New Town Eagles S.C. (1961-2009)

(Formerly known as the White Eagle Soccer Club)

2007 turned out to be a frustrating year. Despite making the final of the pre-season cup for the second consecutive year, the team struggled once again in the normal league roster and finished a disappointing second last place with only 2 wins and 6 draws to show for the season. the lack of goal scoring power was a major problem with only 12 goals scored in eighteen games.

Back: Scott Telega, Andrew Telega, Matthew Rybak, Cormac Collins, Alexander Leszczynski, Nathan Pitchford (Capt)Front: Christopher Jones, Andrew Clark, Grant Nutting, Joshua Hadfield, Christopher Stingle

Back: Scott Telega, Andrew Telega, Matthew Rybak, Cormac Collins, Alexander Leszczynski, Nathan Pitchford (Capt)Front: Christopher Jones, Andrew Clark, Grant Nutting, Joshua Hadfield, Christopher Stingle

2006 saw the arrival of Ian Parker as senior coach from Hobart Olympic. Ian had an instant impact on the side and helped guide them to the final of the Sumer Cup where they were narrowly defeated by University. The first half of the regular season was disappointing in terms of results (a win and a couple of draws) but in a number of those games the team played some good attractive football. In the second half of the season things started to click, the chances the team was creating started to go in and the results began to go their way. They were in fact the form side of the competition with a draw and six wins in a row, which enabled them to finish mid-table. It was a great way to end the season and will hopefully provide a launching pad for season 2007.

2004 Senior Coach - Mark Leszczynski

2004 Senior Coach – Mark Leszczynski

2004 and 2005 proved the beginning of a rebuilding period for the Club. A large number of younger players were given the chance to gain experience and develop into significant contributors in the future. The recruitment of Andrew and Scott Telega from the Zebras, Nathan Pitchford from Metro and the promotion of younger players such as Ben Whitehall, Cormac Collins (son of former Eagle Sean) and Chris Wass (son of Peter) provided some optimism for the future. Once again consistency was a problem with good performances being interspersed with poor ones resulting in bottom half of the table finishes.

Back: T Burn (Mgr), C Jones, B Zielinski, R Leszczynski, A Jones, M Murray, S Louden, A Wisby Front: C Wass, M Proud, A Bates, D Bones, R Lebski, S Buckowiecki

Back: T Burn (Mgr), C Jones, B Zielinski, R Leszczynski, A Jones, M Murray, S Louden, A Wisby Front: C Wass, M Proud, A Bates, D Bones, R Lebski, S Buckowiecki

2001 has come along with another senior coaching change (four different coaches in five years) with the appointment of Craig Jones. The current Eagle side bears little resemblance to previous years sides, with the loss (to other Clubs) and retirement from senior soccer of the majority of the senior players. This has allowed a number of younger players to be given their chance to show their worth at a senior level. As can be expected results so far have been patchy although the side did manage to make the final of the Summer Cup, eventually going down 2-3 to South Hobart. Players to look out for in the future include, Brian Zielinski, Patrick and Michael Fong, Josh Potts, Damien O’Brien, Wade & Andrew Savage, Rodney Bones, Tommy Fotak and Sam Kruijver. They have shown enough this year to suggest that given the commitment required, they can become very good players for the Club in years to come and help continue the strong tradition of great Eagle players and teams.
2002 and 2003 have been disappointing seasons for the Club, highlighted by a lack of consistency in both team selections and performance on the park. The appointment of former player/coach Mark Leszczynski as senior coach for the 2004 season is seen as a positive step to regaining our premier status in Tasmanian soccer.

2000 saw the return of Eagle old boy George Krambousanos, (formerly with Eagles in the early 80’s) at the helm of the senior squad. The team got off to a flying start, defeating Glenorchy Knights (formerly Croatia) 2-1 in the Summer Cup final. Although not playing at their best, signs were ominous for a good season ahead. An injury mid-way through the season to top striker Richard Leszczynski left the side short of fire power for two months and despite some good results throughout the year they ended the season runners up to the Glenorchy Knights. The Knights were worthy winners defeating Eagles comfortably in their two league encounters. The Premier League side once again under the guidance of Craig Jones went one better on last season’s runners up by comfortably winning the League title by seven points from the Kingborough Lions.

