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SENIORS HISTORY

Busselton was no doubt playing some type of social soccer in the early years but the first recorded match took place in August 1923. This game was between Busselton Town and Blythe Park Rangers (Group Settlement 48) the venue was Bovell's Paddock, the result of this first encounter was a win to the Rangers two goals to nil. It would be fair to say that Busselton and all areas lower in the southwest became more soccer minded because of the large influx of British migrants who were part of the Group Settlement Scheme of the 1920s.

(Some papers reported the game above as just Busselton Town versus Group 48).

Busselton were playing various teams from their area in 1925 and some of the games played were against teams such as John Browns X1 whose captain Barney Onions scored three goals in their win against Busselton Town. Jalbarragup Rovers, Stonehouse Thistle and S.S.Kooyong were two other teams Busselton played against in 1925. The inter-town rivalry between Bunbury and Busselton began in 1925.

The town went on to form their first association of clubs in 1926.

The Busselton team of the mid 1920s was, Christie [capt], Roebuck, Gill, Fowler, Forsyth, McQuade, Balchin, Flanagan, Coulson, Knight, Knockles and Davies the last person named here scored the winning goal against the .S.S.Kooyong.

The clubs of the newly formed league were Busselton Town, Jalbarragup Rovers and Newtown United, the Jalbarragup Rovers were the league champs in 1926 and were only beaten once in 1927 when Bunbury Rovers came to town on their annual visit. Jalbarragup Rovers also played a social match against the S.S. Seatle the league champs won the game 7 - 2, this ship also played against Bunbury and over the years played numerous games against both these ports.

The Busselton Association entered a representative team in the South Western Associations Carnival which was held at Bunbury in 1928, they were defeated in the first round by Collie and lost the Consolation Final to Harvey / Yarloop. The following year the carnival was hosted by Busselton who by winning this event were recognized as the champion SW association for 1929. When you consider that Bunbury, Collie, and Margaret River were strong outfits in that period of time it says a lot for Busselton's strength also.

In October of 1928 a combined team from Busselton played a friendly match against Jarrahwood, with the intention of trying to develop interest in the sport at Jarrahwood, the opposition team was completely inexperienced none of their players had ever played the game of soccer before.

Th e H.M.A.S. Canberra paid a visit to Busselton 1929 and it was quite a big occasion that was promoted with a lot of fanfare at the time. The Busselton soccer fraternity was once again to the for and played the ships crew in what was said to have been a tense battle but no score was recorded.

The Busselton region had the same problems as all other areas during the depression years of the 1930s which prompted some business people of the day who were associated with the Busselton Soccer to suggest projects that their players could work upon instead of leaving the town to work on projects in other areas, and they were congratulated by the local council and the State Government for their initiative. One of these projects was carried out at the Recreation Ground in August 1930 when unemployed soccer players cleared an oval and the soccer clubs were going to play on this oval because the soccer pitch at the Show Ground was to wet in the winter. The soccer fraternity had sought Council's permission for this project and it was carried out with the Busselton Councils support.

By 1930 Busselton had lost the clubs of Jalbarragup and Newtown but had gained the new teams of Acton Park, Caledonians, Yalyalup, Yoongarilup, Willyabrup and had also attracted one of the top clubs from the Augusta / Margaret River competition, this being Metricup. Acton Park did not start playing until 1930 which makes some photographs that are around out in the dates shown. A team named Harrington Rovers also played in the competition in 1931 but its name has never been recorded since that year. It is possible that there were unemployed workers camps in the region and maybe they produced this team.

The camps at Harvey in this period had two teams that came from such camps namely Myalup Celtic and Stonehouse Thistle, the former named won the first Busselton Carnival in 1932. Carnival Teams that year were, Boulder City, Perth Thistle, Albany Aussies, Bruce Rock, Myalup Celtic, Cowaramup, Metricup, Busselton Rovers, Busselton Town, Acton Park and Yoongarilup.

The Busselton Association had a fairly strong representative team in the early 1930s, in 1932 they pitted themselves against the Augusta / Margaret Association a group that had twelve clubs at that point in time and came away with a two all draw. It must also be remembered that these were hard times and the working population was decimated by the depression with the male population of the town being very itinerate.

The Busselton Town club disbanded at the end 1932 but from their ashes another team arose called Busselton Rovers, this team was originally formed with the express purpose of playing in the Busselton Carnival. In the following year the Busselton League was up and running again with the teams of Busselton Rovers, Acton Park, St Josephs Athletic, and Yoongarilup. The Bunbury Rovers came to town in 1933 for their annual fixture against Busselton and the home side had another good win scoring three goals to two. It was in the year of 1934 that the competition changed its name to the Busselton & Districts Soccer Football Association. Matches against visiting ships were still taking place and in 1936 the locals played against the S.S.Luceric for a seven goals to one victory.

