Heidelberg United


Heidelberg United

Football club infobox
clubname = Heidelberg United


fullname = Heidelberg United
Football Club
nickname = Alexander, Warriors
Bergers
founded = 1958
ground = Olympic Village
Heidelberg, Australia
capacity = 10,000 approx| chairman =
manager = George Katsakis
league = VPL
season = VPL 2007
position = 8
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leftarm1=FFFF00|body1=FFFF00|rightarm1=FFFF00|shorts1=000000|socks1=FFFF00
pattern_la2=|pattern_b2=|pattern_ra2=
leftarm2=9F1D35|body2=9F1D35|rightarm2=9F1D35|shorts2=9F1D35|socks2=9F1D35

Heidelberg United Football Club is an Australian football (soccer) club based in the northern Melbourne suburb of Heidelberg, Victoria. The club is commonly referred to as Alexander, Warriors, or Bergers and is supported my Melbourne's Bulgarian community.

The team currently competes in the Victorian Premier League.

History

Foundation and pre-NSL era

Originally called Fitzroy United Alexander SC, the club was established in Melbourne in 1958 by Macedonian immigrants from Florina, Greece. The colours chosen - yellow and black - were similar to those of the Greek football (soccer) club PAS Florina. The more common name for the club, "Alexandros" or Megas Alexandros (Greek: Μέγας Αlexandros), was given in honour of the famous Macedonian king Alexander the Great.

As with many football (soccer) clubs formed by new arrivals from Europe at the time, the club began as a social gathering, with the players consisting of the sons and relatives of the founders and others, until eventually developing into a professional league team.

They initially struggled for success, variously occupying the bottom rungs of the Victorian State League, or trying to regain promotion, until the mid 1970s. From 1973 onwards, their performances improved significantly, with the pinnacle being capturing the 1975 state league title.

NSL era 1977-1995

In 1977 under the management of lawyer Jim Mangopoulos, they became a founding member of the National Soccer League. In 1979 the side became known as Heidelberg United Alexander. While the side performed well for most of that competition's first decade, they could never quite capture the title. From 1987 onwards, Heidelberg then struggled, being relegated in 1987 and 1989, and despite holding onto their place in the national league until the end of the 1994/1995 season, they generally fared poorly, with their 1993 Cup win against Parramatta Eagles the sole highlight. Since then they have only returned once to national competition under the name Collingwood Warriors in the joint venture with the AFL Club Collingwood.

Return to Victorian competition 1996-present

On their return to the Victorian leagues in 1996, Heidelberg had a reasonably successful season, eventually losing in the Grand Final against Altona Magic in penalties after scores were locked at 3-3 after extra time. In 1998 they found themselves relegated, but won promotion back at their first attempt, rejoining the VPL in 2000, and winning the title in 2001. Their rollercoaster recent history however saw them relegated the next season, until they found themselves back in the VPL once more in 2005, and finishing runners up to Green Gully. A solid season in 2006 saw them reach the Preliminary Final, where they were knocked out by Altona Magic in extra time.

Honours

*National Soccer League Finals Series Winner 1980
*National Soccer League Cup Winners 1992/1993, 1996/1997
*National Soccer League Finalists/Runners Up 1979, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1986
*Victorian Premier League (State League) Champions 1975, 1988, 1990, 2001
*Victorian premier League (State League) Finalists/Runners Up 1996, 2005, 2006
*Victorian Metropolitan League 1 Champions 1965, 1969
*Victorian State League 1 Champions 2004
*Victorian Division 1 North Champions 1963
*Victorian Division 2 North Champions 1961
*Victorian Provisional League Champions 1960
*Buffalo Gold Cup Winners 1985 Hellenic cup winners 2008

Individual Honours

*Victorian Premier League Player of the Year Award
*1973 - Vince Bannon
*1974 - Pat Bannon

*Bill Fleming Medal
*2001 - Jim Kourtis

*Victorian Premier League Coach of the Year Award
*2005 - Phil Stubbins

*Victorian Premier League Top Goalscorer Award
*1975 - Frank Donachie
*1990 - Paul Lewis
*1996 - Bobby Despotovski

*Victorian Premier League Goalkeeper of the Year Award
*2001 - Jim Kurtis

*National Soccer League Top Goalscorer Award
*1980 - Gary Cole 21
*1981 - Gary Cole 16

*National Soccer League Under 21 Player of the Year
*1991/1992 - Kevin Muscat

Current squad

"As of May 12, 2007

Nationality given from place of birth

Ex-Players

*Gary Cole
*Bobby Despotovski
*Kevin Muscat
* Scott Fraser (Footballer) (1987) 18 Apps 0 Goals
* Lawrie McKinna (1987) [http://www.ozfootball.net/ark/Players/M/MAE.html]
* Rob Vincent (1983)

ee also

*Collingwood Warriors

External links

* [http://www.heidelbergunitedsc.com.au/ Official website]


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