In 1999 Les Ware took over the coaching of the Seniors Side and as in the previous year, injuries played a significant role in the Club finishing in fourth place. The second half of the season once again proved the depth of the Club with much improved results. The Premier League side coached by Craig Jones finished runner-up to South Hobart by 1 point in a great performance. Unfortunately, both teams were eliminated early in the final series. The season did however end on a high note with Julian Proud being the second Eagle player to be awarded the “Vic Tuting Silver Medal” as the leagues best & fairest player.

Whilst 1998 (again under the guidance of Andrew Leszczynski) looks disappointing on paper, finishing fifth, the number of players absent and injured severely disrupted the Club, and it is a credit to the Club’s depth that the State Youth League were still able to win their second consecutive league title. Both teams capped off the year with victory in the Southern Finals series, the seniors defeating Glenorchy Knights 4-2 in the final (including two goals from defender Paul Morrison) after finally being able to put its best side on the park.

In 1997 the Club became known as New Town Eagles. It was a year to remember as Eagles won all senior and reserve competitions on offer (seven in all) for the first time in Tasmanian Soccer history. Andrew Leszczynski took over the mantle as senior coach and welcomed new players Simon Goninon from University and Adrian Mann from Devonport. The team got off to a flying start by winner the Summer Cup defeating South Hobart 2-1. During the league season, the team was able to meet all of the challenges thrown at it, and with 44 points won the Minor Premiership.

State League Final Standings 1997 (Minor Premiership)


Craig Jones | Myles Harry | Michael Murray | Rick Turner

Craig Jones | Myles Harry | Michael Murray | Rick Turner

Towards the end of the season with the Statewide Cup and premiership finals looming, the senior side was hit with numerous injuries (including an eye injury to star striker Colin Shepherd that was to see him miss the finals). The Club had to fall back on a number of younger players from the reserves. Michael Fong, Michael Murray, Marcus Proud and Robbie Lebski were able to step up to help the side take out the Statewide Cup in convincing manner, defeating a rugged Launceston Juventus side 5-0 and were also instrumental in the Club’s defeat of Hobart Juventus 4-1 on the way to the Grand Final. Michael Fong and Miles Harry also performed well in the Grand Final victory over Devonport. This was an emphatic 5-1 victory with goals coming from Adrian Mann (2), Miles Harry (2) and Damien Bones.

The Reserve side was also victorious during the year, taking out there Summer Cup, the Minor Premiership and the Premiership with a 2-0 Grand Final victory over South Hobart. The Club’s third team, competing in the Southern Premier League also managed a credible third place. In the end of year awards, Craig Pitt, David Stoddart, Adrian Mann and Richard Leszczynski were named in the “Team of the Year”, Andrew Leszczynski was named Coach of the Year and Michael Fong won the Young player of the Year to cap off a memorable season.

Reserves stalwarts: Les Ware | Steve Murray| Ken Street

Reserves stalwarts: Les Ware | Steve Murray| Ken Street

1996 was the year Clare Street was truly used as a home ground venue and was the end of the Summer roster with a 10 team competition returning to the usual winter scheduling (April to October). White Eagle was fielding 5 senior sides with teams in the top 4 competitions on offer, as well us under 13,14,15 and 16 sides. Mark Leszczynski returned as senior coach with Les Ware coming back for the reserves job with the departure of Chris Barrel.

The senior side defeated Hobart Juventus 6-4 in normal time to win the Summer Cup. Richard Leszczynski netted four goals in the 6-4 finals defeat of Juventus, with Adam Jones contributing with Eagle’s third and Colin Shepherd scoring Eagle’s fourth. The side went in after an uninspiring first half trailing 0-2. Two goals on the hour drew the team’s level, only to see Juventus take the lead again 2-3. But two minutes later Eagles equalised once more only to see Juventus take the lead yet again, this time from a converted penalty. Colin Shepherd’s looping header made it 4-4 with a little over 5 minutes remaining. Richard Leszczynski scored a stunning goal, lashing a shot past Juventus keeper Mainella from an acute angle to put Eagle ahead for the first time and completed his tally with a fourth minutes later chipping the keeper from the edge of the area. The side also captured the Statewide Cup and finished minor premiers. The senior team did however lose the Premiership to Olympia in the Grand Final 1-2.
After dominating the first half Eagle led at the break 1-0 courtesy of a fine strike by Richard Leszczynski, who crashed a shot past a hapless Neil Connell in the Olympia goal after turning defender Berwick in the area. In fact if not for Connell’s brilliance, thwarting numerous Eagle raids on goal, Eagle would have had a commanding lead at the break. Mid-way through the second half with Eagle well in control of the match (if not on the scoreboard) a curious decision by referee Kim Barker led  to a penalty awarded to Olympia, (curious in the sense that only he knew what it was for) and this was duly converted. Minutes later a rattled Eagle line up conceded another goal following a corner. In the dying minutes Eagle midfielder Michael Driessen had a shot roll agonisingly wide of the post and the match was lost.

