Sunday, 2 May 2010

Adelaide City (Australia)

Australia is known throughout the world as a passionate and proud sporting nation. But little is known of their club football outside their shores. Indeed, all we in the UK used to know of their domestic leagues was as part of the close season Summer football pools coupons. But many of those names that we hoped would manage a score draw and help bag us a moderate fortune have long and proud histories - and few better than The Mighty Zebras of Adelaide City.

Formed in 1946 as many Aussie clubs were by a group of Adelaide residents of Italian heritage, the team were originally called simply Juventus, before extending it to Adelaide Juventus in the mid sixties. Eleven years later they changed again to Adelaide City, finally losing their link to the Italian favourites, but keeping the black and white kit all the same. They are currently among the tops sides in the regional South Australian Super League, although they spent many seasons in the old National Soccer League, winning the title three times before it folded in 2004.

Towards the end of their stint in the NSL they became known as Adelaide Force, when the league's sponsors were trying to rock and roll it up a bit, but reverted to City when they chose not to move into the new rebranded and highly franchised A-League. Since their reversion to the regional league they have won the title four times off the bat, but as promotion to the A-League is invitational and not automatic they have not taken their rightful place back in the top flight.

Notable former players include the one time Coventry and Portsmouth striker, John Aloisi, former Chelsea, Swindon and Millwall hitman David Mitchell and the tragic ex-Norwich star Justin Fashanu.

In their 64 year history they have won an outstanding 17 titles at the various levels they have played, and surely if it were not for the curious politics of Australian football they have reclaimed their rightful place at the top table of their national league a long time ago.

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