GDSFA History

GDSFA History

The Granville & Districts Soccer Football Association has a long and proud history, dating from its inception in 1890 to the first formal competition in 1902. To celebrate the Association’s centenary, a special publication was compiled by Eddie Billett, a Management Committee member at the time. The book’s foreword summarises it well:
The contents of this book cannot possibly collect all the material that has been created in the 100 years of the Granville District Soccer Football Association (GDSFA).

This project came about as an attempt to capture some history of the GDSFA however as the task became overwhelming the aim of the book took a varied course. As the GDSFA has been made up with the Clubs it was decided to capture as far as possible the history of the Clubs. Obviously over the 100 years many Clubs have unfortunately come and gone & it was just impossible to capture the history of the clubs that are now defunct.

I admit that this book does not do justice to the history of the GDSFA but it is seen as a stepping stone for some other historian or other interested person to expand on this work. The history so far is from 1902 to 2002 and already new Clubs have commenced in 2003 & 2004.

All the Clubs in this book were requested and supplied information that goes towards the compilation of this book. Every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in the book is accurate & reliable. However, if mistakes have been made they have been done in good faith.

We have to understand that computers & the recording of information in electronic form has only commenced in the mid 90’s and this probably explains the absence of the proper recording of GDSFA’s history.

The GDSFA is recorded as the oldest Soccer Association in Australia however the actual playing of soccer in Australia commenced in the 1880’s when local Scottish migrants played on the current Mitsubishi site which is located on Parramatta Rd. Granville.

From there games were played against various suburbs & later business houses.
This book does not also do justice to those people who started up the various Clubs as we know them today. In the beginning there were no Clubhouses, canteens, change rooms, toilets, car parks or floodlights. And let us not forget that they did not have telephones, let alone mobile phones. In the majority of cases they did not have motor vehicles to transport players etc around. Nor did they have computers, photocopiers or fax machines.

However, I believe that the people who started the clubs would not have had it any other way. In the main they had a love for the sport and wanted to see the kids have a game of soccer.

I have met many wonderful and interesting people whilst trying to compile this book. It has been a pleasure to obtain their memories and put them on paper. Steve Waugh the now former Australian Cricket captain is a great believer in obtaining the history of sport as he believed that if you know where you have come from, then you have a good chance of getting where you want to be.

Some of the marvellous people I met during the research were Mr Tom Newhouse from the Baulkham Hills Soccer & Recreation Club and Mr Joe Grubba from the Merrylands SFC & Merrylands RSL Club. These two men are typical of the good that can come out of sport. I have found both men derived immeasurable pleasure from their sport and their keenness is obvious when you are in their company and talking about soccer or life. These two men are only but fine examples of what sport can do to mould character when a person is involved in our sport.

Women have played a vital role in the development & running of the Clubs & they worked tirelessly around the Clubs & their contribution has not gone unnoticed.

A grant of $2,200 was obtained from the Dept. of Sport & Recreation & this was important in the research of the book and I thank them for their valuable assistance.

Mr Laurie Ferguson the Federal Member for Reid has shown an interest in the book and as a loyal supporter of GDSFA he has supplied a letter of congratulations for this book.

Kim Billett (my daughter in law) has prepared the book for the printers and has been involved in chasing up various clubs and many people who have supplied information.

Lastly I apologise to all of you readers and the current committee of the GDSFA who have been supportive of this book for the lateness. The project has been interesting and totally worthwhile & I only hope that each Club continues upgrading their history as once the memories are gone, they are gone forever.

Eddie Billett
Click here to view/download the book, and enjoy!