1995 State League Premier Side
Back - S Carty (Trainer) Z Belanic, C Pitt, E Banasik, S Young, R Leszczynski, C Jones, N Morrison, C White (Mgr)   Front - M Leszczynski (Coach), A Jones, D Stoddart (Capt.), R Turner, R Ketchell, M Holloway, A Wisby

Back – S Carty (Trainer) Z Belanic, C Pitt, E Banasik, S Young, R Leszczynski, C Jones, N Morrison, C White (Mgr) Front – M Leszczynski (Coach), A Jones, D Stoddart (Capt.), R Turner, R Ketchell, M Holloway, A Wisby

The Summer Statewide League continued in 1994/95. The Club again had Mark Leszczynski as senior coach and appointed Chris Barrel as Reserves coach. Rick Turner arrived from Launceston Juventus and slotted into a back line well led by Scott Young. The season was a long an arduous one, with the senior side ending up on top of the table too take out the minor premiership. The finals curse appeared to have struck again when the side lost 4-6 against Launceston Juventus (Richard Leszczynski scoring a hat-trick and Colin Shepherd being sent off) and had to play Olympia in the preliminary final for the right to play in the Grand Final. A devastating first half performance was enough to see off Olympia 2-1 and book a place in the Grand Final against Launceston Juventus. After 3 years of finals disappointment the seniors successfully took out the premiership in with an emphatic 3-0 victory. The goal scorers in the momentous game were Colin Shepherd (2) and Richard Leszczynski. Richard ended the season as the league’s leading goal scorer with 41 goals.

Bob Rybak was appointed senior coach in 1993 with Dale Itchins his assistant and Les Ware once again Reserves coach. Frank Bansel took over the Presidency of the Club from David Stoddart Snr. Later that year David Stoddart Snr was awarded the Bill Jones Memorial Trophy for service to the Club.
The senior side started the season by making the Summer Cup final but were defeated by Croatia 2-1 in a match marred by poor refereeing. The shortened 14 game winter roster, which ended in August, resulted in the seniors finishing second again to Devonport. After staging a magnificent come back from 3-1 down against Juventus they eventually lost the Preliminary Final on penalties and were eliminated from the competition.  The Reserves finished third in the roster and lost their finals chance with a 0-1 loss after an Eagle defender put through his own net. The Division 2 side faired well in their new competition finishing fourth. The switch to a summer roster began in November 1993 after the shorter previous winter season.

The Club appointed Dale Itchins as Senior team coach and Les Ware continued with the reserves for the 93/94 summer season. The seniors won their first game against Croatia 6-0 which saw the return to the Club of keeper Frank Mainella and new signing Colin Shepherd scoring with his first touch The year included an emphatic turn around from 0-3 to a 5-3 win against Olympia in February 1994. The side finished third in the table, beat Croatia in early April to win the Summer Cup (reversing the previous years’ result) and were runners up in the Grand final, losing to Devonport 2-3.

In 1992 sponsorship was provided by Wrest Point Casino and the reserve competition was made a state league competition as well. The season was a fiercely fought one with a final four series introduced to determine Premiers. There were 8 teams in the roster that included three rounds, unlike previous years where there were two rounds and included bye weeks.

