Thursday, 29 July 2010

Fremantle United (Australia)

Those of us of a certain age will remember a more innocent time before lottery draws and online gaming, when the only chance you had of having a gamble was either going down the fag encrusted bookies, or filling in the football pools. And what did the pools do in the summer when the English league was off on their holls? It headed for Australia! All through the summer months I'd study the strange names on my old mum's Aussie Pools paper. Exotic sounding places like Geelong, Noarlunga and Wanneroo rubbed shoulders with more familiar sounding teams like South Adelaide, Sunbury and Bayswater. But no one ever wondered who played for these teams, let alone what their kit looked like.

So I was happily surprised when I found out that the old Aussie pools stalwarts Fremantle United were among the bestriped bretheren - my curiosity was pricked and I had to discover more. Regulars in the Western Australia League, they've been more than just a name on an English coupon since 1977. Known simply as Freo to their many fans and players, they soon grew to become one of the most successful sides in Western Australia. Since 1985 they've bagged eight WA Amateur Premier League titles, six runners up slots, and a couple of Division One titles.

But they're a club with the local area at heart too, running a stable of 26 youth sides, at all ages and abilities at their Carrington Street ground in the Beaconsfield suburb of the city of Fremantle. This has obviously paid off, as not only are they one of the most winningest sides in the state, but many of their players have gone on to the Australian professional game and beyond.

So if ever you see an Australian Pools coupon again - and who knows, they might just come back into fashion, spare a thought for all those funny sounding teams with a row of tick boxes alongside them. They might just be a bunch of random names to you, but every one of them is at the heart of a living and breathing community.

All photos © lays with the owners
Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.

No comments:

Post a Comment