The Perth club of Victoria Park who were the top metro team of the 1930s defeated Busselton eleven goals to two at the Busselton Carnival in 1937 after the local team had won their way through to the final. The Busselton Association representative team won the South Western Carnival for the second time in 1938 when they defeated the Margaret Association 3-1, but were well beaten at the Margaret River club carnival, losing to the hosts in the preliminary round then the same result against Warren in the Consolation Final. In the season leading up to the 2nd World War the Busselton League comprised of Busselton, Busselton Colts, and Ambergate.

Three Torrent brothers played for Busselton and other teams in the Busselton area from the 1920s onward, their father Michael Torrent was also a staunch soccer supporter and founder of the Yoongarilup club. Also the brothers Peter, George and John Espinos played for teams in the Busselton area in the same era. The highest number of brothers playing in one team in the Busselton region must have been the five Hart brothers and five Bedford brothers who played for Metricup, their father Rowley.Hart also played in the team at times, this club sometimes played in the Busselton League but also played in the Augusta / Margaret River League, Metricup's nickname was the Poppies. Willyabrup amalgamated with Metricup in the 1930's.

I had the pleasure of speaking to Lou Torrent who was one of the last survivors of the Yoongarilup and Busselton teams of the 1930s. Lou was born at Busselton in 1915, he scored the winning goal against Collie in 1933 and was considered one of the best right wingers in the southwest. Many years ago I also spoke to D.G. Lord who was the Secretary of Acton Park in the 1930's.

Busselton quickly regrouped after the war and had their team playing in 1946 when they joined the Margaret River competition which comprised of Busselton, Margaret River, Metricup, and Rosabrook. In that year Victoria Park.S.C., returned to the southwest to play the Margaret Association the local team managed to get two draws against the visitors. Meanwhile Busselton and Metricup combined forces and played the Perth club of Queens Park winning the two matches that were played, this was a great tonic to the locals after their wartime experiences. Metricup were the League Champions of that first post war season. h West Soccer History Although Busselton finished at the bottom of the league in 1946 they did end the season with a win against East Claremont. It was to the areas credit that they got themselves motivated so soon after a devastating war, and a great achievement to get their team playing again in 1946.

Players of the Busselton Club in 1946 were as follows;
S.Hunter, R.Jones, J.Jones, W.Eakin, V.Rafferty, P.Henwood, C.Pross, F.Raynor, D.McPhail, F.Siddens, L.Torrent and A.Woods.

Busselton continued in the Margaret competition up until the mid 1950s but the competition was beginning to crumble at that time, this prompted Busselton to organize their own association of clubs once again. The new league went under the name of the South West Coastal Soccer Association and its member clubs were, Busselton Athletic, Busselton United, Nannup, and Margaret Rovers. The year of formation of this group was 1957 and Nannup was only defeated once in the inaugural season, Margaret and Nannup had reformed their clubs to take part in this new league, the following season [ 1958 ] Alexander Bridge also joined the competition and played at Signal Park in Karridale, Geordie Hobson was their coach. In the 1930's, Geordie Hobson was the organizer and coach of Warner Glen in the Augusta / Margaret River Association in earlier years. Before migrating to West Australia in the 1920's Geordie played professional soccer for Sheffield in England.

In 1958 the new association soon had its representative team up and running and they played the Perth team named Maccabean's going down 3 - 1. Busselton also played their old combatants Bunbury but on this occasion lost to Bunbury five goals to three. At the Margaret river Carnival in this year 1958 Busselton Athletic defeated Alexander Bridge 5 - 3 in the Consolation Final. It was apparent in 1959 that Busselton was not the team of old when they lost to Bunbury by ten goals to four.

Some of the past Busselton area teams.
Ambergate, Acton Park, Blythe Park Rangers, Busselton Town, Busselton Colts,  Busselton Rovers, Busselton United, Busselton Wanderers, Caledonians, Harrington Rovers, Jalbarragup Rovers, Nannup, Newtown United, St Josephs Athletic, Willyabrup, Yalyalup, Yoongarilup.

The new association disbanded in 1959 and Busselton did not play again in any competition until 1968, this was the year that Busselton United reappeared and joined the Collie League in 1969. The following season [1969] the old Busselton Carnival was revived, this carnival had not taken place since 1958.

1968 will be remembered as a good year for Busselton not necessarily on the field but by the fact that soccer was again on the agenda in the town, this club was brought about through the efforts of Messrs. Bill Smith, Jimmy Mayers and Dave McMurray Snr. Some of the fixtures for that first season in the Collie are below.