Eugene Mycak returned to the Club and Les Ware, having coached the club’s Division 1 team before, was appointed reserves coach. A solid pre-season training by Eugene helped the seniors secure the Summer Cup. The team lost the Charity Cup on penalties but managed to secure the Cadbury Jubilee Trophy during the season. At the conclusion of the home and away series Devonport was firmly entrenched at the top of the table and deserved minor premiers. David Stoddart won the goal scoring award with an outstanding display in the final game of the season.The final series was a bitter disappointment for the Club. A loss to Devonport by one goal to nil and a loss to Croatia by the same margin ended the season. Whereas Eagle had the better of both sides and displayed considerable skill and flair, they were simply unable to convert their chances. This, coupled with some bad luck and inconsistent refereeing, dogged them throughout the finals series. The Club’s Division 3 side was promoted after winning their competition. The season ended on a high note with David Stoddart Jnr deservedly being awarded the “Vic Tuting Silver Medal” as the leagues best & fairest player.

Mycak left to join rival Club Hobart Juventus for the 1991 season. Peter Groenewoud, a highly ranked goalkeeper who joined the Club in 1985 from Caledonians, also left at the end of the season to try out in Sydney with APIA Leichardt but his ambitions to play at a higher level were thwarted by several serious knee injuries.

The STSA formerly the TSA made a controversial decision regarding sponsorship for 1991 and struck an agreement with Rothmans, despite the National Soccer body’s movement away from cigarette advertising. Peter Irving took over the mantle as coach at the start of 1991 and keeper Zlatko Belanic transferred from Croatia Glenorchy after a stint out of the game due to injury. Zlatko had received a serious head injury in July 1989 requiring surgery but had returned to soccer in 1990 with Croatia. The first official game of the 1991 season was against old rivals Hobart Juventus. This match was the annual Charity Shield match usually rostered mid-year. Although being the first game for the two teams, it was still a competitive encounter. The Eagle squad had only minimal personnel changes in the off season. One being the signing of keeper Zlatko Belanic from Croatia, and he gave confidence to the team by putting in a “man of the match” winning display. The final score was 2-1 with Richard Leszczynski opening the scoring with a header in the first half, and Richard Ketchell scored in the dying minutes with a scorching left foot drive.

The senior side also took Summer Cup, also against Juventus defeating them 4-2. The final on Easter Monday saw the third meeting of Juventus and White Eagle in the pre-season matches. A good crowd saw Eagles play their best soccer of the season to date to overwhelm the Italian backed side. After being a goal down early the side went to the half time break a goal up, with two goals to Michael Driessen, his first for the season. The second half saw Eagle stamp its authority on the game and further goals to David Stoddart and Craig Pitt underlined Eagle dominance. A late consolation goal to Juventus saw the final score 4-2.

The side went from strength to strength and also took out the Premiership that year its fourth in succession and fifth in six years. The year was not without its drama with new coach Peter Irving walking out on the team in an away game against Ulverstone in June and new goalkeeper Zlatko Belanic suffering a depressed cheek bone fracture. Mark Leszczynski stepped in again to successfully take on the coaching role and Alan Wisby was provided with his first chance in goals. This league premiership victory was further enhanced by the fact that the side trailed Hobart Juventus by four points at the end of July (the end of round 14) and was not in a great position to retain the title at such a late stage of the season. Subsequent losses by Hobart Juventus to Devonport and Olympia and wins for White Eagle in its remaining five games proved crucial.

The matches played in Round 15 were morale lifting and critical for the side, with an easy victory over Croatia 6-1 for the White Eagle side and a Hobart Juventus loss to Devonport. Round 16 was the bye round for White Eagle and was also the continuing of a sparse period between games for the team. With Burnie forfeiting the Round 17 game, and not being able to play a cup game against Riverside Olympic until August 24, this meant that the side played only two games in 5 weeks.

The Round 18 game against Calies looked to be a tough one on paper as Calies had won the previous encounter against Eagle 2-1 and with the Eagle side missing recent match practice. However White Eagle were too good on the night and defeated Calies 3-0. The following game on that night was between Hobart Juventus and Olympia. The subsequent victory to Olympia was a reward for the Eagle players. This meant they could regain their title if they overcame Olympia and Burnie in their remaining games.

The game against Burnie was originally awarded to White Eagle 3-0 on forfeit but subsequently the Tasmanian Soccer Association decided to replay the game due to its repercussions on the League Leading Goal Scorer Award and on the Vic Tuting Medal Count. Also the league was close and goal difference might have ended up being a deciding factor. But it was in fact the game against Olympia that appeared the biggest hurdle overcome.

