penrith Year Book, 1986.
Penrith Press, 10/12/99, p.56.