Albury City to mark 40 years of history

THEY boast the first Australian to score in a World Cup final, an Ovens and Murray legend and won the Cup final in their first season in Border soccer at the now hallowed turf of the Wodonga Bulldogs, Martin Park.

But the now Albury City Football Club turns 40 next year and is planning a celebration to match the occasion.

Originally known as the Albury City Soccer Club, it won the Cup final in its first year in 1974.

It dominated Border soccer in the 70s, 80s and 90s winning the championship seven times and Cup final nine.

Club president Kosta Stefanou said a weekend of activities would be held on February 15 and 16 — a dinner on the Saturday night, a gala day at Jelbart Park on the Sunday.

“When the club was first formed it trained at Aloysious Park, South Albury before it was allocated its own home ground at Jelbart Park,” he said.

“At that time it was just an undeveloped paddock before a working bee of players converged on the ground with lawn mowers and converted the land into a soccer field.

“In its first season Albury City fielded a first grade team and an under-14 team.

“From those humble beginnings Albury City has grown into one of the competition’s biggest clubs now fielding teams of every age and gender.”

Stefanou said the club’s history was based on family ties with the Andronicos name now synonymous with Albury City.

“Nick and George were two of the club’s, and the competition’s, best players and were part of the photo we had taken at Jelbart Park the other night,” he said.

“Nick was club captain for many years and won the association’s most valuable player and leading goal scorer awards while George has won the leading goal scorer award.

“Their father Myron was also a great supporter and life member of the club.

“Albury City’s clubrooms are named in his honour and the pre-season competition hosted by the club is called the ‘Andronicos Cup’.”

Stefanou also highlighted former junior Angela Iannotta, whose goal in the 1995 Women’s World Cup was the first for Australia, among their ranks and Collingwood and Albury Tigers legend Ray Thomas as the keeper in the 1974 Cup winning squad.

“Ray was the original code hopper, before Israel Folau and Karmichael Hunt were even born or the term code hopper had been coined,” he said.

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