There was tension in the air as Olympia put up strong resistance in a fast and physical match. But White Eagle (with great support from the Eagle contingent in the large crowd) put in a solid and convincing display, and despite trailing to an early penalty 0-1 achieved a deserved 4-2 victory. One Eagle talon was placed firmly on the Premiership Cup. Goal scorers for Eagles were Richard Leszczynski (2), Scott Young and Andrew Leszczynski. The final game of the season was against Burnie United with Eagles winning 6-0 and snaring the premiership by 2 points.
Richard Leszczynski took out the goal scoring trophy and David Stoddart was second. The side was unsuccessful in the semi-final of the Statewide cup against Launceston Juventus at Riverside but the team under the new coaching regime won every league game. 1991 also hosted the presentation of the first Bill Jones Memorial Award (in recognition of outstanding service to the Club) which was awarded to Ingrid Leszczynski.

State League Final Standings 1991


Members of 1991 premiership squad
Andrew Leszczynski | Richard Leszczynski | D Stoddart | Franco Previdi

Andrew Leszczynski | Richard Leszczynski | D Stoddart | Franco Previdi

Eugene Mycak coached the side to the Cadbury League Premiership again in 1990, finishing 10 points ahead of Hobart Juventus after the 24 games. It was the third title in as many years and the fourth in five years. The final margin may have been ten points but the title was still wide open with three games to go. After their poorest start for at least five years, including a loss and two draws in the first four games, the team began to put it all together and went on an undefeated run that ended on the season’s second last game. A fourth round loss to Caledonians 1-3 also saw the end of the team’s thirty-five game unbeaten league run that stretched from early 1988. The 1990 league-winning run stretched for sixteen games and included impressive victories over Hobart Juventus (4-0 and 2-1) and Launceston Juventus (3-2).The season also brought an emphatic victory in the Summer Cup against Hobart Juventus and victory over them again to retain the Charity Shield for the third successive year. Highlights of the two successes were Scott Young’s man of the match performance in the Charity Cup and Craig Pitt’s hat-trick in Eagle’s first triumph in the Summer Cup. Coach Eugene Mycak’s game plan, including eliminating the danger of Sergio Pace by marking him with Eugene Banasik worked well to Juventus’ frustration. In a fine ending to the season Eugene Mycak was voted Coach of the Year.

State League Final Standings 1990


Members of 1990 premiership squad
Michael Driessen | Zlatko Belanic | Scott Young | Mark Leszczynski

Michael Driessen | Zlatko Belanic | Scott Young | Mark Leszczynski

Eagle winning run continued in the 1989 season remaining undefeated, under the returning coach Eugene Mycak, who was determined not to be remembered for his side’s relegation in 1983.
A draw against Juventus was their only 1989 league blemish, finishing the roster with 45 points out of a possible 54 and leaving a gap of fifteen points to its nearest rival. The team was runner up in the Cadbury Jubilee trophy and Summer Cup competitions, but took out the Bohemian Statewide Cup with a 2-0 victory over old rivals Hobart Juventus. The 1989 team had a never say die approach to each game and recorded seven come from behind wins to retain their 33 games unbeaten (29 wins, 4 draws) record. Brett Harwood was the Club’s leading goal scorer with 16 goals and second in the league to Peter Sawdon on 18 goals.

State League Final Standings 1989


Rothmans League Division 1 Final Standings 1989


Members of 1989 premiership squad
Brett Harwood | Chris Leszczynski | Bob Nicholson | Craig Pitt

Brett Harwood | Chris Leszczynski | Bob Nicholson | Craig Pitt

1988 saw the reintroduction of the State League and the introduction of 3 points for a win. Mark Leszczynski had to take over as coach after a serious knee injury to Bob Rybak early in the year had prevented him from continuing in the coaches’ role. After the disappointment of losing the 1987 title in the last match of the season, a tougher more determined Eagle side lost only one game to win the 1988 Premiership convincingly. They also were Cadbury Jubilee Trophy winners and runners-up in the Summer Cup. The team was undefeated in its last fifteen 1988 roster matches and ended up winning the premiership by eight points from Olympia.