Busselton United 1969.
Collie League Fixtures
Busselton versus others 1968.
5.v.5. Bunbury.
2.v.8. Wisla.
4.v.4. Laporte. Cup Round.
5.v.3. Inter Collie.
0.v.4. Wisla.
1.v.2. Laporte. Cup Round.
2.v.4. Bunbury.
1.v.2. Wisla.
2.v.3. Inter Collie.
9.v.0. Ewington.

Busselton United had three players selected to play for the Collie Association's representative team in 1969 and played against Bayswater. The man of the match was T. Maddy of Busselton. In that year it was the Busselton U/16 Team that surprised everybody by winning the Cup Final in their division. Dave Ashworth as a Busselton youngster scored a double hat-trick in that game.

During 1970 Busselton had quite a number of U/16 year old players but because they were not getting games in the Busselton Utd teams they started their own little three team competition to cater for these juniors. It was decided post season 1970 by these teams of youngsters that they would start another club which heralded the birth of Busselton Wanderers, they played their first season in the Collie League in 1971.

1968..Busselton Utd inaugural committee.
1968./.1969.President Bill Smith..1969..President Bill Smith
1970./ 1971.President John Garland
1972./ 1973.President Dave McMurray
1974./ ........President John Garland
1975...........President Stan Potter

1971 Busselton Wanderers formed
1971./ 1972.........President Stan May
1973./ 1974.........President Bill Currie
1975....................President Jack Cooper

1976....................President Jack Cooper  when the two clubs amalgamated to form Busselton.S.C.

A bit of tension developed between the South West Soccer Association and Busselton United in 1974. This conflict arose over southwest clubs not being allowed to enter the Busselton Soccer Carnival in that year except for Busselton Wanderers. There was a lot accusations from both sides on the issue which was resolved only when the S.W.S.A. decided to run their own soccer carnival at Bunbury. This Bunbury Carnival ran for 21 years before it played its final tournament in 1994.

Busselton's penance metered out by the then SWSA committee from this affair starting in 1974 was that they had to enter the Bunbury Carnival or at least pay the team entry fee failure to do so meant they would be barred, this went on for many years before it was discontinued.

Busselton United was the last club to win the Collie League Championship in 1971 before the Collie Association disbanded, the club won five of the six trophies in that year. The two Busselton clubs of Busselton United and Busselton Wanderers were founder members of the current governing body the South West Soccer Association, in 1976 the two clubs amalgamated to form the Busselton.S.C.

The town of Busselton has won the .S.W.S.A. Premier Division League Championship on three occasions occasions, 1974 /1998 and 2015, the 2nd Division Championship on one occasion in 1990 & 2nd Div Cup 1995. Busselton has also won the Prem Division SW Cup three times 1979 /1981 and 2015, the Prem Division Forum Shield was taken out by Busselton in 1982, and the Charity Shield in 1998. Busselton also won the Kemp Killerby Pioneer Cup in 1974 and Busselton Wanderers won the Garland Cup in 1972 plus the S.W.S.A. U/16 League & Cup in 1972.

In 1972, Kemp Killerby, an old Busselton soccer supporter of the 1930's donated two cups, the one mentioned above and he also gave one to the Busselton League in 1958.

In the year of 2001 the Busselton women's team made a clean sweep of the Country Women's Soccer League winning all the major trophies.

The Busselton Club's weakest two seasons were 1992 and 1993, when the club could only manage 26 & 27 league goals scored while having 157 & 151 scored against them, the club was relegated to the 2nd Division 1994 but were back up the following year. Also in these two years Busselton finished on the bottom of the table winning only three league matches from 41 games. To the clubs credit they rebuilt from these poor results to win the 2nd Division Cup in 1995 and then the League Championship and Charity shield in 1998.

Busselton womens team were the Country Women's Association League Champions 2001. The team won every trophy available in the season of 2001. When the Busselton club first produced a women's soccer team in the late 1970's, they had two nicknames one being the Busselton Babes and the other was the Candy Kids, the latter coming from the red and white stripes of their outfit. This team is the first team from Busselton to win the Championship in the ladies competition, the season of 2001 was a tremendous year for the women when they won the League, Bennett / Ross Shield, and the Centennial Cup.

In 2010 the South West Soccer Association established a First Division League replacing the Third’s league. In 2015, the SWSA introduced the Men's Masters Division. There were four teams in the inaugural season, of which Busselton were one. In total Bussselton Soccer Club has 5 teams playing in Senior Divisions.

As of January 2016, the club's name was officially changed to "Busselton City FC".

 

Source : “South West Soccer History 1898 to 2006” by Ron Moss.