State League Final Standings 1988


Members of 1988 premiership squad
Peter Groenewoud | Neil Morrison | Eugene Banasik | Sean Collins

Peter Groenewoud | Neil Morrison | Eugene Banasik | Sean Collins

1987 under Coach Bob Rybak also came down to the last match of the season after Eagle was on or near the top of the ladder for most of it. They, however lost to Juventus 3-4 (after having Captain Mark Leszczynski sent off) and Olympia were Premiers. White Eagle finished in third place. The Club did manage to take out the Bohemian Statewide Cup (formerly the Ampol Cup) after defeating Juventus 2-1, the Charity Shield and were also Premiers in the reserve competition known as the Pepsi Youth League.

In 1986 Steve Darby’s efforts paid off with the Premiership trophy returning back to New Town. It was a season not without tension, as the title was decided on the last day of the campaign. Eagle overcame Hobart Juventus 3-0 after a second half hat-trick from striker Richard Leszczynski to give them a faint chance of success. The win had drawn them level on points with Croatia. All that was required was for Olympia to defeat Croatia in the final game of the season. Olympia started well and raced to a comfortable 2-0 lead before Croatia pegged them back to 2-2 by half time. A 2-2 score line would mean that the title would be Croatia’s. As minutes ticked away, Eagle hopes of a league title were diminishing, however with 10 minutes remaining, Olympia scored two quick goals and held on for a memorable 4-2 victory. Eagle were crowned Premiers. As was the case in 1978, the title was decided by goal difference in Eagles favor with the loser again being Croatia. Richard Leszczynski’s hat-trick enabled him to be the leagues equal leading goal scorer with 23 goals. The team also made the final of the Cadbury Jubilee Trophy losing a thrilling match 5-6 to Olympia. After trailing 2-5 with 12 minutes of play remaining, Eagle staged a stirring comeback to reduce the score to 4-5. Olympia scored again to make the score 4-6, but Eagle replied again to reduce the margin to one goal. Richard Leszczynski scored an equaliser in the dying minutes of the match only for it to be controversially disallowed for off-side. All 5 Eagle goals were scored by the Leszczynski brothers Andrew, Richard & Mark. In the play-off for the State title Eagle was up against Ulverstone. The first game was in Ulverstone and a lethargic Eagle side went down 0-2, although their cause was not helped by the referee, who gave little protection to Eagle keeper Peter Groenewoud. Both Ulverstone goals came from set pieces. In the return leg, Eagle Neil Morrison opened the scoring in the first half with a fine left foot drive from the edge of the area, but despite dominating the game for long periods of time and continually peppering the Ulverstone goal, Eagle could not find an equaliser and went down 1-2 on aggregate.

Southern League Final Standings 1986


Southern League Premiers 1986
Back Row: C Smith (Trainer), P Wass, C Leszczynski, E Banasik, P Groenewoud, S Young, N Morrison, R Leszczynski, A Burton.  Front Row: S Darby (Coach), D Stoddart Jnr, M Leszczynski (Capt.), A Leszczynski, J Kerr, M Krzysica

Back Row: C Smith (Trainer), P Wass, C Leszczynski, E Banasik, P Groenewoud, S Young, N Morrison, R Leszczynski, A Burton. Front Row: S Darby (Coach), D Stoddart Jnr, M Leszczynski (Capt.), A Leszczynski, J Kerr, M Krzysica

The year down in the Rothmans Division 1 resulted in the loss of a number of players to the Cadbury League competition including Mark, Andrew a young Richard Leszczynski and Bobby Rybak. New player coach Alistair Paine was however able to give his young players valuable experience. 1984 also observed the arrival of Neil Morrison, Les Ware and Scott Young, the later taking out the Club’s Best & Fairest award that year. The young side lost only one game and drew another to gain promotion to the Cadbury League for 1985, scoring 93 goals along the way.

The 1985 season with the return of Bob Rybak, Mark, Andrew and Richard Leszczynski resulted in a creditable fourth place. The team, under new coach Steve Darby, lacked consistency in their performances and results were reflective of this. One thing noticeable from an early stage was the team’s ability to score goals. This was to be a feature of the sides play in the years to come.

White Eagle automatically returned to the Southern League – South in 1982 after winning the Rothmans League Division 1 Premiership in 1981, with one draw and no losses, to gain promotion. They consolidated their position in the league in 1982 under Coach Eugene Mycak only to be relegated in 1983 following a season of few results. Eugene Mycak had a young and inexperienced side that could not stave off relegation in a miserable season that included many injuries. As in previous difficult time’s youth was given its chance, particularly towards the end of the season. Two youngsters David Stoddart Jnr (son of late 60’s and 70’s stalwart David Stoddart) and Richard Leszczynski made their senior debuts in this disastrous season. They would have an enormous impact on the local scene for the next two decades and be feted as two of the all time great Eagle players, winning 11 Club “Best and Fairest” awards between them, and numerous Club and league goal scoring awards. Richard a player with devastating speed also had the distinction of winning “The 50 metre dash” in 1985 and 1996.

Change was in the air and prior to the start of the 1980 season a large number of the side which had performed so admirably in the 77-79 period left or retired and the Club subsequently finished bottom of the State League with only one win and was relegated. The highlights for 1980 were the arrival of Coach Eugene Mycak and goalkeeper John Michniewski from Poland via America bringing with them great experience and knowledge which was to benefit the Club greatly during the 80’s.

The need to blood younger players also saw the debut of Mark Leszczynski who would go on to become one of the Club’s finest players and coaches of all time. Towards the latter part of the season with relegation staring it in the face Andrew Leszczynski was also given an opportunity to gain experience in the senior side. In the eighties the name Leszczynski dominates the side, with brothers Chris, Mark Richard and Andrew, all regulars in the Eagle line-up. Richard and Andrew, with their speed and shooting ability were deadly marksmen. Both were ex-Australian Schoolboy Internationals with Andrew winning the Player of the Championships Award (1983) and Richard touring the UK as an Australian Schoolboy in 1985, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Scotland. Chris was a speedy defender who was given many man to man markings jobs, and rarely had the better of, whilst Mark was a versatile player, a no nonsense defender strong in the tackle and a midfielder capable of scoring regularly.

Leszczynski Brothers: Andrew, Chris, Mark & Richard

Leszczynski Brothers: Andrew, Chris, Mark & Richard

1979 was a relatively disappointing year given the success achieved in ’77 & ’78 and the senior side could only manage 4th position.

1978 saw the introduction of the first true Statewide League. Coached by John Grimsey, Eagle was crowned State League Champions after it defeated Rapid 1-0 in the final game of the season. Before the season’s largest crowd at South Hobart a lone goal by Eagle striker David Smith in the 22nd minute of the match against Rapid gave Eagle their second successive major soccer premiership. The 1-0 result was enough to give Eagle the title on goal-difference from Croatia (a feat it was to repeat in 1986). “It was the first success in soccer for Smith, who came close to a noteworthy double with 16 of Eagles 41 goals, only 3 behind top league scorer Andy Scheibl. Against the run of play a defensive clearance by Medhurst went into touch near the corner flag and a long throw by Eagles’ captain Larry Nunn, found Smith who had the ball in the net in a trice.”

Larry Nunn continued his fantastic run of personal achievements by being hailed as the Rothmans Gold Medal Winner.

State League Final Standings 1978


State League Premier Side 1978
Back - W Jones (Trainer) D Forshaw, L Nunn, D Trueman, P Linnell, M Richards, M Oakes, E Kelly, N Sugden, M Sikora, T Steenhuis (Manager) Front - D Fraraccio, P Wass, T Godfrey, B McKay, M Caban, D Smith

Back – W Jones (Trainer) D Forshaw, L Nunn, D Trueman, P Linnell, M Richards, M Oakes, E Kelly, N Sugden, M Sikora, T Steenhuis (Manager) Front – D Fraraccio, P Wass, T Godfrey, B McKay, M Caban, D Smith

1977 saw the Club entering a more successful couple of years, taking out the Winfield Southern Division 1 title & State Premiership in 1977 under the guidance of Glyn Jenkins. The State Premiership playoff was against Devonport a side that would figure prominently in Eagles history over the next two decades. The first match was played at Devonport and was a tight affair with the final score being a 2-2 draw. In a controversial second-leg White Eagle triumphed 2-1 to be crowned State Champions. Despite falling behind just on half-time constant Eagle pressure in the second half resulted in two goals in the final ten minutes through Oakes and Southworth. Personally, Larry Nunn the Eagle midfielder / defender had a year to remember. Not only did he win a premiership, but he also became the first Eagle player to win the prestigious “Jack Cade” Player of the Year Award. He also added another Eagle best & fairest award to add to his 1976 trophy. Also in this year, a youthful Bobby Rybak hammered home 27 of Eagle’s 110 goals, giving the Winfield Combined League title to Eagle in a division comprising a mammoth twenty-two clubs.

Winfield League & State Premiers 1977
Back Row: D Finegan, T Steenhuis, B Rybak, D Trueman, M Southworth, M Richards, E Kelly, L Nunn, M Oakes, B Jones (Trainer), G Jenkins (Coach)   Front Row: P Linnell, M Sikora, B McKay, W Bucher, H Stewart, P Wass,  G Jenkins

Back Row: D Finegan, T Steenhuis, B Rybak, D Trueman, M Southworth, M Richards, E Kelly, L Nunn, M Oakes, B Jones (Trainer), G Jenkins (Coach) Front Row: P Linnell, M Sikora, B McKay, W Bucher, H Stewart, P Wass, G Jenkins

The early 70’s were a relatively unproductive period in terms of senior premierships with 4th in 1975 and 1976 being the best placings achieved. The Club did however win the Coca Cola Cup in 1974 and repeated the feat in 1976. The 1975 reserve side had a successful season capturing the State premiership.

In 1968, the Club had its most successful season in the 60’s under the guidance of coach Jim Scally, finishing runners up in the finals play-off to Olympia by a corner, after the score was deadlocked 0-0 after extra time. The all important corner came in the 10th minute of extra time just after Olympia’s Stanton had failed to take advantage of a fine centre from Parkin. With two minutes remaining before the end, a free kick against Olympia half-back Richards for obstruction was taken by Bobby Osuchowski who netted direct from the free kick only to find it was an indirect kick, and subsequently the goal was disallowed. The team did however win the Association & George Evans Shields and also defeated Croatia 5-1 to win the Falkinder Cup. The goal scorers for Eagle that day were Jefferson (2), Osuchowski, McCann & Lundin (a.k.a. Olsen).

1968 Association & George Evans Shelds, Fawkinder Cup Winners & League Runners up
Back - J Scally (Coach), D Jefferson, I Honeyman, I Stewart, S Rakowski, B Dora, E Rosinski, K Olsen, W Jones (Trainer) Front - _______, H McCann, D Stoddart, D Siggins, B Osuchowski, J Biggar

Back – J Scally (Coach), D Jefferson, I Honeyman, I Stewart, S Rakowski, B Dora, E Rosinski, K Olsen, W Jones (Trainer) Front – _______, H McCann, D Stoddart, D Siggins, B Osuchowski, J Biggar

In 1963 coached by Max Gebauer, the Club won the Metropolitan League and was promoted to the then Cambridge sponsored Premier League (South).

Premiership Side 1963
Back - B Barac, T Mile, H Zoetsch, M Gebauer (Coach), V Neskovcin, S Stepien, M Zieba,        M Antas   Front - Z Lyk, B Osuchowski, B Dora, E Rosinski

Back – B Barac, T Mile, H Zoetsch, M Gebauer (Coach), V Neskovcin, S Stepien, M Zieba, M Antas
Front – Z Lyk, B Osuchowski, B Dora, E Rosinski

The White Eagle Soccer Club idea was conceived in 1960 and the Club was formed in 1961 under the auspices of the Polish Association based in New Town. It was registered in 1962 by the TSA to compete in the Metropolitan League, finishing in second place and winning its Knockout Cup that same year. The side was coached by Jan Zuraszek (he was also Club captain). In 1971 Jan Zuraszek had a perpetual trophy for the “Best & Fairest” senior player named in his honor. He died in a car crash in Melbourne in 1970.

Foundation Team 1962
Back Row: P. Szkudlarek, S Stepien , J Stepik, M Antas, J Zuraszek (Coach), J Antas, B Dora, P Wasileko, Z Rybak (Committee) Front Row: L Kunda, J Nowakowski, M Zieba, S Rakowski, Z Lyk, L Nowak, C Nikel

Back Row: P. Szkudlarek, S Stepien , J Stepik, M Antas, J Zuraszek (Coach), J Antas, B Dora, P Wasileko, Z Rybak (Committee) Front Row: L Kunda, J Nowakowski, M Zieba, S Rakowski, Z Lyk, L Nowak, C Nikel

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